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How to disinfect your camera, lenses and other equipment

How to disinfect your camera, smartphone and other equipment
(Image credit: Roger Cicala)

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow more serious, it's natural to want to take steps to protect yourself. Whether this means working from home, or taking measures to disinfect your kit, every little helps. However, with so much pseudo-information floating around, it can be difficult to know which sources to trust when it comes to getting the right information. 

Luckily, Roger Cicala, the founder of Lensrentals (opens in new tab) and a physician in a past life, is uniquely qualified to give accurate, reliable information. However, as Roger acknowledges himself in his blogpost, official government advice is changing quickly, so if he's recommended something and "the CDC says something else next Thursday, go with the CDC."

• Read more: Everything photographers need to work from home

We would recommend purchasing products such as hand sanitizers and disinfectant sprays if you're able to, but it can't be denied that this can be a struggle at the moment. Products are coming back into stock and then disappearing just as quickly again. If your cleaning cupboard is running low, then try the links below. 

Amazon US: Hand sanitizer (opens in new tab)
Amazon US: Disinfectant wipes (opens in new tab)
Amazon US: Disinfectant spray (opens in new tab)

Amazon UK: Hand sanitizer (opens in new tab)
Amazon UK: Disinfectant wipes (opens in new tab)
Amazon UK: Disinfectant spray (opens in new tab)

However, if you're struggling to find cleaning supplies, then check out Roger's blogpost for ideas on how to disinfect your camera equipment (opens in new tab) and other surfaces. "I think it's pretty easy and pretty safe to disinfect all of your equipment and studio space or office effectively except for your camera. Let's face it, you got your face all up in there, so it's the most likely place to have received a big viral load.

"I'd recommend just not sharing cameras on a shoot right now. If you do share, disinfect it carefully with a minimal solution and set it aside for 24 hours; 48 hours if you are paranoid. Virus particles don't make spores and are not going to last on a surface for a long time. I, personally, am comfortable that 24 hours is long enough, but there is some evidence that it takes 72 hours to be absolutely safe." 

If you're concerned about the coronavirus, you can access NHS advice here (opens in new tab) and CDC advice here (opens in new tab).

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Louise Carey
Louise Carey

With over a decade of photographic experience, Louise arms Digital Camera World with a wealth of knowledge on photographic technique and know-how – something at which she is so adept that she's delivered workshops for the likes of ITV and Sue Ryder. Louise also brings years of experience as both a web and print journalist, having served as features editor for Practical Photography magazine and contributing photography tutorials and camera analysis to titles including Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab) and  Digital Photographer (opens in new tab). Louise currently shoots with the Fujifilm X-T200 and the Nikon D800, capturing self-portraits and still life images, and is DCW's ecommerce editor, meaning that she knows good camera, lens and laptop deals when she sees them.