How to Clean Old Cameras

Old cameras are treasures for photographers. They may be buried under dirt, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t be used. If you find an old camera, follow the process below to clean it up and get it working.

Working Surface

Cameras are sensitive gadgets, so you want to prevent dust and other dirt from getting into them. Using a damp cloth, clean the surface you’re going to work on. Allow the surface to dry. Then, vacuum it to get rid of any particles.

Detach the Lens

Your old camera might have loose parts. Assess it carefully to remove these parts and write down what needs to be replaced. Unsecure the lens from the rest of the camera, and place the lens on a dry place of dust.

Open the Film Chamber

Hold the camera upside-down, making sure that the film chamber is facing sideways or downwards. Then, blow the dust off the chamber with a dust blower. Check the light seal and replace it if necessary.

Wipe Away the Visible Tarnishes

Soak cotton in cleaning alcohol and gently rub off any stains from the surface of the camera. Do this gently, taking care not to break the camera. Consider using an eraser for stubborn stains. Then, blow or brush away the crumbs that form as a result of erasing.

Clean the Mirror

Once you’re done with cleaning the exterior of the camera, proceed to the interior parts. To clean the mirror, get a toothpick and wrap shredded cotton on one of its ends. Damp the cotton in lighter fluid or cleaning alcohol, and then wipe clean the mirror, taking care not to break or scratch it.

Clean the Contacts

Open your camera’s battery compartment to check if there are any battery leaks. If the leaks have corroded the contacts, use a dust blower to remove rust and dust. Lighter fluid can also help clean the contacts.