Let’s face it, camera bags that get used also get dirty. They can be magnets for dust, shreds of paper, lint, candy wrappers and little bits of the unexplained (ewww — what is that!!???). For some photographers, they also attract kittens and kitten hair. More about that in a moment.
It’s a good practice — and good hygene — to clean up your camera bag at least annually. Mason Resnick at Adorama walks through nine tips for cleaning up your bag as well as the items in it. A couple of his tips include:
1. Take everything out of your camera bag
This way you can get rid of any clutter you may have accumulated. When all your gear is laid out before you, you can assess which items you are using and which ones you aren’t, and decide what goes back into your bag and what gets put up for sale on eBay. Be prepared to find stuff you’ve been looking for for months!
2. Inspect and clean the bag
Any dust bunnies, crumbs, and other unwanted stuff in your bag could attach itself to your gear and work itself in (unless, of course, your gear is ruggedized) and slowly gum up the works. Clear it out! Use a vaccuum if necessary so your bag is truly dust free. This is especially important if you live in a dusty environment (such as the desert southwest) or have a shedding animal. I’ve heard stories of photographers finding their kitten hiding in the camera bag and leaving fur! Use a flashlight to inspect inside and make sure it is clean.
Once your bag is empty and the inside is clean, it’s a good idea to also clean the outside. For a leather camera bag, a leather cleaner such as Meltonian All-Purpose Leather Cleaner & Conditioner works wonders in making your bag look nearly new, and then follow it with an application of Meltonian Water & Stain Protector to help protect it from stains and water. For canvas or synthetic camera bags, wipe it down with a mild detergent, dry, and then apply Scotchgard Protector for waterproofing.
Read Mason’s entire article at Adorama. For more tips on leather care for your camera bag, see How to Protect and Care For Your Leather Camera Bag.
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