Sensor Cleaning for Digital Cameras

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Chugach, Equipment, How to, Travel 8 Comments

A kayaker enjoying a beautiful afternoon this past Sunday on Resurrection Bay, Seward, Alaska.

A kayaker on Resurrection Bay enjoying a beautiful afternoon this past Sunday, Seward, Alaska.

A couple of months ago I wrote about a sensor cleaning liquid and wand product made by Dust-Aid.  I really like the wands, they made it easy to get the moist swaps into the champer and allowed me to reach the corners of the sensor.  But the real benefit to me was the fact this liquid could be shipped via air to places like Alaska.

Well I just tried another product that works even better!  In fact, I was able to clean my sensor with just one try in just a matter of minutes! 

I had been dreading the cleaning because my sensor was pretty dirty – a month in the desert will do that, especially after driving around in a jeep with the top off!  My sensor even had one of those dreaded dust snakes that managed to appear in the sky in many of my photos!

The product I tried is also made by Dust-Aid, it is called the Dust-Aid Platinum.  If you follow the link to the Dust-Aid website, you will see photos and videos of the product in use, this will give you a pretty good feel for how it works.  It is basically a small plastic flag with a little square base.  On that base is a special slightly tacky silicone.  You take the flag and dab the base on the different parts of the sensor – this process picks up the dust off the sensor.  Included with the kit is a couple of strips of sterilized tape – you use this tape to clean the dust off the silicon on the bottom of the flag so that the flag can be used over and over.

Make sure you keep the bottom of the flag perfectly clean – don’t touch it or set it down on a table, – keep it in it’s nice little red plastic box carrier.  Keeping your cleaning supplies clean is imparative, otherwise you just transfer dust back and forth.

This product has a number of advantages.  It comes in a very small, light weight container that is easy to travel with and legal to ship via air.  Heck, it is so small and light that I can now just leave it in my camera bag.  In addition,  this product is easy to use, but most importantly it really works!  I expected it would take at least a couple of attempts, but my sensor was literally clean after just one use!

I’m am still glad I have the Dust-Aid wand kit – I think it may come in handy when you come across one of those really stuburn, welded on pieces of dust.  Dust-Aid sells a kit that includes both the Wand Kit and the Platinum, then you are completely covered for whatever you might find on your sensor.

Comments 8

  1. Post

    Hi Milo,

    I think you will like this product – and it can be shipped to Cordova!

    There was a time for me that senor cleaning was about a 50 / 50 proposition – chances were just as good that I would make things worse then better.


  2. Thanks for the review Ron. I have a Platinum kit that just arrived not too long ago, so I haven’t had a chance to use it. These guys really come up with some innovative ideas.

  3. That’s a great pic! The kayaker looks so small. Love the sun on top, then the shade , and the reflection on the water. You have a superior knack for knowing what to shoot. Did you study photography, or just start on your own?

  4. Post

    I hope it works as well for you Mark, thanks.

    Thanks Beth!

    I took a photography class in college, but have mostly learned from books, the Internet and practicing.

  5. I wish I had better luck with my Dust-aid than you guys. I have a 5D and it was filthy, had about 40 specks of dust. I got the platinum Dust-aid and I must say it was very easy to use. I did 10 individual cleanings and was only able to remove half of the gunk. Needless to say, I was extremely disappointed as I had a wedding coming up in a few days. This product only removed the loose dust which I could easily have blown off with my Hurricane blower.

    I decided to give the Photographic Solutions swabs a try and am happy to say I removed every last speck of dust except one, and that one was on the very edge. I’m sure that some folks have good luck with Dust-aid, but in my case, it was a total waste of money. I am at a loss to see how this product has any effect whatsoever on the common everyday dust that gets on a sensor.

    Bob Hudkins

  6. Post

    Hi Bob,

    Thanks for sharing your experience – that is too bad it didn’t work for you. I hope I didn’t just get lucky.

    Before my last trip, I used Dust Aid’s liquid product, so the specs I was seeing and removing were all fairly new and not welded on. I would think with as many specs as you had, that the Dust Aid liquid solution along with swaps may have been necessary. It is basically a similar product to the Photographic Solutions swabs and Eclipse fluid, except it can be shipped via mail. I used Photographic Solutions products for years, but the shipping and flying restrictions were tough to work with in Alaska.

    Thanks again for sharing your experience,


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