I recently bought some Chinese made sensor swabs for cleaning the APS-C sensor on my Sony a6300 mirrorless camera.
I ordered them from a seller in China online and the wording on the listing made the product sound good and reliable. 6 of them in a box, all individually wrapped and sealed. Apparently manufactured from dustless micro fiber material in a clean room and designed for safe, single usage with digital camera sensors.
With a mirrorless camera the frequency of getting some dirt stuck on the sensor is much higher than with a DSLR camera since there is no mirror inside the camera to cover and protect the sensor during lens changes, thus exposing it to more dust and dirt particles in the air. I often need to change lenses oudoors when on a shoot and where there might be some wind blowing, which makes it even more likely that something will get stuck onto the sensor.
And for me, taking the camera to the Sony service center to have the sensor cleaned is no less than a 3 hour undertaking each time I have it cleaned (if you include including travel time), so I was looking for a way to save time and clean the sensor myself more often and when needed.
I already have a dry sensor brush, but often it isn’t enough to remove greasy dirt or water stains from humidity that have become securely stuck onto the sensor. So I was looking for a wet solution to clean my sensor with.
The swabs I bought claimed to contain an alcohol type chemical that evaporates quickly, doesn’t stain, or leave any residue on the sensor.
Well, as soon as I wiped the sensor with the swab it immediately started making heavy, hazy streaks covering the entire sensor. Impossible to use the camera after that, or remove the streaks myself, so I was then forced to take the camera back to Sony for them to clean it again. Sadly I had a shoot scheduled for the next day which I was forced to cancel now that the swab rendered the camera unusable until I could have it serviced again by Sony.
Luckily Sony was able to remove the stains from the sensor caused by these swabs and thanfully neither the swab nor its fluid caused any permanent damage to the sensor or the electronics inside the camera. But I obviously threw away the rest of these Huanor brand swabs and will never use them again.
I would suggest never buying any of these types of swabs from China unless you are certain about the source and manufacturer as the risk of the same thing or worse happening to your camera seems high in my opinion.
If any questions or comments please feel free to post them below.