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Help! I Got Sand in My Camera!

written by: •edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 2/10/2011

In part one of this series, we learned how to protect digital cameras from sand and salt. Despite all your efforts, what do you do if you get sand in or on your camera?

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    What if the Worst does Happen?

    I Got Sand in My Camera! No matter how careful you are, accidents can happen. Somebody can bump into you when you’re taking a photo, knocking your camera into the sand; a gust of wind can appear from nowhere, blowing sand in your eyes and your camera lens; you could trip and fall...the list of possibilities are endless. So, what if the worst does happen and you find yourself with a sand-ridden camera?

    (Click on any image for a larger view)

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    First, let’s look at what not to do if you get sand in your digital camera:

    • Don’t brush off visible sand and turn your camera on to see if it works okay. There could be sand lodged into places you cannot see, and turning your camera on can do more damage.

    • Don’t use a dry tissue or towel to wipe away the sand. This can cause more damage by scraping the grains of sand against the camera lens and other delicate parts.
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    Now, let’s look at what you should do:

    • Use a blower or brush to try to eliminate any visible sand, make sure you do this very gently and carefully.

    • Try to rid the sand with a lens cloth, but make sure it’s well moistened with cleaning solution first! (All of the above tools can typically be found in a basic camera cleaning kit)

    • Use compressed air – extra caution needs to be taken with this option. Though some people suggest compressed air is an effective way to clean cameras, others argue that compressed air only lodges sand and other unwanted particles further into a camera, worsening the problem.

    • If you really love your camera and you really gave it a good dunk in the sand, it’d probably be best if you didn’t mess around with it and you took it in to be professionally cleaned.

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    Camera Care & Sand In part three of this series, you’ll learn what will happen to your digital camera if it’s exposed to direct sunlight or if it gets too hot. You’ll also be provided with tips on how to reduce the chances of your camera becoming overheated and advice on what you should do if your camera is exposed to high temperatures.

Sand, Salt, Heat & Water - A Digital Camera's Worst Nightmare!

Summer is a great season to capture some of the best photos. It's also the time of year when your camera is at great risk of being damaged by sand, salt, heat and water. Learn some helpful tips and suggestions on how to protect your camera from these elements and what to do if the worst does happen.
  1. 4 Things Your Digital Camera Hates about Summer - Digital Camera Care
  2. Help! I Got Sand in My Camera!
  3. How to Protect Your Camera from the Summer Heat & Direct Sunlight
  4. Water – A Wet Digital Camera is an Unhappy Digital Camera
  5. I Got Water on My Camera! What Should I Do?