best stuff to remove white residue from rubber pieces

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by japster, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. Simple question.
    A couple of my cameras, a Minolta Maxxum 5000 and a 7000, have developed that white powdery residue on the rubber pieces that are on the camera body. Its not fungus, just some kind of surface breakdown of the rubber over time.
    Whats the best stuff to use to clean that residue off, and whats the best way to preserve the rubber to try and keep the stuff from coming back????
  2. Try Armor All for cars, but NOT the oily stuff, just the cleaner. Works really well.
  3. I've had good luck with The Tannery Leather and Vinyl Care.
  4. I'd try the "vinyl Care" product somewhere where it's not so obvious first. On my car dashboards I found that some of them actually made the situation worse after the stuff had been on there for a while. Once you started with them, strangely enough, you had to keep on using them.... hmmm?
    The grip area on the Maxxums (yes, I am sorta looking at them, darn it) seems to be a problem area together with some sort of deterioration of the lcd screen often described as 'leakage'.
  5. I simply scrape it off. This all the gunk and schmootz from fingertips, palms, and other apendages that come in contact with the rubber grip areas on Maxxum bodies and lenses. The only way to keep it from coming back is to not use your Minoltas.
    You'll drive yourself nuts trying to wipe it off with rags, paper towels, and cleansers.
    Use a blunt burnishing tool, edge of a plastic spoon, or similar weapon. Those pesky grooves around the lenses are easily dealt with a wooden matchstick. A couple passes in one direction of each one will yield a tiny ball of gunk that's a cinch to wipe off with a clothe with a spritz of windex.
    Only when you get it all off can you do a touch up with Armorall... but use it sparingly. (This step is totally unecessary unless you want to resell the item and make it look snazzy for the next guy/gal.)
  6. I have had very good results using 'Mothers Back to Black" found in the automotive cleaners section. It seems to have effective cleaners, then it all wipes clean.
  7. Alan,

    The White stuff is called "bloom" and it is actually sometimes engineered into the rubber to protect the rubber from dry rot. Dry rot is really just damage caused by ozone, UV, Cosmic ray and whatnot. Dry rot makes the rubber craze, turn brittle, crack and shrink. It may also just be poor rubber formulation where some component has reached its solubility limit. Many times heating the rubber will make the bloom disappear as heat increases solubility. Heating rubber is not advised though as most rubbers shrink when heated (kind of opposite of what you would think).

    You can clean it off with any good detergent cleanser, but it will eventually come back. If you use the camera with any regularity, it will naturally rub off and you will not even notice. However, if you store the camera for a while it may build up again to visible levels.

    By cleaning it off, you are not degrading the protection (if in fact it was there for that purpose) of the rubber as once it is on the surface, it has already done its job.
  8. Daniel, I agree that there are plasticizers and whathaveyou that make the rubber material pliable. But I have yet to see otherwise mint, new-in-box, NOS Maxxums that are 25 years old show the typical chalky white stuff like much played with cameras and lenses do.
    The residue is invariably most prominent in areas that get handled the most, and untouched rubber remains dark.
  9. Gabor, I have never seen old new stock of the 7000, but an examination of my two camera bodies seem to show the pattern of white in the seldom handled areas and clear on the commonly handled areas. The affected rubber parts are the ones that are put on the hand areas. Plastic is used elsewhere.
    Given your "in the box" experience, perhaps ozone and UV exposure is required for the development of the bloom?
  10. Another related question. If the Maxxums had been stored in a bonus room where you ran a large window AC all the time (to keep room cool and dry), would the AC unit also be blowing ozone into the room? These Maxxums were bought used, carefully cleaned, taken out last year one time for a shoot, and then put back in the bag for storage in the bonus room. Perhaps the AC motor is emitting ozone. UV is not a factor here, I think. Skin oils may be a factor.
  11. I recently purchased two rubber eyecups on eBay and was disappointed that they looked gray instead of black. Based on what I read in this thread, I purchased a bottle of Mothers Back to Black and used it on one of the eyecups.
    It works!
  12. Just wash it with dish washing liquid.

Share This Page