The Internet fixed my sticky Nikon D50!

Sticky Nikon D50
(Image credit: Rod Lawton)

There are lots of good reasons for pensioning off my old Nikon D50. There’s the 6-megapixel CCD, for example, the tiny low-res screen on the back, the lack of any kind of video and a viewfinder barely larger than keyhole. (Not that I spend a lot of time looking through keyholes.)

But the thing that finally did it was the sticky grip! I bemoaned my old camera's fate in my sticky Nikon D50 news story last week. But it’s not just Nikon DSLRs – lots of products with textured rubberised surfaces go horribly sticky over time. Which is what I found out from scores of helpful DCW readers who emailed in with their ingenious solutions for fixing everything from sticky umbrella handles to tacky hi-fi dials.

One was to try a paste of baking soda and a little water, but I didn’t want to risk that getting pushed into the memory card door hinge. Another was to try talc or French chalk, but I didn’t have any in the house. 

The overwhelming majority, however, suggested isopropyl alcohol, or rubbing alcohol. I didn’t have any of that, either, but I did have some alcohol-based hand sanitizer so I though that was worth a go.

And it worked! It took a bit of effort and a few sheets of paper kitchen towels, but they came away a yucky yellow color and took the stickiness with them.

I now have a pristine, non-sticky Nikon D50 that looks as good (probably) as it did when it left the factory way back in 2005. The grip looks a little more polished than perhaps it did back in the day, but this camera has a big solid grip anyway and it hasn’t made it any more difficult to hold.

Now, if someone has a magic cleaning solution that can enlarge that 2-inch screen (yes, it really is a 2-inch screen) and maybe rub in some more pixels, that would be just great.

A big thanks to everyone who replied to the original story.

Read more:

Best cameras for beginners
Best Nikon cameras
Best DSLRs

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at