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HELP!! Dropped GoPro into motor oil...how to clean housing?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by LowriderS10, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    Hi everyone,

    Today I was swapping the water pump on my dad's car and decided to do a time lapse of it...at one point I accidentally knocked my GoPro into a bucket of motor oil. It was fully submerged, but I quickly got it out and toweled it off. As soon as I got home, I put it in a bucket of warm water with plenty of Sunlight dish detergent. I keep changing the water, and each time there's oil residue on the side of the bucket, so obviously it's working, but there is still oil between the metal buttons and the housing and between the rubber gasket and the housing.

    Any suggestions for getting ALL of the oil out? Thanks very much!
    T
     
  2. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Rinse it in oil paint thinner or gasoline?
     
  3. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    To remove *ALL* the oil I would use something like diethyl ether, however it's likely to leech all the plasticizer out of the plastic too so it's probably a safer bet to use something like methylated spirits (Ethanol/methanol) or isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol).
     
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  4. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    Haha...is that a question or a tried and true suggestion? I really don't want to just do random stuff to it that may or may not wreck the rubber/plastic or jeopardize its water sealing abilities. :)
     
  5. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    Thanks...I've had alcohol suggested to me by a friend as well...I definitely don't want to risk harming the plastic/rubber in any way!
     
  6. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Another option which would work is using windex, it generally has a pretty good mix of surfactants/alcohols/etc (and is generally tested as plastic safe).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    Thanks, that sounds like a good place to start in! I just realized that the rubber surround comes out (I hope it goes back too haha), and I know the buttons unclip...hopefully I can clean it all out tomorrow. :)
     
  8. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    895
    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    I would suggest that you go to a car paint supplier and ask for some pre paint degreaser
    This is not thinners which you must NOT use ( which is used to thin paint down to spraying viscosity)
    It is used to degrease the surface to be spray painted immediately before re spraying
    This is less harsh but designed to remove any oil or grease from the surface which might affect the paint
    It can be bought in 1 LTr tins so won't cost you a fortune
    It is designed not to attack plastics etc as you have to use it on and near plastics on cars
    If you do go down this avenue though take this as an untried suggestion and try a small amount on a piece of cloth first to make sure it is safe
    Do not dip the whole camera in to the fluid as it might get past the seals
    This stuff will evaporate very quickly which is an advantage
    Be especially careful with anything you try especially over any clear plastics like screens etc as if anything you use is too harsh it will turn it opaque almost instantly (irreperably)
    Hope this helps
    Regards
    Rob
     
  9. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    I would be cautious about using degreaser as one of the more common agents is MEK which will melt many plastics (it's also used as a plastic welding agent). With printing plates a common 'environmentally friendly' degreaser which won't attack plastic is a mix of soy sauce mixed 1:1 with water, however it stinks. Many other degreasers use ammonia in their formulation which will also destroy some plastics (hence the soy sauce used with printing plates).

    YMMV.
     
  10. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    What about simple mechanics hand soap? The one you can get as a paste or even liquid (these usually contains some grains that could scratch the plastic). Or simple dishes liquid soap?
    Otherwise I use a strong degrease product for home you can get in any supermarket (the brand here is chanteclair).

    These work for engine oil, brakes oil, forks oil, air filter oil, maybe not the strongest or ideal products but I'd give it a try.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016
  11. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    It's obvious that no one here cooks or washes pots and pans. Any decent liquid dish washing detergent and a sponge or cloth is all that's needed. It's important rub the surfaces with your hand/fingers or a clean cloth while rinsing under running water to remove all soap residue. If you need help, ask your mom for help.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    I agree. Before trying anything stronger try original Dawn dishwashing liquid. It is one of the best degreasers, without being too harsh.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    859
    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    Anything stronger than mild dishwashing detergent WILL deteriorate the rubber seals. Since liquid soap specifically designed for cleaning hands will be milder, try that first along with warm water.
     
  14. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    Do get any DAWN - superior grease fighting ability.
     
  15. ahinesdesign

    ahinesdesign Mu-43 Veteran

    432
    Dec 6, 2011
    NC, USA
    Aaron
    I recall one of the major dishwashing liquid soap brands advertising that their product was used to remove crude oil from wildlife after one or more major oil spills... Seems like a good place to start as many mentioned above due to being much less likely to damage rubber or plastic. Mechanic's hand cleaner would be good too, but avoid the stuff with pumice or other abrasives in it.

    Thinners and other paint/industrial cleaners will likely cause damage. Used to clean paint spray equipment in laquer thinner; just drop the whole item in a bucket of it and the metal parts come out clean after some time (paint, plastic, and rubber completely dissolve!). MEK and acetone-based cleaners will fog most clear plastics on contact, and remove color (paint or dyed), remove gloss, and soften many types of plastic and rubber. I would avoid these at all costs.
     
  16. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    That was DAWN.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. turbodieselvw

    turbodieselvw Mu-43 Veteran

    321
    Jun 29, 2010
    Ottawa
    Mmmmm....alcohol..... you could perhaps try Absolut Vodka but make sure you don't drink it after the attempted wash.....
     
  18. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I think that anything that eats all the oil off, is also going to damage the plastic. I don't think I'd even bother. Buy replacement housing for your goPro instead of cleaning supplies and wasted days and move on. Even if you clean it, will you ever trust it to be waterproof again?
     
  19. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    guess?
    This thread is worthless without photos ;)
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    Haha thanks for all the advice...it looks like my original idea of a good dish soap is still the best way to go. ;)

    It's coming along nicely...there's a bit of residue on the rubber gasket that I"ll try to wipe off with a cloth or something later today and there's some oil trapped inside the buttons...I'm going to take them apart when I have a minute (things are a little hectic at the moment), and see if I can simply wipe those off with a paper towel.

    Wanna hear the kicker? In the big garage, there was only one open container of liquid...that was it. It was surrounded by boots, rags, and other soft things to land on...it had to pick the bucket of motor oil...sigh. :D