Sooner or later we all confront the dreaded corrosion problem when your camera fails to turn on, and you open the battery compartment thinking it’s time for a charge—only to discover a mess of leaked battery acid and corrosion. Unfortunately this is rather common occurrence, not only with cameras, flash units, and other photocentric gear, but with other battery-operated devices you rely upon daily in your home.
The initial temptation is to dispose of the “ruined” equipment because of an assumption that the offending corrosion has seeped deeper into the device—permanently turning it into an expensive paperweight. But that’s not always the case, and a good cleaning with a few household items can make the battery compartment look almost like new, while getting your devices running like nothing ever happened.
The Handyman Hertz YouTube channel is devoted to quick DIY repairs around the home. This episode demonstrates an effective two-minute corrosion cleaning procedure uses a small label printer to demonstrate the quick fix. But the simple supplies and procedures work equally well for cameras, electronic flash units, and just about any device with user-replaceable batteries—not only the AA variety, but proprietary batteries that power most modern cameras.
Here’s what you’ll need: Vinegar, isopropyl alcohol, a few Q-Tips, a small screwdriver, safety glasses to protect your eyes, and a pair of gloves to protect your pretty hands. Sometimes corrosion is so bad that you can barely remove the faulty batteries and the device appears virtually unredeemable.
That’s when it’s time to take a deep breaths and proceed with the step-by-step procedure outline below. The process is so simple that it takes barely two minutes to explain, so the time you invest in watching this lesson will pay big dividends the next time your gear gets gunked up and appears lost.
Because this cleaning trick has such wide applications, you may want to bookmark the video for the next time your label printer or LED light goes on the fritz. Handyman Herzt provides a wealth of DIY solutions, so you may also want to subscribe to this informative YouTube channel.
And for another quick repair of particular importance to photographers, be sure to check out our recent tutorial explaining an editing trick for fixing perspective and skewed lines during the image-editing process.