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I recently purchased a new SUV with a backup camera. It constantly gets dirty from melting snow, rain, road grim, etc. How can I keep the lens clean, or clean it without causing damage to the lens?

I don't expect anything to be able to keep the lens clean while it is actively ugly on the roads, but I want it to be clean and free from grime when it is dry.

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I'm not sure how well it might work, but you could try NeverWet from Rust-Oleum. It is a super hydrophobic spray on solution which repels water very well. Could keep it clean by keeping it free of deposits. The only thing I am unsure of is how clear it goes on.

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Similarly, the Rain-X product line works very well for this sort of thing. – Rory Alsop Mar 15 '14 at 12:40
I had not heard of this product before but the couple of reviews I find 1 2 make it seem like an expensive and less then optimal replacement for Rain-x. – James Jenkins Mar 15 '14 at 16:24
The reviews I have seen say something totally different. I've seen this stuff in action where water rolls off of it like nobody's business. I also believe it is a little more permanent than Rain-X, but know Rain-X works well to keep the water off of the windshield. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Mar 15 '14 at 18:46
I would not recommend NeverWet as it will not go on CLEARLY. It has a tendency to leave a residue, so the camera output will seem blurry at best. – jsanc623 Mar 19 '14 at 15:01

My current solution:

Clean the camera lens area well, apply a light coating of Rain-x Original. I made sure I had had not left any streaks or hazing, by buffing well.

This was moderately successful, but grim still tended to collect on the lens.

I purchased a new empty spray bottle and filled it with tap water. I park in a heated garage so I was able to place the spray bottle for easy access when parked. When I get home from a grimy drive, I grab the bottle and give the lens area 3 - 5 squirts. I have not had need to physically touch the lens, decreasing the risk of scratching. The picture remains clear when the lens is dry. I have only been using this techinique for about 3 months so can not speak to the long term reliability of it. I suspect that there is some risk to the camera/lens from being subject to "mini power-wash" on a regular bases, but so far the benefits of clear view have outweighed my anxiety of potentially having to replace the unit.

On the few occasions that I did not spray off the grime immediately on arriving home, I have used a few extra sprays with good results, but spraying clean while still wet has shown the best results.

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one option is to have an auto electrician extend wiring and remount to a higher point.Some vehicles such as 4wds have masts at rear to mount camp lights & put camera there.You can affix a cowl plastic or metal top rear of your vehicle and achieve same result.Check sight picture before fixing in place permanently

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This answer does not appear to consider aerodynamics, The back of the vehicle gets more dirt and grime for reasons of air flow, raising the camera would seem to only give you a higher view, not a cleaner one. – James Jenkins Apr 7 '14 at 12:43

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