Knowing how to take care of your flashlight and taking advantage of proper flashlight maintenance tips will allow you to get many years of use out of your little device.
Many of the common LED emitters can last for upwards of 50,000 hours and this is more than five and a half years of continuous use although many people will lose or break their flashlights before the LED light actually dies.
As long as you take a few minutes once a year or so to maintain the condition of your flashlight then you should be able to enjoy it running like new for the duration of its life span as long as you don’t lose it or break it somehow.
Taking care of a flashlight is very easy and straightforward and it also helps to ensure that it’s able to work at its ideal performance levels so that you’re able to enjoy the best that its light source has to offer.
Flashlight maintenance only requires four steps:
- Replacing any broken parts
- Protecting it from damage
- Lubricating moving parts
You really just need to follow these steps once or twice a year and your flashlight should always be in perfect working condition.
Keep in mind that if you’re using your flashlight on a much more regular basis and especially in outdoor locations or it’s going to be dirty, sandy, or dusty, then you’re going to want to keep it clean more often and spend more time maintaining it.
The batteries that you’re using and how to maintain them is also important so I’ll make sure to cover that in a different article so I can go more in-depth without taking away from basic flashlight maintenance.
Knowing how to clean a flashlight is one of the first steps at maintaining it and ensuring that it’s going to be working properly for the time to come.
You want to start off by cleaning any debris, dust, or dirt from the outside of the flashlight.
To do this you can use an alcohol wipe or even a baby wipe as long as it’s not too greasy or you could just use a microfiber cloth if you’re not using it that much and you just want to make sure it’s clean.
You should also consider using a bristle brush if you have a flashlight with a lot of grooves and Tiny, hard-to-reach areas so that you can clean out all of the spaces and brush away any of the left over dirt and debris.
Once you’re done with cleaning the body you’re going to want to clean the lens and if you have a flashlight with a scratch-resistant lens then you can just wipe it down and make sure that the lens is clear.
If you’re using an older flashlight that comes with a glass lens then you’re going to want to be a little bit more careful when you’re cleaning it so that you don’t accidentally scratch or damage the glass.
Cleaning the Body Interior
When you’re done finishing cleaning the exterior of the flashlight you can start by taking it apart, removing all of the batteries, and cleaning the inside of the body.
For this step you can use a cloth or even a small bristle brush if it will fit inside and you want to make sure that you can remove any visible dust, dirt, or debris.
With the flashlight open you can do a quick check to see if the springs inside are still working correctly and if not you might want to consider replacing them depending on how often you use the flashlight.
You should also have some Q-tips nearby and you can soak them with a little bit of rubbing alcohol and rub them up and down the inside of the body just to get rid of any other left over dirt or debris.
After finishing up cleaning the interior you’re going to want to know focus on the threads and using a microfiber cloth or alcohol pad you’re going to want to wipe down the threads and remove any grease or debris that got stuck inside them.
Once you’re finished with this step you’re now done cleaning the flashlight and you can move on with the other maintenance steps.
Preventative Maintenance: Protecting and Replacing
One of the most common failure points on flashlights is the O-rings and these are fragile while still being one of the most important pieces of making sure that your flashlight works correctly.
This small little rubber circle is what keeps moisture, grime, and dirt out of the body of your flashlight and if it’s waterproof it’s also what helps to make it waterproof.
It’s a good idea to make sure that these are in good working condition so you’re going to want to check the O-rings and see if they look cracked, dried-out, or damaged in any way.
If you notice any problems with the O-rings then it’s a good idea to replace them as a preventative measure just to avoid any problems in the future.
To find a new O-ring you can look online, check the flashlight manufacturer’s website, or just head to Home Depot with it and see if they have one that you can use.
If you noticed that the O-ring just looks a little bit dry then you can just use some lube to add some moisture to it so that I can continue to work properly.
Another common issue that plagues flashlights is corrosion and it’s possible to protected from corrosion after you have cleaned it out.
There are a few materials available online or at a local hardware store that you can use to protect the battery contacts from possible corrosion.
It’s a good idea to apply this anti-corrosion material to the contact points throughout the inside of your flashlight such as on the threads, the springs, and anywhere that the battery touches.
This is a small and easy step that you can take to hopefully avoid any problems with corrosion in the future.
With all of the other steps done it’s now time to lubricate your flashlight so that it can be opened smoothly and so that your O-rings don’t dry out.
There are quite a few different oils and lubricants to choose from so I recommend just looking online or heading to your local hardware store to see what they have that you can use.
Depending on the material that your O-ring is made from you might need to use a different type of lubrication but there are some general options available that work well with most flashlights.
Keeping Your Flashlight Lubricated
The first thing that you’re going to want to do is to lubricate the O-rings.
Using any of the lubricant that you picked up just remove the O-ring and cover it with the lubricant and with your fingers make sure to work it over the entire surface so that all of the areas are covered and properly lubricated.
Next, you’re going to want to use a Q-tip and rub some of the lubricant into the threads so that it’s easier to open and close your flashlight as well as use the focus if yours comes equipped with one.
Once you have lubricated all of the moving parts and the O-ring you’re going to want to leave everything out to dry for a short while and then put it together.
And there you have it!
With these basic flashlight maintenance tips you should be able to enjoy many years of use from your flashlight as long as you clean and maintain it once or twice per year depending on how heavily you use it.
These tips and instructions will ensure that your flashlight is working properly and so that it will be ready for you to use the next time that you need it.