How to clean an iPhone camera thoroughly in 3 steps

How to clean an iPhone camera thoroughly in 3 steps

Can you clean an iPhone camera thoroughly without taking it apart? 

suction cup for iPhone - clean an iPhone camera
You can clean an iPhone camera using a lint-free cloth, a lens brush, or a cleaning toolkit for iPhones.

You can clean an iPhone camera thoroughly without prying it open. Just use a lint-free cloth and wipe off the grime, oil, or dirt. However, if your dust or dirt problem is serious, you have no choice but to open it and clean it. 

Don’t know how to do it? 

We can help you. 

In this post, we listed three steps on how to clean an iPhone camera thoroughly.

How to clean an iPhone camera thoroughly 

Prevention is indeed better than the cure. You can always buy protective covers for your camera/s, but sometimes you get so busy that you forget to wipe them off for weeks… and then that will turn into months… until you notice your camera has glitches or graininess. Yikes.

If you haven’t spent time cleaning your iPhone cameras, follow these three steps to keep them squeaky clean. 

Step 1 – Use a lint-free cloth. 

What is a lint-free cloth? 

A lint-free cloth is a non-abrasive material for surfaces. It won’t leave any fiber and scratches on the surface, making it an effective tool to clean an iPhone camera. Several examples of lint-free cloth material are cotton, rayon, polyester, and microfiber. Microfiber, particularly, is highly absorbent. That’s why it’s effective for wiping off dust and grime on sensitive stuff like eyeglasses, iPad screens, and iPhone camera lens covers. Microfiber cloths are also antibacterial. 

Read: 9 hacks to stop iPhone camera from shaking

How to clean an iPhone camera using a lint-free cloth

You can use any lint-free cloth to clean an iPhone camera. Follow these steps: 

  1. Make sure to unplug your iPhone’s cables. To be safe, turn off your iPhone and wait for a few minutes before proceeding to the next step. 
  2. Lay down a piece of cloth on a table or flat surface to rest your iPhone on. You don’t want to scratch the front screen while you’re rubbing off the camera at the back.
  3. Next, place your iPhone face down on the cloth. 
  4. Lightly dampen a lint-free cloth with water or a soapy solution. 
  5. Gently wipe the camera lens cover and the flash. Let it dry for a minute or two before turning it on again.

How to buy a lint-free cloth for iPhone camera

Don’t overspend on a lint-free cloth. It’s available at your nearby hardware stores or eyeglasses kiosks at the mall. You can also order a pack of six from Amazon, which typically costs more than $6.00. Also, remember that a lint-free cloth can either be rayon, polyester, microfiber, or cotton. So, if you’re buying a lint-free cloth in person, don’t forget to read the label. Make sure it’s soft and smooth as well. 

Read: Blurry iPhone camera: 5 simple steps to get rid of it

Now, we understand that not everyone likes using cloths to clean their iPhone. Besides, where do you even keep a microfiber cloth for your iPhone? A cloth might get dirty eventually if you don’t keep it in a special container. If you need something more solid and practical, read on.

Step 2 – Get a smartphone camera cleaning tool. 

What is a smartphone camera cleaning tool? 

If you don’t like using cloths, you can buy a smartphone camera cleaning tool. One example is LensPen®, which is the brand name of a cleaning tool for a camera’s lenses and other optical pieces. LensPen has a retractable brush that you can use to get rid of dust or sand on the lens. At the other end of LensPen, you can use a round cleaning tip to remove fingerprint marks.

Can you use LensPen to clean an iPhone camera?

LensPen isn’t designed to clean an iPhone camera; however, the brand has a cleaning tool dedicated to smartphone cameras. The name is CellKlear™. It doesn’t have the retractable brush, but it comes with the carbon molecular formulation similar to LensPen. You can also use it on your iPad’s camera. 

Another brand called Moments has a cleaning tool for smartphone cameras. This one has a retractable brush and a round cleaning tip made of felt, unlike CellKlear that comes with the round cleaning tip only. So, basically, Moment’s pen brush works just like LensPen. 

Read: 15 apps for fixing blurry iPhone photos

Wait… what if you use your iPhone every day to film videos anywhere? Well, in that case, your iPhone is more likely to accumulate oil from your fingertips, dust from outside, and other types of dirt. It might also catch grime more if you use a tripod. So, you will need more than a LensPen; you will need a set of tools that perform more advanced functions. Read the next item to find out.

Step 3 –  Buy a lens cleaning kit. 

tool to clean an iPhone camera
You might need to open your iPhone if you see a lot of dust inside.

What is a camera lens cleaning kit for iPhone? 

An iPhone can break from the impact of falling on the ground. It can develop cracks, in which dust and dirt can enter and damage the parts, including the camera lens. If this happened to you, you will need a cleaning kit for your iPhone camera. This toolkit can include up to 20 repair tools. Some of them are suction cups, compressed air, pentalobe screwdrivers, aluminum driver, spudger tool, a lens cleaning tool like CellKlear, and more. You can use them to open your iPhone and clean an iPhone camera.

Read: Do iPhone cameras lose quality over time?

How to use a toolkit to clean an iPhone camera

  1. First, you have to unscrew the two bottom screws. Twist the screwdriver counterclockwise until they come off. Take note to set those two screws aside. Don’t lose them! 
  2. Now, secure the suction cup on the front screen. Pull up until you lift the screen.
  3. Next, use the spudger tool to pry the screen open. Insert the spudger into the opening until the screen is entirely lifted from the iPhone’s body. Remember: your screen should still be attached to the iPhone’s body. 
  4. Noticing a bit of dust? Blow them off using the compressed air. 
  5. Let’s proceed to clean the camera. Slowly twist the screen to the left. 
  6. Gently lift the small, square metal cover using your finger or the spudger tool.
  7. Now you can see the lens and the glass cover. Use the round tip lens brush to wipe off the dust. Do it in a circular motion.
  8. Make sure to include wiping off the grime around the lens and the glass cover. You can also use the compressed air to blow off the dust.
  9. Satisfied? Return the metal cover and twist back the screen to its original position. 
  10. Press the screen down and put the two bottom screws you took off earlier back.

Read: Can You Replace an iPhone Camera?


Cleaning an iPhone camera is a delicate task, even if you’re wiping it from outside. So, be careful and don’t risk ruining your phone by using cheap cleaning materials and tools. Good luck!

Related questions 

How to clean a scratched phone camera lens?

Combine alcohol and water in a cup. Next, soak a microfiber cloth in the mixture. Rub your camera lens cover until you see the scratches slowly fading. Repeat this process until your camera returns to normal.

How do you clean the camera lens on the iPad?

We don’t recommend any cleaning agent on your iPad camera lens cover. Some materials might damage the oleophobic coating on your screen. If you’re noticing a bit of dust on your iPad’s camera, stick to wiping it with a lint-free cloth first.