Fist of all: Welcome
Mobius to the Camera Labs forum!
I still have the same issue as you do (have had my DSLR for quite some time now), that extreme urge to take care of your lens all the time. I'd recommend always having the hood on, like Roy (aka Defiance) already said and perhaps buying a filter and have that on the lens at all times. If you damage the filter, you can more easily buy a new one, unlike a lens which is more expensive.
Instead of a blower, I use a special photography cloth to clean the front element of my lens (I don't have a blower yet
), works great too!
- Bjorn -