What is the Proper Way to Clean Your VR Lenses?

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Virtual reality has always been dubbed as the next frontier of entertainment. With VR technology, we become more than just a passive audience to whatever piece of entertainment we are consuming – we are actually placed in the middle of it.

Central to the VR experience is the VR headset, a piece of hardware that has been made popular in the past couple of years by big brands such as Oculus, HTC, Samsung, and Sony. While these headsets are designed to withstand the intense movements that are par for the course for VR entertainment, they are still delicate devices that need gentle maintenance. One thing that you have to do quite often is to clean their lenses. Why is cleaning necessary and how often should you do it? What is the proper way to clean your VR lenses?

Why do you need to clean your VR lenses?

dust cover

The lenses in your VR headset are similar to any standard camera lens or the LCD display on your phone. They are particularly prone to dust buildup and oil smudges because of contact with your face or your fingers. Because these VR headsets can spend an inordinate time near your face, it’s almost inevitable that the lenses will pick up some sort of dirt or grime from you.

Even when not in use, VR lenses can pick up dust from the environment while stores. The simple truth is that there is dust everywhere, try as you might to keep your gaming setup as immaculately clean as possible. While there are some dust covers that you can buy for VR headsets, it’s usually still a good idea to allow your headsets to air out after use, as you will inevitably get some sweat on them.

As with the LCD displays in your devices, leaving any traces of dust and oil on your VR lenses rarely leads to any long-term damage. However, the fact that these lenses are so small means that any smudge or piece of dust can easily ruin your VR experience. What’s the point of buying a VR headset if you can’t fully enjoy it?

How often do VR lenses need to be cleaned?

As we’ve mentioned, there are a lot of ways for your VR lenses could end up dirty. When this happens, we recommend stepping in right away and cleaning them. At the minimum, you should clean your VR lenses before and after every gaming session. Cleaning them before you play removes any dust that the lenses could have picked up while in storage while cleaning them after removes any oil smudges that you may have put on the lenses during use.

Even if you end up rarely using those VR headsets, we recommend still giving the lenses a quick cleaning session every week or so. The dust inside the chamber of the headset and on those lenses can build up pretty quickly, and you wouldn’t want to find your VR headset coated in a thick layer of dust when it comes time get some gaming in.

What you’ll need

1. Microfiber cloth

AmazonBasics Microfiber Cloths

The most basic thing you’ll need to clean your VR lenses is a piece of microfiber cloth. You don’t need to spend a lot on these, but make sure to get a high-quality one that is ultra-soft and lint-free. We’re partial to this six-pack of microfiber cloths from AmazonBasics because each piece comes individually wrapped in its own reusable plastic envelope. The microfiber cloths can also be washed and reused, so this pack might last you a few years.

2. Compressed air canister

Although not strictly needed, having a can of compressed air on hand can make it much easier to remove heavy dust buildup not just on the VR lenses, but on the whole internal chamber of your headset. Again, you don’t need to spend a lot on compressed air. This 10 oz. can from USA Tools N More should work as well as any other brand.

A step-by-step guide to cleaning your VR lenses

With all your tools on hand it’s time to start cleaning your VR lenses. You can do this process as often as needed without any worries of damaging your headset.

1. DON’T use any liquid cleaners

Before we start talking about what to do, we have to stress what NOT to do. Don’t use any type of liquid cleaning solution on your VR lenses. This includes any type of alcohol or disinfectant wipes. These cleaning solutions are abrasive and can do permanent damage to your VR lenses. You may, however, wipe the external surface and accessories of your headset with disinfectant wipes.

2. Use compressed air to knock loose any dust

Take your can of compressed air and aim it towards the nooks and crannies of your VR headset, and spray compressed air in short bursts. Do NOT point the can nozzle directly at the lenses and make sure that the nozzle is 2 to 3 inches away from the surface you are cleaning. You can go all around the headset with the compressed air canister, and it’s especially useful in cleaning out the internal chamber of the headset that sits in front of your face.

3. Wipe the lenses with a microfiber cloth

Finally, take your microfiber cloth and gently start wiping the lenses of the headset. Wipe in a circular motion, starting from the middle and gradually moving outwards.

Final thoughts

As with any sensitive piece of technology, your VR headset requires some regular maintenance. The good news is that it doesn’t take much to take good care of your VR headset. The only part you’ll need to pay special attention to are the lenses – by far, they are the most sensitive and fragile part of any VR headset.

At the minimum, it only takes a piece of high-quality microfiber cloth to clean your VR lenses before and after every use. A can of compressed air can also make the process much quicker. As long as you do your maintenance properly and regularly, you’re bound to get years of entertainment with that VR headset.