Today’s smartphones have gone a long way since they first got popular. Most of them come with a bazillion functions and can replace countless other gadgets. You can ditch your camera, your mp3 player, your GPS navigation system, your PDA, your calculator and basically anything else – smartphones have it all. They are the Swiss army knives of modern people. We basically can’t live without our handsets. However, the more we use them, the dirtier they get, and even though for the most part it’s just annoying, dirt can actually stand in the way of some of their functions. What good is ruddy 13 megapixel camera on your phone if the lens is dirty and when you take pictures you can’t distinguish between a mountain and a dog? This happens more frequently than you think. Since most lenses don’t have protection, and since we take our phones basically everywhere, it’s very easy for the lens to get contaminated and then the fun begins. After a year of taking great photos, you suddenly start getting dark smudges instead of photos and people think you’re weight because you like taking pictures of gray spots.
All of this can be easily avoided, though, if you take five minutes every couple of months and you just clean your darn lens. That’s it – no more than 5 minutes. Of course, you can just skip that and keep making bad photos – it’s up to you. All I can do for you is tell you how to clean the lens. Whether you want to clean it or not is entirely up to you.
Tools you will need:
You will need a microfiber cloth, an air blower for camera cleaning, some rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab. The microfiber towel is your best bet when it comes to cleaning. It does not matter what you’re cleaning, you can not go wrong with a microfiber cloth. Whether you’re washing your car or phone lens, a microfiber cloth will give you the best results.
The air blower is used to remove dust from the lens. You need to make sure that there are no hard particles when you’re cleaning the lens, otherwise you might end up making things worse. An important thing to note is to never blow the lens with your mouth. You risk getting saliva on it, and even in microscopic quantities, the acid that’s contained in your saliva will damage the lens coating.
The rubbing alcohol and the cotton swab will be used for more severe cases where you have to open the phone and perform a detailed cleaning from the inside.
Depending on the severity of the situation, you may or may not need to involve more than one tool of the list above. If your lens isn’t all that dirty and smudged and there is just a fingerprint on it that is messing with your images, you can quite easily remove it with the microfiber cloth alone. This should be enough if the situation isn’t serious. Just rub it gently and you will be set.
If, however, you need to perform a more detailed cleaning, make a solution of 50% rubbing alcohol and 50% water in an old spray bottle. Then use the blower to remove the hard particles from the lens, spray the solution on the microfiber cloth and carefully clean the lens. Make sure you dry it out right after you’re done.
In extreme cases, open the panel and clean with pure rubbing alcohol and the cotton swab. Be careful not to damage your phone. Enjoy your new, clear photos!