Most CCTV cameras sold in the security industry today use a Lexan dome or cover to protect the camera and lens. Lexan is the registered trademark, and is a type of polycarbonate plastic. What makes Lexan exceptional is it is very strong and can be easily transformed into a variety of different shapes. Its strength and light weight makes it an excellent glass substitute. The problem with Lexan is it should not be cleaned like glass.
Polycarbonates although scratch resistant they are not scratch-proof and are very different from glass. Using any type of cleaner that is alcohol based will actually damage the material. At first using a product such as Windex or 409 (common glass cleaning products) may appear to have been cleaned the dome but it will quickly get a milky white build-up covering it. Rain-X is also another cleaner that should not be used to on Lexan camera domes. Rain-X leaves an alcohol-based residue behind to resist water adhesion. This residue will harm the Lexan dome.
So what product should you use to clean your security dome cameras? You must use a cleaner that is specifically formulated to clean Polycarbonate plastics. There are a number of plastic cleaning products on the market. If you have a badly scratched dome or one cleaned with an alcohol based product try using Novus plastic cleaning products. This company offers a three step cleaning process which can get most camera domes clean and reduce or remove scratches. You make sure to use a clean polishing cloth that has been dampened. Cleaning a dome with a dry paper towel can actually scratch the Lexan.
Ensuring a clean camera dome has become more important recently with Megapixel cameras entering the market. Megapixel cameras require a superior transparent dome to produce the best possible picture. Dirt and scratches on the camera dome can greatly reduce the quality of the camera’s image. Having a camera, especially outside domes, cleaned on a regular basis is a good idea. One good rule of thumb is to have outside cameras cleaned one or twice a year. Inside cameras in an office environment can many times go up to 2 years between cleanings, but cameras in manufacturing, processing, and industrial areas should be cleaned about once a year.
So if your cameras don’t seem to have the same quality as they may have once had, try cleaning your security cameras with a quality plastic cleaner. You will be amazed at the overall improvement of the video from your surveillance system.