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Maintaining your camera and lenses to keep them clean and fully operational is often second nature for us. However, if like many photographers you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your camera bag, or why you should need to, this guide is for you.
Photographers often bring their bags to photo outings, trips and assignments, so they will naturally pick up dirt and grime over time. Whilst this may seem unimportant, it’s essential to know how to clean a camera bag in order to maintain both the bag itself and the precious gear inside.
We will help you discover tips and techniques to keep your camera bag looking good as new and make sure that you can locate equipment stowed inside quickly when you’re out hunting for that next killer photo.
There are plenty of reasons why you should keep both the inside and outside of your camera bag clean with gear well organised inside. It’s easy to do and will:
On the flipside, if you’ve not cleaned and organised your bag since forever, it can cause some problems, including:
Some types of photography will require a thorough camera bag clean more often than others. Outdoor photographers who capture nature, wildlife, sports and landscapes will most likely need to tackle this every few weeks. However, indoor photographers who travel to and from venues, such as portrait or product photographers, will be less prone to getting their camera bag dirty. A simple once-over of the bag will provide an indication of whether or not it’s time to embark on cleaning.
It’s not recommended to put any camera bag in a washing machine, as this can damage parts and special weather resistant coatings could be ruined by detergents. Instead, clean the outside of the bag using a well diluted mixture of mild washing up liquid, a spot of white vinegar and warm water. Start by emptying all of the contents then shaking the bag while it’s open. This will dislodge any loose debris and make the detailing job quicker. Use a soft, relatively dry washing up sponge or cloth to gently wipe away dust, dirt and any marks from the outside of the bag. Leave the bag to dry out naturally when you’re done and don’t be tempted to put it on a heater or radiator.
You may want to treat the exterior of the bag with a spray-on durable water repellant (DWR) once it is clean. If you’re looking for a fully waterproof solution, you can also get rain covers to protect your camera bag from the elements.
Once the outside is clean and dry, it’s time to tackle the inside of the bag. Small dirt and dust can be blown away using a Lenspen Hurricane Blower or an air blower such as the Kenro Clean Air Duster Kit. You can also take a small vacuum nozzle to vacuum everything clean. Make sure you get to all of the padded partitions and below the partitions to ensure there’s nothing left behind. That’s it – one clean, good as new camera bag!
There are no set rules on how to pack a camera bag – it comes down to what gear you bring, which accessories you use and whether you have a backpack, messenger style or top loading bag.
We will, of course, want our camera and lens super-secure and readily available, so these go into the main compartment with the most padding. If there’s space to add spare lenses, make sure these are securely fixed in place using padded internal bag dividers with all lens caps and hoods securely attached to both ends.
Find secure locations for any accessories including lens filters, memory cards, spare camera batteries and cables. Think about the most essential accessories you’ll need the most and pack these into quick-access pockets on the exterior of the bag.
Organising your gear can take some trial and error. The more often you head out and shoot, the easier it will be to reorganise equipment to find the perfect set-up for your specific needs.
It’s a good idea to maintain a clean, tidy camera bag once you’ve got everything organised the way you like it. When your bag is thoroughly clean it’s also easy to wipe away any marks as they appear, which saves time in the long run.
It’s also worth reorganising your equipment depending on any new purchases, or what type of excursion you’re on. Additionally, you might outgrow your original camera bag and want to trade up to a bigger model to hold more equipment as your collection expands. After all, finding the right camera bag for you will make your photography trips a lot more enjoyable.
These tips and techniques will help you to keep your camera bag clean, tidy and organised, so you never miss a shot by wasting time searching through your bag for equipment again. Browse our huge range of camera bags from every manufacturer to find the perfect one for your photo outings.
By Park Cameras on 18/01/2022
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