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Old February 17th, 2004, 12:20 PM   #1
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Cleaning camera surfaces

There are a lot of threads devoted to cleaning lenses and viewfinders, but what do people here use to clean the other surfaces of their camera including displays, plastics and metals? I'm thinking of getting my XL1S ready for resale so I want to make sure it's in sparkling shape.
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Old February 17th, 2004, 12:36 PM   #2
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For the plastic surfaces I just use a soft, damp cloth. If the stain is a little stubborn I add very little soap and then finish with the clean, damp cloth.

Your metal parts can be treated the same. If you have to deal with removing gummy residue such as from camera or gaffer tape, you can use a cloth with a little mineral spirits or anhydrous alcohol.

DO NOT use any solvents on the displays.

Shine on!

RB
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Old February 17th, 2004, 05:29 PM   #3
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Mineral spirits may discolor the plastic components. Silicon spray lubricant will dissolve sticky adhesives. Do not spray directly on to the surface. Spray a soft cloth or paper towel and rub adhesive until gone.

I have used Windex for years on still cameras and video cameras. Toothpicks and an old toothbrush are used to clean crevices etc.
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Old February 17th, 2004, 07:26 PM   #4
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if you're getting residue from 'gaffers' tape, you're not using real gaffers tape. true gaffers tape will NOT leave residue. cheap duct tape will.
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Old February 17th, 2004, 07:54 PM   #5
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Yo Keith...
How you gonna take off the "Keith Loh 604 ###-####" in black Sharpie???

:)
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Old February 17th, 2004, 08:08 PM   #6
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Citrus cleaner works well for me.
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Old February 17th, 2004, 09:28 PM   #7
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Endust for Electronics in an aersol can gets my vote. It brings a shine to your cam and especially the LCD panel without the smear!

For some reason the formula seems less effective in the small pumps and the aerosol cans are becoming are hard to find.

Pledge makes a cleaner/protector for electronics but keep it off of treated CRT monitor and LCD panels as it smears badly.
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Old February 17th, 2004, 10:31 PM   #8
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Jeff,

Mineral spirits should never be used on plastic surfaces. I am talking about the metal parts of the camera body and lens and with a very lightly moistened, not wet, cloth.

I have never had a problem using just a little bit of anhydrous alcohol on small sections of plastic and it is also nice because there is no residue to speak of. If my initial explanation seemed like I was advocating the use of mineral spirits on plastic, I apologize.

I would never, ever use silicone because, inevitably, it will end up on one of your glass or optical surfaces such as a filter, lens or viewfinder creating the major pain in the a** of trying to remove it. This does not necessarily have to happen during the application stage. All you need is a little residue transferring to your fingers by accident and that's all she wrote. This is one of my major dilemas that we have to be carelful of when working with our underwater equipment that pairs above water camera equipment with underwater housings that require silicone for the o-rings.

Brian,

You are absolutely right, but even good gaffer or camera tape can leave some residue if it is left on a surface long enough and allowed to dry out, particularly on the edges of where the tape was applied. This can usually be removed relatively easily by light solvents or scraping with a non-scratching material such as an orangewood stick.

RB

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Old February 18th, 2004, 12:14 AM   #9
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Oily residue can be left my many things, including ones fingers. Care must be used when applying substances which can leave a residue, oily or otherwise. Service technicians use many different lubricants, but do so with proper care. Applying silicon or other solvents requires appropriate precautions. Silicon is safe on almost all surfaces and can be easily cleaned with alcohol, to remove all traces. Other solvents are not near as safe or as readily accessible.
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Old February 18th, 2004, 01:39 AM   #10
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Thanks all.

Dylan, good point. How do you remove Sharpie pen marks?
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Old February 18th, 2004, 12:35 PM   #11
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If the Sharpie was applied to plastic, chances are the ink has been absorbed to a certain extent, leaving a "ghost" image of whatever you wrote originally.

From the Sharpie itself: "Remains permanent under most chemical washes, and extreme heat and steam. (up to 500 degrees F)" :o

Find a really cool sticker to cover your writing!

RB
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Old February 18th, 2004, 12:54 PM   #12
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Denatured alcohol (available at hardware stores and also used as shellac thinner) works well to remove permanent felt tip marker residue. See all the cautions above however about where NOT to use it. You might also try a little isopropyl alcohol (the variety sold as an antiseptic in drug stores), but this is much less concentrated. Rick, I've never heard of "anhydrous alcohol", what is that? You're very right about the markers getting absorbed by plastic however. Personally I try to limit my cleaning of camera parts to a moist cloth, although I do use special pre-soaked wipes for the LCD screen.
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Old February 18th, 2004, 01:36 PM   #13
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Boyd,

Anhydrous, is a water-free, non residue isopropyl alcohol that can be used as a degreaser, contact cleaner and to remove oxides.

It is excellent for cleaning mechanical assemblies, recording and playback heads, etc.

It has very low toxicity so with a little added flavoring, it makes for some very tasty White Lightning! :)

We buy it by the case!

RB
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Old February 18th, 2004, 01:47 PM   #14
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<<<-- Originally posted by Rick Bravo : If the Sharpie was applied to plastic, chances are the ink has been absorbed to a certain extent, leaving a "ghost" image of whatever you wrote originally.

From the Sharpie itself: "Remains permanent under most chemical washes, and extreme heat and steam. (up to 500 degrees F)" :o

Find a really cool sticker to cover your writing!

RB -->>>

Well, considering I have an OLD phone number on there, it's pretty useless right now. Yeah, a sticker is a good idea.
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Old February 25th, 2004, 10:00 PM   #15
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sand

I just took my xl1s to a beach shoot, and some fine sand was blowing down the beach, and I got some stuck under one of my focus rings. Any ideas how I could clean that out? I already sprayed the entire camera over with a can of compressed air.
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