How not to clean your camera


nevermind the perpetual condensation…

Dammit, I knew I should have invested in a few jugs of OEM Rolleiflex Overnight Soaking Soap!

I usually add 1/4 cup bleach…

Really makes pictures come out brighter!


Strangely, he neglects to mention using steel wool to get those tough water spots off of the optics.


If done with more care for the mechanics, and be followed with distilled water rinse, could be actually an useful first-aid for a camera dropped into seawater.

With seawater the first concern is to get the chloride ions off the metals (because of corrosion) and electronics (because of conductivity and corrosion). Actually, the first thing to do is removing the battery, in order to prevent electrolytic dissolving of the copper traces on the circuitboards. So a quick disassembly and dump into potable water is what I would consider a valid thing to do under such circumstances.

Otherwise it is likely a quite successful troll-video.


I used to rehabilitate my lab calculator by soaking it in a beaker of distilled water then drying it a slightly warm vacuum oven. I still have it, held together with various pieces of tape. It’s fun to watch it slowly ponder a logarithm.

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That’s why I always finish mine off with a run through the dryer. Delicate cycle only, though - don’t want to damage it.


Well the manual for my Olympus Stylus Tough 6020 suggests submerging it an a bucket of clean water shaking it and turning it off and on while submerged.

That’s awesome, the dead pan commentary is really what sells it.

Also using the hose to rinse and position it directly over the lens opening is great… “looks good!”.

Maybe this guy is trying to sabotage competitors?

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This works well enough for Canon. If you have any old Nikon glass though it requires more agitation. Throwing the cleaning solution and lens in a sealed can and placing in a paint shaker for 10 minutes usually does the trick. Rinse of course. Looks good…

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You youngins are all wimps. When I used to take pictures you didn’t just clean your camera dunking it, you developed the film that way, too. In the dark. You just dunked the whole camera in the bath of developer, then the stop bath, then the fixer, then the selenium toner, then the wash bath, the surfactant bath, then took out the developed film, then continued with the lubricating oil bath, the oil removal bath and the final wash bath. Simple. I think I’ll make a video about it.



I once had the misfortune of having a little point-and-shoot 35mm zoom camera take a swim in a lake while on vacation. I then dismantled it, using my Swiss Army knife’s blade tip as a #00 Phillips screwdriver.

There was permanent water in everything, especially the little motors in the lens. It was magnificent to behold. I hadn’t seen inside such a thoroughly wrecked piece of fine equipment before.

I was glad that it was several years old at the time.

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I think there may have been a chance to salvage it. Flush it couple times with distilled water (to replace the contaminants-carrying lake water), then alcohol (to replace water, it dries faster), then let it thoroughly dry. Then try powering it on.

If it works, yay salvaged camera. If not, yay spare parts!

Did he just try to clean the sensor without first locking the mirror up? You don’t want do that-- it will destroy the pentaprism.

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I seriously doubt that any camera filled with non-distilled water has any hope of working again. I also doubt that a camera soaked in distilled water could be used again. The problem is that the mechanisms are so delicate and full of tiny places for water to collect that the water has a very low chance of evaporating without baking the unit so much that some of the flimsy, thermoplastic parts will deform.

For what it’s worth, I have disassembled several (dry) cameras and put them back together and had them work; I’ve also disassembled my car’s smartkey that had been through the washing machine, and made it work again. I had to patch some corroded circuit traces to do so. So I am familiar with what happens to stuff when it gets wet. I tend to do the repair work under a microscope.

That’s what the alcohol is for. It replaces the water, and evaporates much easier. (Another possibility that works even better is acetone but that tends to damage some plastics. Excellent for lab glass, though.)

Another possibility for drying, with no need for alcohol, involves vacuum. Lower the pressure and water will boil off happily. Yet another possibility is a desiccator; some can be vacuum-pumped too.

A good stereomicroscope is a priceless thing to have! I don’t know how I could live for so long without mine.

This made me lol :slight_smile:

In the description at Youtube: “i hope you all realize that this video is nothing else than plain humor”

I would just like to add that it should be color safe bleach, unless you’re looking for an authentic sepia filter.