How to Clean Almost Anything: An A-to-Z Guide
Camera: Remove dust from the lens, viewfinder, screen, and body—paying special attention to nooks, like the memory-card slot—using a camel-hair brush ($15, bandh.com) or a bulb-style blower (Sensei large air blower, $8, bandh.com). A smudge on the lens can become permanent if not tended to, so grab a clean microfiber cloth, breathe on the lens (rubbing a dry lens can grind in dirt), and gently rub in circles. If the smudge is still there, gently rub with a cloth dampened with an alcohol-based lens-cleaning fluid, like ROR Lens Cleaner ($9, adorama.com). Never use a tissue or a paper towel; they’re too abrasive. Finish by gently wiping all over with a fresh microfiber cloth.
Ceiling fan: For safety, first tape down the fan’s switch. Place a drop cloth or an old sheet on the floor, covering an area about twice the span of the blades. Fill a spray bottle with water and 2 tablespoons white vinegar and spritz generously into an old pillowcase. Climb up on a tall step-ladder and slide the pillowcase over the blades one by one, rubbing gently to dust. Dirt will fall into the pouch, not on your head. For a ladderless method, use the Ceiling Fan Duster ($10; and six-foot telescopic pole, $11: neat-home.com for info). This adjustable tool cups each blade to clean both sides simultaneously. (Be sure to cover your hair, though!)