How to Clean and Care for Your Drone

16/09/2019 7:57 am

As pilots, we send our drones into the open sky. While we can control our drones to some extent, Mother Nature does her thing - so it’s normal for our drones to come back to us looking a little worse for wear. To make sure your drone is ready to fly whenever you want, take the time to clean and take care of your drone.

Tips for taking care of your drone

To keep your drone in tip-top condition, follow these care tips from the team at Ted’s Cameras:

1. Do a pre-flight check


Before you take off, inspect your drone closely. During your once-over, make sure the batteries are correctly inserted, and tighten the propellers so they can spin freely without the risk of falling off. While you’re at it, double-check that your drone has the latest firmware and is set to the right flight mode. Finally, take off your lens cover. 


2. Scout the area you’re planning to fly in


Once you’ve worked your way through the pre-flight checklist, turn your attention to the sky above. Assess the weather conditions and wind speed to determine whether it’s safe to fly. If it is, look for any obstacles you’ll need to avoid, like buildings, trees and cars. Choose a safe takeoff and landing point, and make sure there’s a strong signal between your drone and controller.


3. Charge your batteries before flying


Your drone can’t fly without batteries, so it’s essential to take good care of them. To do this, start every flight with a fully charged battery, and check your batteries for wear, tear and damage afterwards. If your drone has replaceable batteries, carry a few fully charged spares, too. That way, you’ll be able to fly for longer and rely on your spares in case of an emergency. Eventually, your battery will die. To stop that from happening mid-flight, ditch your battery for a new one if it doesn’t seem to be holding its charge.

How to Clean and Care for Your Drone

How to Clean and Care for Your Drone

4. Remove your propellers after each flight


We’ll go into this more in a minute, but it’s important to remove the propellers when you land your drone - and then clean them. We also suggest carrying a spare set of propellers because if they fail, you may have to reschedule your shoot. The same goes for batteries. It’s a good idea to pop those out after your flight.


5. Store your drone in a protective case


Whenever you’re not using your drone, store it in a padded bag or backpack. If possible, opt for a bag with separate sections for your drone and accessories.


Ted’s Top Pick: Lowepro Droneguard CS150 for Mavic

6. Put together a small toolkit


Some drones come with the maintenance tools you need for quick field repairs. If yours doesn’t, create your own kit with screwdrivers, allen or hex keys, and keep it with your accessories. Just make sure the tools are compatible with your drone!

Tips for cleaning your drone

If you want your drone to last the distance, take the time to clean the propellers, motors and drone body after every flight. Otherwise, the dirt and grime will build up in your motors and may cause them to lock up mid-air. While drones are designed to withstand some wear and tear, it’s worth spending a few minutes cleaning them - your wallet will thank you.

Here’s everything you need to clean your drone:

1. A blower brush


To get rid of the dust, dirt and debris (like grass) that’s caught in your drone, invest in a blower brush. Use the blower to clean the camera, as well as the hard-to-reach places between the motor and propellers. Then, use the brush to gently sweep away any debris that’s refusing to budge. Pipe cleaners work in a pinch too.


2. Compressed or canned air


This is another way to clear build-up from the corners and crevices of your drone, like the circuit boards and around the motors. When you get to the gears, be sure not to spray too close or too long - the air can freeze your drone’s delicate mechanisms.

How to Clean and Care for Your Drone

How to Clean and Care for Your Drone

3. Microfibre cloth


After flying, wipe down your drone with a damp microfibre cloth. If you’re willing to dismantle your drone, the cloth will help to dislodge any dirt and grime. 


4. Cleaning alcohol


If your drone is stained and the damp cloth isn’t working, add a little isopropyl alcohol to the mix. This solution works like magic to deep-clean your drone and controller. While it won’t damage your drone, you’ll want to use it sparingly.


5. Lubrication for the motors


Some drone motors need to be lubricated from time to time, so flip through the user manual or ask your manufacturer if this applies to your model. If it does, aim to do this maintenance step once a month.

Pro Tip: Before you put your propellers back on, inspect them for any cracks or warping. If you do notice any damage, consider throwing the propellers away and buying new ones. It may set you back a few dollars - but this is a small price to pay to prevent your drone from crashing.

Get expert advice on drones

Ready to fly? Whether you’re new to drones or a seasoned pilot, head to your local Ted’s Cameras store to check out our selection of drones. Before you leave, don’t forget to ask our team for advice on caring for your drone!


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