A Guide to Cleaning Your Tripod

Varina Patel

… We use dish soap to clean each piece by hand. There’s no particular brand that we recommend – but do use dish soap, since it cuts through grease and won’t leave a residue. I use a soft scrubbing pad to clean each part, and an old toothbrush to get the threads clean. I generally keep a small bowl of dish soap handy. I dip my toothbrush into it now and then so that I can get through the grease. You’ll need to scrub the threads carefully to remove any grease that is stuck in there… along with sand, silt, and slime. Then a quick rinse, and we lay it all out on a cloth to dry. …

Once the pieces are clean and dry, it’s time to put the tripod back together. You need to use a small amount of lithium grease to keep everything working smoothly. This photo shows how much we use.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SedbmylbRoI?rel=0&showinfo=0]

… Rain won’t hurt your tripod – though prolonged exposure to moisture will corrode some metals… so take the time to dry it off when you come in and leave it open until it’s thoroughly dry. Always rinse your tripod if you use it in saltwater – salt can cause corrosion as well.

Take simple precautions to help keep your tripod clean a little longer. When we are shooting in sand, mud, or water, we always extend the lowest leg of the tripod at least a few inches beyond the mess. That simple action keeps the joint up out of the muck. If you can avoid it, don’t immerse the joint in sand or salt water. But don’t worry too much if it does get into the joints. Just take some time to clean it up and it’ll be good as new!

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