I used some glass lens cleaner spray on my pretty old (but still good) Samsung PL20 earlier this morning.

I just turned it on to take a photo, and found this...

enter image description here

It looks like somehow some of the cleaner got under the lens, and has pooled in the center. If I turn the camera, whatever is under there also turns with gravity, it's always on the bottom side, showing that it's trapped in some sort of orb.

Is there any way to get the stuff out from under my lens? I'm open to any ideas, even taking it apart.


It ended up evaporating after about 14 hours o.O I'm going to mark Caleb's answer as correct, as it would have been the thing to do had it not evaporated.

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    Well, the good news is that any residual stuff left on the front element when it dries may not impact image quality as much as you'd think. I would personally wait for it to dry, then evaluate before attempting surgery on a compact zoom lens. – junkyardsparkle Jan 22 '16 at 2:35
  • @junkyardsparkle everything is dry, and the front is all clean. The issue is that somehow the cleaner got under the front element, and is now stuck under there – Keith M Jan 22 '16 at 2:38
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    That's why you always apply the fluid to the cloth, not directly to the lens. – Michael C Jan 22 '16 at 2:43
  • Yes, I meant wait for the trapped cleaner to evaporate (maybe with the camera resting face down to keep it from migrating to worse places)... unless you're talking about a serious pool of the stuff? o.O – junkyardsparkle Jan 22 '16 at 2:46
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    You're supposed to take the marketing sticker off your camera ;) – osullic Jan 22 '16 at 9:47

Is there any way to get the stuff out from under my lens? I'm open to any ideas, even taking it apart.

A non-invasive method should be the first thing you try. I'd wrap the camera in a couple layers of paper towel and then cover the towel-wrapped camera in (dry, uncooked) rice. Try to orient the camera so that gravity will keep the liquid off the lens as much as possible. Add an air-tight lid to the container and wait. The idea is that the rice will absorb moisture, and over the course of a week or two the liquid in the camera will evaporate and diffuse out of the camera. Whether you eat the rice afterward is a personal decision.

If using rice doesn't appeal, there are a number of different desiccants on the market. For example, you've probably gotten small packs of silica gel included with electronics, pharmaceuticals, etc. You can buy these things in various sizes, sometimes packaged to be reusable, sometimes disposable. They'll function the same way the rice does, slowly drawing the moisture out of the camera.

  • Unfortunately I don't have an rice or silica gel available right now, and I'm unable to go out and get any tonight. So I'll have to wait until tomorrow afternoon to try your answer. It looks like it may finally be evaporating though – Keith M Jan 22 '16 at 3:39
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    The rice thing works okay for electronics that have gotten wet, but there's kind of too much dust in rice to make it a good drying agent for cameras and lenses. – Michael C Jan 22 '16 at 3:51
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    I would probably be more concerned with orienting to keep liquid from migrating to the sensor or inner lens elements... the front element might be the most harmless place for it to collect. I guess there's no way to know that for sure, though... – junkyardsparkle Jan 22 '16 at 4:03
  • @junkyardsparkle keeping the fluid out of the optical path while it evaporates reduces the risk of it leaving visible residue behind on the internal glass surfaces. – HamishKL Jan 23 '16 at 1:27
  • @HamishKL - Sure, if you can orient it in a way where you know for certain that the liquid isn't going to seep towards the sensor or rear lens elements, you should do that. I'm just saying that if in doubt, the front element is a better place for residue to end up than those places. :) – junkyardsparkle Jan 23 '16 at 1:50

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