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02-23-2011, 02:16 PM   #1
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How do you clean mud off tripod legs?

I have a Giottos aluminum tripod with the threaded sleeve connectors. Normally, i'm pretty good about flushing tripod feet with fresh water to clean off any dirt.

But last night i found this neat beaver pond in a wetlands area, the legs got spattered with mud up 2 leg sections at least, and i didn't have any fresh water at the car to flush the legs. I tried to remove as much dirt as possible with my gloves, but now one or two sleeves have a little gritty feel to them as they are tightened.

Today i'll take the legs and connectors apart and do a thorough cleaning, but i'm wondering if anyone has any tips regards tripods and mud??

BTW, i got some great pictures in the wetland area and would do it again, despite the mud

best wishes,


Last edited by philbaum; 02-23-2011 at 02:23 PM.
02-23-2011, 02:49 PM   #2
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"How do you clean mud off tripod legs?"

I don't


Let it dry, bang on the tripod a little and the dried mud falls off quite nice. That's my approach, and if it doesn't feel 100% like new... well it isn't either. Dirt is going to find its way everywhere on a tripod if you use it outside, the only part I clean on my tripod is the ball-head when I start to get that familiar scratching of sand or worn of metal sound in it.

Besides starting to slowly fall apart my tripod is still going strong after more than five years of use. And it sure isn't in the same quality class as the Giottos!
02-23-2011, 08:28 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jimfear Quote
"How do you clean mud off tripod legs?"

I don't


Let it dry, bang on the tripod a little and the dried mud falls off quite nice. That's my approach, and if it doesn't feel 100% like new... well it isn't either. Dirt is going to find its way everywhere on a tripod if you use it outside, the only part I clean on my tripod is the ball-head when I start to get that familiar scratching of sand or worn of metal sound in it.

Besides starting to slowly fall apart my tripod is still going strong after more than five years of use. And it sure isn't in the same quality class as the Giottos!
Well, i found out that taking the legs apart is not hard, as long as one takes care to reinstall all parts in the same position. On my tripod, and i suspect on many, they used a water-resistant silicone grease, much as one would find on water faucets, to protect threads from water and dirt incursion.

Based on what i've seen, i think one could easilly not take it apart each time you get some mud on it, but perhaps an annual clean would help nicely.

However, Salt-water and aluminum don't go together well at all. A cleaning with fresh water after a period of salt water usage will help a lot. Best solution for constant salt water usage is a graphite tripod. Either that or a throw away tripod that can frequently be replaced.
02-23-2011, 09:32 PM   #4
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let it dry first..then it is very easy to clean..

02-23-2011, 09:44 PM   #5
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I don't take my Giottos wading. The legs are sealed, but not water/mud tight. In my area, shooting waterfalls and streams from the middle of the stream is pretty popular. I have been tempted to pick up a Bogen 3021 as an option that is sturdy enough, but not watertight and easily cleanable.


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02-24-2011, 12:51 PM   #6
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WD-40 and a rag.
02-24-2011, 12:53 PM   #7
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water?
02-24-2011, 01:21 PM   #8
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I'd just spray it down with the hose, see what clings. Maybe hit it with Simple Green, hose, let dry and relubricate.

EDIT: It's quite possible I underestimate the delicacy and fragility of modern tripods, in which case ignore my advice.

02-25-2011, 03:29 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
WD-40 and a rag.
Ah please, Ira, no WD-40. WD-40 solvents evaporate leaving a gum that traps grit, that can only be removed by more solvents that are bad for the environment and your camera. many gunsmiths are reportedly employed cleaning the stuff sprayed by well meaning owners on their pistols and rifles.

Not to mention getting the stuff on your hands and then transferring it to your camera. Water works fine as a solvent and aluminum won't corrode from it unless its salt water.
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