Your tripod can be an expensive investment, so halt the unnecessary build-up of dirt and grime with this simple guide to keeping it clean.
If you’re constantly taking your trusty tripod out into the field, there’s no escaping the chances of it taking a few bumps and knocks.
But the responsibility of keeping it clean and in perfect working order is solely down to you.
A trip to the beach to catch a stunning sunset can leave the feet of your tripod packed full of sand and salty water – -both of which are guaranteed to corrode your tripod’s legs over time.
And if the wind is really whipping the sand up, there’s nothing to stop it working its way into the central column, too.
You need to get into the habit of cleaning your tripod whenever you come back from a shoot that’s left the feet, legs and joints dirty. But you don’t need to fill your cupboards with expensive cleaning products and lubricants: chances are you have everything you need under the kitchen sink!
How to keep your tripod clean
01 Set your tripod up outside
It’s likely that you’ll make a mess with soap and water, so find yourself an area with plenty of space outside. You may think you can do this in your sink, but once the legs of a tripod are at their full extent, things get busy!
02 With mild washing up liquid…
Mix a small amount of washing up liquid in a bowl of warm water. Open the tripod’s catches and release the legs to their full extent. Soak a household cleaning cloth in the bowl and wipe the grime off the legs, working methodically.
03 Dig deep
The catches that open to extend the legs are just as prone to keeping the grime locked in as the feet. Use an old toothbrush to really dig deep and remove grains of sand and mud from between the nuts and bolts, which can rust – especially if exposed to seawater.
04 Finishing off
Give the whole tripod a final rinse with clean tap water to wash off any suds that are left on the legs. To finish, wipe everything down with a clean kitchen towel so that the legs, joints and catches are bone dry and the tripod looks as good as new!
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