Spilled a margarita on an E-M5 / Sticky shutter button

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by kponds, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. kponds

    kponds Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 18, 2013
    And after wiping it down, now the shutter button is a little "sticky". I mean on the inside. For the half press, it's a little less responsive.

    I want to try to fix this, would it be safe to drip a few drops of rubbing alcohol in the shutter button, and then press several times?

    Any other ideas?
  2. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    I spilt rum and coke on my shutter button one night while drinking in Colombia which caused it to be sticky. I actually just poured a little water over the button and pressed the shutter a bunch of times to try to clear it out. I think it took a few days and a bit more general use before the button felt completely normal again.
  3. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    I can't see alcohol doing any good...that sticky stuff has to go somewhere...drop alcohol in there, and it may dissolve the margarita and have it seep into other areas of the camera...(you could hold it upside-down, I guess, but I don't know...I'd be worried about that stuff making its way into other parts of the camera). I'd see about getting it cleaned professionally.
  4. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    I can't speak for the shutter button on an EM-5 specifically, but I have used alcohol to clean electronics (e.g. the macbook keyboard / mouse I once accidentally served a cup of coffee to that it didn't want).

    If you decide to try it, preferably use the 91% stuff so it's as low of a water content as you can, and use it sparingly, as little as you can get away with to get it cleaned. Something like a cotton ball with a small amount or one of the pre-fabbed alcohol swabs, and just use it to loosen up any sticky sugar residue.

    This should go without saying, but yank the battery, and make absolutely sure it's completely dried out before you try turning it back on again. Alcohol evaporates extremely quickly but just make sure it's fully dry so as not to create a short.
  5. kponds

    kponds Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 18, 2013
    Thanks, and yeah, some kind of swab is a great idea.

    Sorry for posting this in Native Lenses. It was supposed to go in Olympus Cameras. For some reason I missed.
  6. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Well, it's a weathersealed camera, so if the design of the seals is such that a margarita can get under the button, then when the camera is used in the rain it logically follows that it is okay for water to get in there as well. It doesn't hurt to be cautious of course, but I think you guys are overcomplicating this.
  7. larsjuhljensen

    larsjuhljensen Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 26, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Cleaning with alcohol sounds like a bad idea to me. Not because I think it will harm your camera, but because what makes the button sticky is most probably sugar, which is much more soluble in water than in alcohol. So cleaning with water would probably be far more efficient. Plus of course your camera is supposedly waterproof - so if the margarita could get under your shutter button without going into your camera, so can water (as others have already alluded to).

    Good luck :)
  8. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I think the best option is to rinse with clean (ideally distilled/de-ionised) water and then use the corner of a thin cloth as a wick to draw the water out of the area around the button.
  9. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Right - alcohol won't dissolve the sugar in any hurry. A little water, carefully managed, is better.

  10. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Real Name:
    Alchohol may actually damage the seal under the shutter button. Rinse with water.

  11. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    pull the battery, rise with water. let dry thoroughly.
  12. FastCorner

    FastCorner Mu-43 Veteran

    May 28, 2011
    This is a weather-sealed camera, right? Can't you put it under a running faucet (warm water) and press the shutter button until it's clean?
  13. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 20, 2012
    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
    Real Name:
    I think that gravity should also be utilised here too. Have the camera upright when applying the water but turn it over when trying to dry out that area & paper towel is probably the most effective for wicking out the moisture (I use it far too often in the kitchen because the tea towels aren't nearly as effective).