Step six – Wet clean
My advice here is to invest in a decent swab kit. For example, check out reviews on Amazon. Personally I wouldn’t buy a cheap unbranded kit from eBay anymore than I would use an unbranded SD card to store my wedding photos on. The risk of disaster is too much for me to risk.
Typically swab kits will come with a swab head. The head should be the right size for your sensor. This is quite important. Especially if you have for example an APS-C camera. Swab heads designed for full frame cameras wouldn’t fit properly. The swab head should be the same width as your camera sensor.
You should also use the provided lens cleaning fluid. Put a drop, maybe two onto the swab head. Not too wet though. Now GENTLY start from one side of the sensor. Move it slowly across the sensor. When you get to the end, use the other side of the swab head to go back to the start. Don’t be tempted to put too much fluid on or you will end up with streaks.
That should be it! Simple eh?
Well…hopefully. However when I first started doing wet cleans, I seemed to put too much fluid on and smear the sensor. I also learned the hard way to use a good swab kit. I purchased a kit from some random stand at the Photography Show earlier this year which had a tendency to leave lint all over my sensor. Thankfully I had my trusty Eyelead stick to save me. After the lint was removed, I used my old swabheads to go over the sensor again. It was a right faff so trust me. Don’t cheap out on this one.
The first time you clean the sensor yourself will be the most nerve wracking. Yet it is just like riding a bike. Once you’ve cracked it, you’ll never look back. You can potentially save time & money by not needing to send it off to a shop. By doing it yourself you can also do it more often too. There’s no need to do it too often though. Just when you start noticing dust bunnies on your sensor.