Clean Your Lens Focus and Zoom Ring With This Cheap Trick

October 21, 2020
1 min read
Clean Dirty Lens

Dislike the build-up of dust and lint on your focus ring, but find it’s tricky to clean? Read on to see how to remove it without damaging your lens.

While signs of use can be a good thing when it comes to expensive tools because it means you’ve been adequately using your investment, if there’s one thing that bugs me, it’s the grime and dirt you can find lingering in the rubber grip of the focus and zoom rings.

Overhead shot of the LUMIX S PRO 1:2.8/70-200mm lens with some dust and grime on the zoom ring.

This is usually, bits of dust, lint, and small dirt crumbs picked up from the nature trails. This form of dirt isn’t really ‘dirt’. It’s a surface-level grime, but I dislike it.


You may initially gravitate towards a lens brush because the brush area is small enough to move through the grooves; however, the bristles are soft that they don’t clear all the dirt. Likewise, if you only have one lens brush, you don’t want to be using it in this manner.

Picture of hands cleaning the lens with a lens brush
Don’t do this.

Therefore I recommend purchasing an electric shaver cleaning brush. These are used to remove small hairs from your shaver, but their bristles are a lot denser, allowing you to clean in between the rubber grooves properly.

A hand holding a small electric shaver cleaning brush.

However, there is going to be some dirt that is fond of staying attached to that rubber grip, and therefore, we’re going to need an additional tool. Now before you go splurging on  91% alcohol or other cleaning liquid, I want to point your attention to this Sticky cleaning putty; it is made of non-toxic and biodegradable material and doesn’t smell nor leave any residue.

Image of a Super Clean cleaning product.

Typically used for keyboards and car dashboards, but also perfect for picking up these small pieces of dirt that can’t be picked up from the brush.

Hands holding the sticky green cleaning agent.

You simply firmly push the putty onto the ring grooves and peel back off.

Hands cleaning the camera lens with the sticky cleaning agent.

In the image below, as I move up the focus ring, you can see a clear differentiation between the clean and dirty sections.

A hand holding the lens with a red line dividing the clean side from the dirty side.

You can pick up both the brush and putty on Amazon for just over 5 dollars, and they are perfectly sized to store in your photography bag.

Lewis McGregor

Lewis McGregor is a filmmaker, photographer and online content creator from Wales.