Matt Golowczynski tests the Dust Patrol Alpha 8-piece sensor-cleaning kit

Dust Patrol Alpha 8-piece sensor-cleaning kit at a glance:

Seemingly a complete solution for sensor cleaning, the Dust Patrol Alpha 8-piece sensor-cleaning kit comprises a silicone blower, microfibre cloth, optical cleaning fluid and a SensorKlear Lenspen, a brush and four swabs. Abbreviated instructions for both wet and dry cleaning are provided, together with a link to more complete guidelines online.

The swabs are said to be manufactured from a lint-free material, that’s folded around the paddle head and held firmly in place with a small rubber band. In use, it absorbs the supplied cleaning solution well. The fact that it’s only folded (to prevent sharp corners) means it’s not always completely level with the paddle head, so the swab doesn’t always clean equally across the sensor surface.

The DSLR brush is designed to be statically charged by the silicone blower when its bristles are blown, which enables it to attract dust without contact. In use, it’s far too weak to pick up most particles, although with the blower and wet method it should be possible to deal with loose and stubborn particles sufficiently.

The cleaning fluid is said not to leave any residue, although if you happen to use too much, the pad on one end of the SensorKlear pen is on hand for a final polish. This cleans effectively, although you need to be very careful and pass this over gently a few times for it to disappear. The microfibre cloth, which is not designed for sensor cleaning itself but more for polishing the surface of a lens or LCD, is small but cleans brilliantly, removing stubborn marks with gentle pressure.

Also available are the Alpha 24mm Premium Sensor Cleaning Swabs. This four-pack (£12.95) can be bought separately. The swabs sport a handle long enough to reach into the camera’s body and allow movement, and each is contained in its own plastic bag. These are wide enough for a full-frame sensor (17mm and 20mm versions are also available).

While not everything works quite as well as promised, it is possible to deal with stubborn dust using one or a combination of these products.

SCORE: 3 out of 5