Forgotten in its old age

by Aditya

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I have a Kodak No. 2 Bulls-Eye, Model D. antique camera from around 1897. When I opened it up I discovered that there are spots of mold on the black interior box inside the camera body. I am concerned that it may cause permanent damage. How, and if possible is there a way to clean the mold without damaging anything further. For now I have wiped the camera down with a cotton swab, is this sufficient?

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what do you use with your cotton swab? dry, water, any other product? –  ruffp Dec 26 '13 at 20:17
    
does the mold grown on the wood or somewhere else? –  androxstudio Dec 28 '13 at 17:24

1 Answer 1

There is a method, with formaldehyde gas. But formaldehyde is very very toxic and harmful. (first, read this Formaldehyde TEACH Chemical Summary)

It's used for sterilization of surgical and veterinary instruments.

You must use it so far away of humans and pets that you can (above all, of children and pregnants). And always somewhere outdoors, with a masks, protective eyewear and gloves.

Formaldehyde gas is not sold as such. It's sold as tablets or as a liquid (40% solution, also called Formalin). The tablets react with heat, the liquid react with potassium permanganate powder.

STEPS:

1.- First enter the camera disassembled in a hermetic metal container.

With tablets:

2.- Put one tablet in the bottom of the metal container.

3.- Burn it with alcohol for 5 minutes, then extinguish the flame by placing a can up until the fire is extinguished.

With liquid:

2.- Put the liquid in a metal can in the bottom of the metal container.

3.- Pour the powder of potassium permanganate on the liquid formaldehyde. Caution! the reaction is very violent!

Both:

4.- Inmediatly close the container and wait 6 hours.

5.- Open the container and wait 2 more hours before get the camera to your home.

6.- Then you can clean-up the mildew waste camera with isopropyl alcohol.

With this method you can remove mold from any lens or camera, even kills mold spores and does not grow.

Remember: Caution with handling formaldehyde!

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