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How to restore rubber grips
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:00 am    Post subject: How to restore rubber grips Reply with quote

This is not a very serious issue but has anyone any suggestions for cleaning/restoring old zoom/focus rubber grips? I just received a Tamron AD2 SP 3.5/70-210mm and the rubber grip is dirty and grey.

I was thinking of brushing it with a toothbrush and perhaps using a little bit of some kind of silicone spray to make it black again. Or does anyone have a better idea?


PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

good question... this is something I would like to know too


PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Silicone has a tendency to transfer to anything it touches (i.e. your fingers when you use the lens) and then onto whatever you touch after that. I "restored" a dull looking leather lens case with a silicone-"soaked" sponge used for car interiors. Sure, the case looked much better than before, but my fingers felt sticky after touching the case.


PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peel it off, wash with dish soap, use a brush. If that does not help much, let it dry and try brush and ethanol. I've never had to do anything harder to bring it back to a respectable condition.


PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:48 pm    Post subject: Re: How to restore rubber grips Reply with quote

ovim wrote:
This is not a very serious issue but has anyone any suggestions for cleaning/restoring old zoom/focus rubber grips? I just received a Tamron AD2 SP 3.5/70-210mm and the rubber grip is dirty and grey.

I was thinking of brushing it with a toothbrush and perhaps using a little bit of some kind of silicone spray to make it black again. Or does anyone have a better idea?


I start by cleaning it with a toothbrush dipped in water (supposing it's only dust and light grime). Once that dries throroughly, I use one of those instant shoe-shine sponge-tip application gizmos made by Scholl or similar. You have to wait for it to dry, but once it is, nothing comes off on the hands. It works great to get rid of this light gray "dry look" and restores the rubber's deep black color. I also use it on lens cases. Works for me.


PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think anything silicone is bad for rubber. There is a product that is called something like 'rubber restorer' that is something like parrafin based.
There's a big thread about this on another camera forum, but I can't remember which one. Confused I'll try and find it.....


PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A tooth brush and soapy water is fine. Its worked a treat for me. Try it nothing to lose.


PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lloydy wrote:
I think anything silicone is bad for rubber. There is a product that is called something like 'rubber restorer' that is something like parrafin based.
There's a big thread about this on another camera forum, but I can't remember which one. Confused I'll try and find it.....


Probably something automotive, like Armor All.


PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the advice. I picked up a can of Turtle Wax plastic and rubber polish and will try it first on some leftover rubber grip (from a dismantled lens I couldn't put back together...) If it works without leaving a sticky residue I'll use it on the grip on the actual lens after a scrub with a toothbrush.

Hopefully I'll be back with before and after pics.


PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gardener wrote:
Lloydy wrote:
I think anything silicone is bad for rubber. There is a product that is called something like 'rubber restorer' that is something like parrafin based.
There's a big thread about this on another camera forum, but I can't remember which one. Confused I'll try and find it.....


Probably something automotive, like Armor All.


No, from what I remember - and there was a guy who had some technical knowledge of rubber - Armour All and the other types of silicones just made an impenetrable film on the surface of rubber that in time made things worse. The problem with old rubberised camera grips is that the 'liquid element' ( for want of the correct technical term ) of the rubber dries out, and although it can not be fully replaced to any depth, replenishing the surface does the best job that can be expected. And I think the 'liquid element' is paraffin?
I've probably got it bookmarked somewhere, I'll look for it.


PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lloydy wrote:
Gardener wrote:
Lloydy wrote:
I think anything silicone is bad for rubber. There is a product that is called something like 'rubber restorer' that is something like parrafin based.
There's a big thread about this on another camera forum, but I can't remember which one. Confused I'll try and find it.....


Probably something automotive, like Armor All.


No, from what I remember - and there was a guy who had some technical knowledge of rubber - Armour All and the other types of silicones just made an impenetrable film on the surface of rubber that in time made things worse. The problem with old rubberised camera grips is that the 'liquid element' ( for want of the correct technical term ) of the rubber dries out, and although it can not be fully replaced to any depth, replenishing the surface does the best job that can be expected. And I think the 'liquid element' is paraffin?
I've probably got it bookmarked somewhere, I'll look for it.


Is this parrafin as in Kerosene or parrafin as in wax?

The whiteness is as Lloydy says the where the 'liquid' content of the rubber has dried up. It leaves a dry residue. Soap and water cleans off that residue revealing 'fresh' rubber underneath. The use of any chemicals on the surface will result in either stickiness or slipperyness and may actually damage the rubber. The rubber grips were made without a coating for a reason - they didnt need it.

I have cleaned up a few lenses with this problem using soap and water.

With all respects, some folk here are giving advice on a problem they have not actually encountered nor fixed. Who suggested using hydrofluoric acid for removing lens coating? Thats a typical example of bad advice.


PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Car restorers use brake fluid on rubber components with some success. I guess the theory is - brake seals are rubber and obviously cannot operate in an environment or in contact with anything that will degrade the rubber. Brake fluid obviously doesn't degrade the rubber seals.
BUT.....there's rubber and there's rubber, are camera grips anything like the same composition as brake seals? And don't forget that brake fluid is highly corrosive to paint, so it's not recommended for use on a camera body.
AND... will dried out rubber absorb anything and absorb it back into the structure of the rubber? I have no idea, I suspect it won't once the initial manufacturing / forming process has ended.

It's a difficult problem, one that I think will need an expert to answer, and that's certainly not me! Wink


PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never had to go further than ordinary dishwasher soap and a toothbrush...

The dried ones are way past cleaning i guess...


PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

look at all the options then try the cheapest easiest and safest method first.


PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could try Comma Seek-and-Seal ... a liquid enough of which can soak into rubber to restore a little flexibility.
Made for situations such as sealing leaks past the rubber surrounding car windscreens
-- unlike stiff mastic or thick sealants, it does not push the surfaces apart.

After several days, wipe off all surplus on the surface with white spirit.
Will make some cosmetic difference but not a lot; may later need to apply something pigmented like a tyre-wall paint.


PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lloydy wrote:
... will dried out rubber absorb anything and absorb it back into the structure of the rubber? I have no idea, I suspect it won't once the initial manufacturing / forming process has ended.

Yes, though I've no idea whether it would work in this application. There used to be a fluid called "blanket lift"
used on rubber sheet in printing presses. It swelled rubber back out in areas where it had become compressed.


PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carbon black will do it. Should be easily available, over the counter in autoshops. It's what tyre repairers/retreaders use for the "factory fresh" look. It's a major part of the tyre making process. Dunno how effective it'll be on tactile areas, it may just rub off eventually (on yer hands probably). Ah used it for many years ( worked for Michelin). It's perfect for old rubber lens hoods, accessories etc., where the grey rubber's showing.

If ye try it on grips, lens barrels et al, ah'd do 3/4 light coats, leaving 24 hrs between coats then about 4/5 days tae cure. Worth a try.

Cool

PS
Quote:
The whiteness is as Lloydy says the where the 'liquid' content of the rubber has dried up. It leaves a dry residue. Soap and water cleans off that residue revealing 'fresh' rubber underneath


Natural rubber is greyish-white; carbon black (a mixture of natural or synthetic rubber + various chemical constituents) is mixed in - that's when the rubber turns black. This increases strength, pliability and is also used at various stages of the tyre process tae "refresh" the rubber tae increase stickiness for certain processes It's the carbon black evaporating/decaying which leaves the white powder which is, in fact, rubber.

PPS Ah'd avoid solvent-based silicone agents, use water-based if yer gonna use them at all. Wink


PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:02 am    Post subject: Lens rubber cleaner pen Reply with quote

Like 1 small
I've tried the cleaner pen by Lens Potion. It restored the grey / white lens rubber ring quite well. See the video in youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJaoS4IVE7A

The web site is www.lenspostion.com

Cheers.


PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got a replacement from Nikon services, used a hairdrier to heat it up
and stripped it over the lens, quickly pressed it into place. Worked great!


PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, brake fluid is an excellent rubber preservative. But it should be used with caution because of its highly toxic nature. If I were to use it, I'd wear gloves, work it well into the rubber, then thoroughly wipe down the grip with a paper towel or something similarly absorbent.

No, armor all and other products shouldn't be used for the reasons given. I was once told by the same person who told me of the properties of brake fluid that armor all and the rest actually "addict" the rubber to its use and it's worse off for it.

If the grip continues to show discoloration, dye might be the ticket. I can recommend Fiebing's Leather Dye. Not only does this stuff work great on leather, but it also does a bang-up job on wood. (I use it to dye ebony fingerboards that aren't black enough for guitars I build) It's cheap enough, it dries quickly, and a small bottle will last forever for your shoes and your wife's purses, in case it shouldn't "cure" on the rubber. Be sure to wear gloves when applying it because it also does a great job of dying your fingers.