Best way to clean camera bodies and lens barrels

Started Feb 7, 2017 | Discussions
canonbcguy Contributing Member • Posts: 740
Best way to clean camera bodies and lens barrels

What works best for cleaning camera bodies and lenses (not sensors or glass).

My bodies get grimy and somewhat greasy over time.  I've tried 99% isopropyl alcohol as well as acetone with microfibre cloths.  This seems to clean it well (dissolve grease) at first, when the surface is wet, but when it dries, there is still a trace of greasiness.

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Mark Blauhoefer
Mark Blauhoefer Senior Member • Posts: 1,226
Re: Best way to clean camera bodies and lens barrels

I use only damp microfibre cloth. no other chemicals than H2O. Muck's always gone into the cloth, not spread around.

Then I wash the cloth in water only, and let it dry out.

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alcelc
alcelc Forum Pro • Posts: 17,569
Re: Best way to clean camera bodies and lens barrels

A piece of dry microfiber cloth mostly (to absorb moisture or grease) and if too much sweat after shooting in hot day, a damp microfiber cloth and followed by a dry one would do.

I would do the cleaning very often before they built up to a degree of difficult to clean.

Leaving too much moisture with the gear would be the least I wanted as in my living area RH 70% would consider dangerously dry for a fire danger warning alert.

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spencergf Contributing Member • Posts: 641
Re: Best way to clean camera bodies and lens barrels

A dry or slightly damp microfiber cloth.

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fishy wishy
fishy wishy Veteran Member • Posts: 9,358
Re: Best way to clean camera bodies and lens barrels

I use wipes for computer monitors. After all, they are supposed to wipe things without leaving a residue. I would not advise acetone, because I have taken the color out of floor tiles with it. I clean other plastic things with alcohol, but not at pure strength because that is too tough a solvent for softer things like grips and stenciled markings. I use it at 70%.

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hotdog321
hotdog321 Forum Pro • Posts: 21,094
Re: Best way to clean camera bodies and lens barrels

Do not use acetone. That stuff will remove paint and I don't even want to think what would happen to lens multicoating. I'm a bit disturbed on what could possibly be on your camera body that alcohol and a microfiber cloth can't remove.

As a last resort, you might try Gojo or similar hand cleaner/degreaser used by auto mechanics. Just put a dab on a clean cloth and keep it off the optics. I found it useful in removing built-up grime on my beloved 300 f/2.8.

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PhotOliver
PhotOliver Regular Member • Posts: 108
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1

canonbcguy wrote:

What works best for cleaning camera bodies and lenses (not sensors or glass).

your wife's toothbrush, lightly moistened in clean water and then a piece of microfiber cloth to wipe dry with.

(Acetone? Apage Satana!)

shauncwalsh Regular Member • Posts: 467
Re: Best way to clean camera bodies and lens barrels

A bucket of warm soapy water and for stubborn marks on lenses one of those wire wool scouring pads, then dry in the oven at 220C for 4 hours.

whvick Veteran Member • Posts: 5,637
Re: Best way to clean camera bodies and lens barrels

shauncwalsh wrote:

A bucket of warm soapy water and for stubborn marks on lenses one of those wire wool scouring pads, then dry in the oven at 220C for 4 hours.

LOL. There's one in every crowd!;-)

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Pete Stavrakoglou Veteran Member • Posts: 8,321
Re: Best way to clean camera bodies and lens barrels

I've always used a mix of 50% water and 50% rubbing alcohol and a  microfiber cloth.  Works for me.

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fishy wishy
fishy wishy Veteran Member • Posts: 9,358
Re: Best way to clean camera bodies and lens barrels

hotdog321 wrote:

Do not use acetone. That stuff will remove paint and I don't even want to think what would happen to lens multicoating. I'm a bit disturbed on what could possibly be on your camera body that alcohol and a microfiber cloth can't remove.

As a last resort, you might try Gojo or similar hand cleaner/degreaser used by auto mechanics. Just put a dab on a clean cloth and keep it off the optics. I found it useful in removing built-up grime on my beloved 300 f/2.8.

This degreaser is an interesting idea but I doubt I would do it. If it's not volatile enough to evaporate, someone was careless and it got through into the lens mechanics, then it could strip the lubrication on parts inside and require pricey maintenance. Another idea is lighter fluid which is good at removing sticky stuff and evaporates quickly. It's very flammable so be careful.

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OP canonbcguy Contributing Member • Posts: 740
Thanks! - Re: Best way to clean camera bodies and lens barrels

I'm the OP.  Thanks for the replies, even the funny ones.

I've taken the advice here and used a 50/50 mix of water and 99% isopropyl alcohol and a clean microfibre cloth.   And all is well.  It does the job.

I should clarify what I wrote below.  I used nail polish remover, which I believe is mostly acetone.  And no, I didn't use it on the lens.

Part of the the trouble was that I actually didn't use a cloth, but rather used cotton balls.   (My memory is fading...)

So with the mix of alcohol and water with a large and *clean* cloth, the camera and the lens barrel came out perfect.

canonbcguy wrote:

What works best for cleaning camera bodies and lenses (not sensors or glass).

My bodies get grimy and somewhat greasy over time. I've tried 99% isopropyl alcohol as well as acetone with microfibre cloths. This seems to clean it well (dissolve grease) at first, when the surface is wet, but when it dries, there is still a trace of greasiness.

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Timm68000
Timm68000 New Member • Posts: 16
Re: Best way to clean camera bodies and lens barrels

canonbcguy wrote:

What works best for cleaning camera bodies and lenses (not sensors or glass).

My bodies get grimy and somewhat greasy over time. I've tried 99% isopropyl alcohol as well as acetone with microfibre cloths. This seems to clean it well (dissolve grease) at first, when the surface is wet, but when it dries, there is still a trace of greasiness.

For metal lens body like the Leica Summicron-R 50mm, you may want to check out this article:

https://lenspotion.com/blogs/news/how-to-clean-the-lens-body

It used a chopstick. Yes, the one used in having Asian meals.

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