How to remove mold from Camera

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by lorirfrommontana, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. lorirfrommontana

    lorirfrommontana Member

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    I have a Kodak folder that takes 616 film. I've found instructions to convert it to take 120 film so I'd like to work on restoring it. The problem is it is covered with a horrible moldy smell. Does anyone have any idea how to clean it and get the mold off? I was thinking of cleaning it with alcohol? Would that hurt the bellows or camera covering? The case has the same problem. Any ideas would be appreciated.

    I just love these old cameras! My mom has feed into my addiction and has added several Brownie Fiestas, a couple of Polaroid Land cameras, and countless 35mm and instamatic cameras. No real treasures yet but she's picking up anything camera related! She is a yard sale queen and usually finds the deals! I hope someday a nice medium format finds it's way here!

    Thank for any cleaning advice.

    -Lori
     
  2. Lightproof

    Lightproof Member

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    Open the camera, leave it in a well vented place for 2-3 weeks. For leather parts, try saddle soap. It works quite nice. Do not apply too much at once. Be patient and rub gently with a soft cloth only. After that, let it "breathe" a bit again and cover the leather with some wax.
     
  3. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    I would begin by exposing every affected part to direct sunlight for a few minutes... maybe 15-20 minutes... to kill the mold. Then clean carefully.
     
  4. Dave Pritchard

    Dave Pritchard Member

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  5. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    Anything you can wipe with a 25% solution of Clorox will kill mold. I might not use it on leather bellows depending on their condition, but I would use it on any leather covering. Be sure to wipe with a clean damp cloth after it has set awhile.

    Mike
     
  6. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    I wouldn't use bleach on any of my cameras. It's a potent oxidizer.
     
  7. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

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    Have you a UV lamp? That will kill the mould without harming the camera - but short of that stick in the sun.
    I have a huge Century process camera which arrived thick with dust and mould. I scrubbed it all down with a sponge and some hot water and washing up liquid, then left it outside in the sun to dry. It did the trick.

    The dye in the leather covering and bellows may well be water soluble and even more likely will be alcohol soluble, so too much rubbing with either may take the colour out... but that isn't a completely bad thing. Being gentle with a damp sponge and bringing the dye back up to the surface can actually revitalise the colour and the finish. After that you seal it again (when completely dry) with a covering of clear wax (shoe wax).
     
  8. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    If the leather is faded from age/UV/cleaning you can use leather dye to give it new life. Common colors are available in good shoe care departments. Use the DYE... not the polish.
     
  9. lorirfrommontana

    lorirfrommontana Member

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    Thanks for all of the advice. I think I'll go with the least invasive and move on from there. Some of the leather is coming off of the camera body so will have to reglue that. I'll wait until I can get it smelling better though! The mold smell takes your breath away and can't be too good to breathe. Thanks again for all of the advice.
    -Lori
     
  10. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    When you get around to re-gluing the leather, it was probably put on with a hide glue or shellac. Both can be removed later if you wish. To recover with leopard or zebra naugahide maybe?
    You can get shellac at auto parts stores as gasket sealer.
     
  11. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    The best solution for cleaning the fungus from lenses (that I've found) is a 50/50 mix of household ammonia and hydrogen peroxide. I will work in other areas too, I think best on the metal and leather body parts of the camera.

    Remove the lens if you can. I'm not sure I'd use this on a bellows but you might try wiping down the body and the body leather with it on a paint brush. Let it dry in the bright sun for a while. This has worked very well for me on the bellows (yes I used it) of a Super Ikonta as well as the body and lens. I then filled a old, clean sock with ground coffee, put all in a plastic bag and let is sit for a week. This seems to have worked for me quite well.
     
  12. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    I had no idea gasket sealer was shellac, will have to try this next. Thank you!

    I usually pour ordinary shellac in a small glass mason jar, to about 1 inch from the bottom and let it sit until the alcohol in it, evaporates, and it gets as thick as maple syrup.

    Remove all the leather if you can, usually by dampening the leather that is still attached with alcohol if you are very careful it will just peel off. Depending on the camera, water might do the same.

    If it was reattached during a repair with contact cement you will have trouble. Peel what you can back to the point you can get a sharp Exacto knife or scalpel under it, and work it off very very carefully.

    Clean the metal, that was under the leather well. I have had the luck of just dampening the old adhesive with with alcohol lots of times, but a few times I was faced with no alternative but really scraping the old adhesive off with a razor blade.

    Cover any rivets with a laquer, or finger nail polish and let dry well. Then paint the area to be recovered with the shellac (or the hide glue as was suggested). Let it dry for a few minutes then dampen the leather with the alcohol (or water, if hide glue) and carefully reattach.