• The term "approved" is seen being used in some marketing material. Be aware that the term "approved" by itself only means that this particular vendor approves it's use on whatever they are approving it for and that this is NOT the approval of the Camera Manufacturer.
  • Just because you see a camera brand logo on a page doesn't mean that that manufacturer endorses said brand's products. Ask for copy of the letter of endorsement if you wish to question it.
  • We STRONGLY recommend staying away from the "Hurricane" brand of blowers as there has been numerous reports of this brand of blower spewing particles of rubber onto the sensor. UPDATE: As of Nov 2006 we are still getting reports of this happening.

  • PRECAUTION: The #1 issue consumers are having with the "Brush Method" is the brush leaving smear marks on their sensor. This is caused by a contaminated brush. There are three main ways a brush becomes contaminated:

    1. By Canned Air. I have yet to see any canned air that is 100% contaminant free and this is why we do NOT recommend any type or brand. In addition to being inexpensive, a hand blower like a Giotto's Rocket has a 1000 time less chance of contaminating your brush.
    2. By a Dirty Mirror Box. Your mirror and shutter mechanisms have been oiled & greased as they do have moving parts. Sometimes this lubricant travels to places in the mirror chamber that can be accessed by the brush when trying to clean the sensor. To eliminate this, you need to clean the mirror chamber with a product similar to Eclipse™ on a Chamber Swab™ or Visible Dust's Chamber Clean. Cleaning the mirror chamber first before using a brush for the first time is mandatory on the Canon 1D, 1Ds, 1D Mark II and 1D Mark II cameras due to the type of paint Canon used in this area on these models.
    3. By Human Skin. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you touch the fibers of the brush with any part of your skin. There are natural oils on your skin which transfer to your sensor and leave residue. If you have already touched the fibers of the brush against your skin, you need to wash the brush before using it on the sensor.
  • Do Not just use any brush to clean the sensor; make sure you buy one that has gone through some rigorous testing and is backed by a reputable firm. Be cautious of some people out there that will go down to the local five and dime and buy some brushes then try to sell them out of their garage/internet or on eBay for the purpose of cleaning sensors. They have nothing to lose when YOU screw up YOUR sensor with their inferior items.
  • Do Not use air compressors or canned air when cleaning optics. Both may release unwanted moisture under certain circumstances. This is why we highly recommend the use of foot or hand powered blowers.
  • Follow the instruction for putting your camera into its "CLEANING MODE". If you try using bulb or a long shutter speed to access the sensor, it is energized and generating static electricity which attracts dust. Attempting to clean the sensor without using the cleaning mode may result in the shutter closing on your cleaning utensil resulting in an expensive repair. There is also the possibility of damage by too much light if sensor is energized and exposed to direct bright light. Note: Your camera will not go into its cleaning mode unless you have a battery that is at least 50% full.

  • Trimming Pec*Pads or Delta Wipes is not recommended as this will cause them to lose their lint-free status. If you attempt to cut one, make sure you fold the cut end in so that it is not exposed.

  • When wrapping your SensorWand™ or homemade tool, DO NOT touch the area of the Pec*Pad or Delta Wipe that will be coming in contact with the sensor with your hand. Body oils can be transferred onto the sensor this way. If you accidentally touch the cleaning end of your sensor cleaning tool, go ahead and throw it away unless it is a cleanable device such as the D-SLR Brush.

  • The first tool you should ALWAYS use when cleaning your sensor is a hand blower. This is because you want to get rid of all the large pieces of debris/dust from the surface of your sensor before you ever come in physical contact with it. Dragging debris across the surface of your sensor with your cleaning tool could cause damage to the sensor. This is why it is so important to use a hand blower first.
  • The only hand blowers that we endorse are the Giottos brand of blowers. However, if you are in a heavy dust environment while doing your cleaning and feel that you need a blower with the filter built in, the KOH Jet Air blower is the best in this category.
  • Only use a quality hand blower like the Giottos, for cheap hand blowers will blow out chunks of rubber onto the sensor.
  • Never attempt a cleaning method other than using a hand blower, unless you’re prepared to do a wet cleaning. This is because your cleaning tools may come in contact with stray lubricants inside the mirror cage which will end up making streaks across the sensor in which only a wet cleaning can resolve.
  • Never attempt to clean your sensor unless you have the ability to inspect it. The preferred method of inspection is to use a magnifying inspection device. Inspection can also be done via shooting images and looking at them in Photoshop, although this is a long, slow process.
  • Once your camera is in its cleaning mode, keep the sensor facing downwards whenever possible. For example, you will put your camera into its cleaning mode before you put the solution onto the swab, but you’ll want to place the camera facing down on the table while preparing the swab. This is to keep dust in the air from falling onto the sensor. Mirrorless cameras are almost always in what we would consider a sensor cleaning mode, so whenever the lens is off, it should be facing downwards.
  • Alpha Premium Sensor Cleaning Swabs are designed to pass across the sensor in each direction only once and then discarded. Attempting to reuse the Alpha Swab will cause unwanted results.
  • Only two to four drops of fluid are needed on the tip of the swab to obtain positive results. More solution will only cause unfavorable results.
  • In most cases, you will end up using multiple swabs to get a perfectly clean sensor.
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