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Well, I solved a mystery today. My camera seems to always get dirty while I though I was being very careful. It turns out, it is the camera strap. After shooting with it in extremely hot and humid weather, sweat, sunscreen and insect repellent dripped from my neck into the strap and now it is making the camera rather sticky, particularly the LCD screen as the strap naturally lands on it when stored.

These are not the included camera strap but a very padded type from Zeiss and Leica. I've been using these for years and feel that they are life-changing since they allow me to carry my camera for much longer. It is made of neoprene, nylon and rubber.

enter image description here Source

How do I wash such a strap? Can I put it in the laundry machine? If so, what settings?

  • Did the packaging that contained the strap include any cleaning instructions or a list of materials used in the strap? – Michael C Apr 29 '17 at 15:25
  • Any chance to include a picture of the strap, may help better understand the materials. – Crazy Dino Apr 29 '17 at 16:12
  • i think the most sensitive part may be the rubber padding - don't use aggressive chamicals and high temperatures. – Crowley Apr 29 '17 at 17:23
  • I wouldn't put it in a washing machine because straps and cords occasionally get wound around the agitator. Assuming it is waterproof, I'd hand wash using a mild detergent like those marketed for 'delicate' garments with a long soak cycle first. – user50888 Apr 29 '17 at 17:25
  • @benrudgers, maybe post that as an answer? There's nothing wrong with short answers. – inkista Apr 29 '17 at 22:16
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I wouldn't put it in a washing machine because straps and cords occasionally get wound around the agitator. Assuming it is waterproof, I'd hand wash using a mild detergent like those marketed for 'delicate' garments following the instructions on the label conservatively.

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    You could also put it in a lingerie bag. I do this with my dog's leash and it works great. – user1118321 May 12 '17 at 3:15
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Surface washing just did not help much as the strap had absorbed plenty of repellent and sunscreen. Barring a clear solution and being done with my travels, I risked it and machine-washed it, placing the strap inside a below case, as one would do with other things with straps.

Machine washing worked. The straps came out looking almost new, feeling dry and non-greasy with no smell. The sponge dried completely in the dryer too.

  • I would be cautious of throwing it in the dryer and using a heated setting. The heat is likely to accelerate the breakdown of the foam padding. If, on the other hand, you simply used the "air dry" setting that tumbles while blowing essentially room-temperature air, you're probably OK and not likely to cause additional foam deterioration. If your dryer doesn't have an "air dry" setting, just hang the strap to dry outside or in the shower. – FreeMan May 12 '17 at 19:38
  • Yes, indeed. I used the delicate setting which is just slightly warm. – Itai May 13 '17 at 0:59
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I have had success putting such items in the dishwasher. It's action, especially on the top shelf is less aggressive than a clothes washing machine. I would give this a try!

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