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How NOT to Clean Your Camera and Lens

By Hanssie on August 7th 2014

Clearly, I’ve been cleaning my Canon 5D Mark II all wrong because the following tutorial shows you how to get your camera squeaky clean. All you need is a bowl of water and some soap, get a good amount on the sensor and make sure you rub it in with your fingers really well to get that soap working. Then hose it down and voila! Lather, rinse, repeat.

Before any of you reading this think I am being serious, I am not. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME (or ANYWHERE). Seriously. Just don’t do it. The following video tutorial made by Ioannis Pavlis is meant to be a joke. It is not real, and no, you should never, ever clean your camera this way. The only time you should submerge your very expensive camera in water is when it is safely encased in underwater camera housing, like the Aquatec.

Alas, though this video is cringeworthy for any photographer to watch, I just know that someone out there isn’t going to get the joke and attempt to do this, destroying their gear. Just don’t do it and don’t get mad either (like some of the commenters on the YouTube page), it’s all in good, clean fun (pun intended).

I’m going to venture a guess that the camera and lens he used were probably not in working order…and especially not after that cleaning.  And just a reminder, just in case you thought, “Hey, I’m gonna try this“…DON’T! To properly care for your camera, please refer to this article where Canon provides you tips to safely clean your camera.

[via No Film School/YouTube]

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Tom Blair

    To dry just use the microwave!

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  2. Michael Moe

    hahahaa ^^

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  3. Loretta Nichole

    No one has mentioned the toothbrush method? If you haven’t tried it, you’re definitely missing out! First rub in a little WD40 so that everything is lubbed up really good. Next, take a tooth brush – dip it into some denatured alcohol then scrub scrub away until you remove all of the WD40 that didn’t seep into the unreachable depths of your picture box.. err camera.. Once the end of YYour toothbrush begins cracking and falling to pieces take a can of high pressured air and pointing directly into your picture box opening blow that baby out! Place in the fridge for at least 24 hrs then she’s as good as new!!

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  4. Matt Doheny

    Its the bubbles that really get me, just hear every part of that camera fill with water :/

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  5. Herm Tjioe

    Using DAWN soap helps degrease those stubborn fingerprints on the sensors and mirrors/lens

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  6. Aidyn Chen

    Remember to use Windex for some tough stains.

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  7. Rafael Steffen

    Crazy article with little help on cleaning the sensor.

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  8. Nur Sharlin

    Maybe the camera was dead at first, but the lens probably don’t..

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    hahaha there is someone who will try this if they hadn’t tried it already

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  10. Austin Swenson

    Don’t forget to use a blow dryer on the hottest setting right on the sensor for about an hour to make sure that it’s completely dry, I made the mistake of only putting it there for 45 minutes one time and my camera got ruined!!!

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    • Hanssie

      Or just toss it in with your white clothes at the laundromat. All that tossing around is great for getting rid of the rest of the dust :)

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    • Reynardt Badenhorst

      DSLRs can handle a lot of heat. I put mine in the oven at 320°F for about 30 minutes. Dries out every drop! Lenses are a bit more stubborn believe it or not, leave those babies in for about an hour.

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  11. Erica Mengouchian

    this is painful to watch lol

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  12. Asad Qayyum

    A law suit waiting to happen; some numpty might actually try this.

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  13. Albert Evangelista

    I am still laughing and cringing….. :p

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  14. Phil Bautista

    It was probably damaged when he took it scuba diving in his Aquatec housing. Just kidding Aquatec.

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  15. Brandon Dewey

    Don’t forget to use your finger to get all of those hard to reach places like the sensor.

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