If you have not used your camera for quite some time and it has been stored improperly, it is very likely that mold has grown on the camera lens. Even the slightest amount of moisture in the storage area where your camera is kept can cause mold to develop. You can easily recognize this as you look through the camera lens. You will see some fine spidery hairs usually in a corner of the camera lends. Or you may find that your camera lens are quite cloudy despite having wiped the lens clean with lens paper or lens cloth. There are ways to clean the mold on a camera lens, though so you do not need to panic. Take a look at the steps outlined below.
- Take out your camera owner’s manual. You will need this to know how to disassemble the lenses of your camera. Work in an area where there is strong light and sturdy table. Line the table with a rubber mat or thick towel. Aside from the precision screwdrivers such as those used by a jeweler to take the camera lens apart you should also have a medium to large sized magnifying glass on the ready. You also need a spanner wrench, rubber lens ring remover and filter ring tool. You will also need tweezers, lens cloth or lens paper, and cotton swabs. If you do not have a repair manual look for a copy on the web for your particular camera brand and model.
- Most of the molds on camera lenses are on the inside of the lens barrel that is why it is necessary to take the camera lens apart. Follow the instructions properly and arrange the parts in the order that you take them off. This will follow the same sequence you when you reassemble the lens barrel.
- Once you have gotten to the camera lens, use the magnifying glass to determine where the mold started. Place the lens in front of you on the towel lining the table. Be careful not to drop this.
- Mix an equal amount of ammonia and hydrogen peroxide. You only need a little of the mixture so better mix a small batch as this solution is not meant to be kept. About one tablespoon of household ammonia mixed with one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide will be enough.
- Dip a cotton swab in the solution and with the help of the magnifying glass, wipe the area where the mold is growing. Wipe the lens as well as the metal lens frame to ensure the every bit of mold is removed. Dip a new cotton swab in the solution as you continue to clean the lens. After the mold has been removed, apply more solution over the entire lens, top and bottom to ensure that the whole lens receives the cleaning treatment. Apply some force when cleaning the metal frame. For hard to reach areas such as where the edges of the lens and the metal frame meet, use a piece of soft cotton cloth dipped in the solution and mount it on the end of the toothpick. Repeat the process as long as needed to remove all traces of the mold.
- Rinse the ammonia and hydrogen peroxide solution from the lens with a lens cleaner or with plain water. Run your fingers over the lens surface to remove any residue and repeat as necessary. You can also use a very mild soap such as Ivory followed with plain water. Use a lint-free microfiber cloth or a lens cloth to wipe the lens and the metal frame dry. Reassemble the lens barrel reversing the order of placements and reattach it to your camera.
Wipe your camera with a soft cloth after you have used it. This will remove surface dust and dirt as well as oil from your hands and face. Place one or two pouches of silica gel inside your camera bag before you store your camera. This will absorb any moisture that may be present when the camera is stored in a humid place.