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By Gill Chilton

Exposure to sand, sun, and rain means your camera picks up a good deal of dirt and dust too! To effectively clean a camera, you need a few special items.

  • A soft, absorbent cloth: If you don’t want to buy a specialist camera one, use a scrap of well-laundered white cotton, such as an old hankie.

  • A small, soft brush: If you don’t have a specialist camera brush, an unused make-up brush is fine.

  • A rubber squeeze-bulb, with or without a brush: You can get a brush-on-a-bulb tool from a camera shop or use a rubber squeeze bulb – designed for shifting ear wax – from the chemist (drugstore).

  • A lens-cleaning pen: Essentially just a tiny pad of smoothest leather, you can purchase one for around £6 at a camera shop. If you don’t want a tool for just one thing, the cloth you use for cleaning your spectacles works well.

You can buy a complete camera-cleaning kit for under £6 from many camera retailers such as Jessops.

You can prevent problems and forestall a lot of cleaning by protecting your camera with a case. And, whilst scratches on a metal camera casing are annoying, professionals focus their cleaning where dirt and dust affect the pictures they produce. Many feel that a weathered exterior is a badge of pride and proof that you work against the elements to get the best shot.

When the weather’s blowing up dust big-time but you have to get that great shot, pop the entire camera into a clear plastic bag and take your picture, pressing the shutter through the plastic.