I have recently obtained a camera that has a lens that was apparently left in the sun/heat, and now the plastic on the lens is sticky. I was wondering if there was a way to make it not sticky without damaging it any more than it already is?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you know how long had it been left in the sun? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 15, 2010 at 19:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is it sticky in the sense that the rubber/plastic itself is tacky, or is it sticky in the sense of there is something sticky on the lens? If it is the latter, it should be cleanable. If it is the former... \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Dec 15, 2010 at 20:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ I know it's been left in the sun, the person I have gotten it from is from Florida, and where I found it was in an area where it was really hot and not so much shade from the sun and they said it's been sitting there for years. \$\endgroup\$
    – DCartist
    Dec 16, 2010 at 13:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ it's tacky on the rubber plastic, and it's only on the rubber part as if it had melted, but the rest of the lens is fine \$\endgroup\$
    – DCartist
    Dec 16, 2010 at 13:43

1 Answer 1


If it's older, and if it's not a substance (like soda) - then it could be either:
A chemical reaction with something like insect repellent(DEET) or sunscreen (??). Certain ingredients in these products can react with polymers and paint. I don't know if it's reversible.
OR, if it's old - it could be the polymers breaking down. Rubbery-type Polymers will also degrade over time (and with UV/heat exposure) and become tacky. I was told by my former Plastics professor, that this was a very bad thing (it's a carcinogen). Maybe look into getting those components replaced.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Verify this before you try it - I don't know if it's Camera Safe... but on other things, I've used isopropyl alcohol. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. I definitely wouldn't use it on a lens element (e.g. glass) and I'd be very careful not to let it get inside the lens, but used lightly on the outside (body/barrel) it might be okay. Also, I would try it out first on a small spot (and with a lot of caution) and then wait. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kreegr
    Dec 15, 2010 at 22:14

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