Cleaning the Sticky Rubber Off My Canon DS 6041

Updated on November 2, 2016

When I Got My Canon Rebel

I loved photography growing up. My dad gave me a 126 cartridge camera he received when he was a kid. This was one of those cameras with the cubed shaped flash that would only work one time for each side of the cube giving you four flashes. I still have that camera.

In high school I took a photography class where we developed 35mm film and made prints from them. This class was the reason I bought my Pentax K 1000. It was my first real SLR camera.

In college I got a job working in a photo lab. I worked there for five years and bought my first Canon. Canon has treated me well over the years and I love their equipment. The camera I bought was a Canon Rebel G. It was a 35mm and took amazing photos.

After college I started my career as a graphic designer. I wanted a better camera and I saved my money to buy my first digital SLR. It was a canon DS 6041. It took pictures up to 6.3 megapixel and I was able to use the lens from my Rebel G.

I Put My Camera in the Closet for Years

As life went on I stopped carrying my SLR around with me all the time. It ended up in the closet and I didn't touch it again until recently. It was there for three or four years. Now this camera is 10 years old and I have not used it because of two reasons.

  1. The battery would not hold a charge.
  2. The grips on the camera had become sticky.

Upon some research I found the rubber coating on the grips deteriorate over time. This is why they were sticky.

I pulled out the camera several times over the last year and every time my hand stuck to the grips. I put it back in the case and stuck it back in the closet. The fact that the camera seemed useless because of the grips made me feel sad. I loved this camera and could not use it. I felt like the camera was pointless and I thought about selling it several times. My attachment to it kept forcing me to put it back in the closet.

A couple months ago my family went to Gainesville to visit the in-laws. We went to a retirement ranch for old and disabled horses. My daughter loves horses and this was a great chance for her to spend some time with them. The cool thing about this ranch was they will let you in for free as long as you bring several pounds of carrots. The horses love carrots and they love people and the interaction with the people does nothing but help their quality of life.

I Borrowed an SLR from a Friend

A friend of my wife lent us her Nikon SLR camera. It was like I was back in college. I think I took 200 pictures while we were at the ranch. It got me excited about photography again. It made me want to look harder into repairing and cleaning my Canon.

You might ask why I didn't just go out and buy a new camera. I don't have access to an extra $200 right now. Even if I did have $200, that would not buy the camera I really want. The camera I want is closer to $600 and there's no way I can come up with that right now.

So instead of buying a new camera, I decided to delay my gratification and try to bring new life into my old camera. I sat down with my phone and surfed the internet and found information about how to clean these sticky grips.

I Found a Way to Clean My Camera

It wasn't as hard as I thought it might be. A lot of people said when they asked Canon about the problem they kind of waved it off stating that the camera was an old model and they did not service it anymore. From what I hear they do have an exchange program where they will give you a discount if you turn in your old camera to buy a new camera. I have not looked into that yet.

I finally came across a little bit of information stating some success at cleaning these grips with whiskey. In the comments of this forum post several people either agreed with him on the whiskey remedy or they said rubbing alcohol was just as easy at removing the rubber coating.

I don't have any whiskey in my house. I wasn't interested in going out and buying whiskey just for this project. I do have rubbing alcohol. I bet you most people have rubbing alcohol in their homes.

Today I sat down with my camera, A bottle of rubbing alcohol and a roll of paper towels and started rubbing at the rubber grips. I was amazed at how well it worked. I did not have to put a lot of elbow grease into it. Not only did I rub all the coating off the grips but all the fingerprints I left when the black rubber that stuck to my fingers got on the rest of the body of the camera. It came off with the alcohol as well.

I'm excited to have a clean, usable camera. Now I just have to get a battery for it. I hope to use this camera to take better family photos when we go out and do things together. I'm hoping to get another year or two out of this camera while I save up to buy a new one. I think it's possible. I don't want to skimp on the new camera. Canon makes some beautiful cameras that capture video and connect to Wi-Fi and send photos to Facebook. I'm looking forward to experiencing all those options.

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