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  1. #1
    lorirfrommontana's Avatar
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    How to remove mold from Camera

    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. #2

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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. #3

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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. #4
    Dave Pritchard's Avatar
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    Alcohol is normally safe for cleaning most camera surfaces. I remove mold using a stiff brush. Mild bleach solutions may help get rid of it, but have more potential to damage finishes if over-used. Heat is good. See this Karen Nakamura blog entry:
    http://www.photoethnography.com/blog...g_cameras.html

  5. #5

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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. #6

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

  7. #7

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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).
    Steve

  8. #8

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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. #9
    lorirfrommontana's Avatar
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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. #10

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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.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

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