Keep it clean.
The most important aspects to maintaining your flashlight do not require technical or mechanical knowledge, or the ability to remove intricate parts and put them back together. Quite the contrary, a couple of simple, fast and easy steps are all you need to keep you flashlight running at its best.
I use my Dorcy flashlight on the job everday and when I put my tools away each night I make sure to wipe the light off and charge it for its next day of use.
Cleaning The Outside
The simplest and most effective maintenance you can do is to simply wipe the flashlight off after use. This only takes a few seconds but removes moisture and prevents the buildup of dirt and grime which can be harder to remove later. Just a simple damp washcloth is all you need. Just make sure to wipe off any excess moisture with a dry cloth when you’re finished. Lint free fabrics or microfibers also work well. If the light is knurled or has grooves, a toothbrush is great for those hard to reach areas.
If more aggressive cleaning is needed, an alcohol pad or any fast evaporating cleaner works well on the body. Just make sure it is a type of cleaner approved for the type of material your light is made of. This is especially true of some lens covers. Alcohol is not recommended on rubber since it dries the rubber out and can eventually lead to cracking. Specially designed rubber cleaners are available at any hardware store. These are good to have around anyway since you likely have many products with rubber parts.
Cleaning The Inside
Our lights are o ring sealed and do an excellent job keeping dirt and moisture out. But it is a good idea to occasionally open the battery compartment and remove the batteries to check for any corrosion. This is especially true if you don’t use your light that often. Corroded batteries can ruin a good light so make sure you change the batteries when needed. At the very minimum, check your batteries every six months to make sure they are not leaking. You may also want to wipe off the battery contacts with a microfiber or lint free cloth. If the contacts happen to have corrosion, electric contact cleaner can be used to remove the corrosion. Don’t spray this in the light, though. Just use a Q-tip on the contact, while making sure to not leave any fibers behind.
Storage is an important part of maintenance. First of all, don’t store the light in direct sunlight. While we highly recommend keeping a flashlight in your car, it is best not to store it on the dash, in a seat, or back window where it is directly exposed to the sun. Also be sure to take the batteries out of your light if storing for a prolonged period.
Another tip is to make sure you have the right light for the job. If you are using a budget light for industrial work, for example, no amount of maintenance is going to make it last. You will end up buying lights over and over and will soon spend considerably more than a specially designed work light would have cost in the first place. If your light will be used around water, make sure it is waterproof. If it will be exposed to the elements including rain, make sure the light is weather resistant. When you’re working it’s important to have the right tool for the job. A hammer and a screw driver are both great tools, but only one is good for driving nails. Likewise, two different flashlights might both be great tools but only one might be the right light for your job. If you need a hands free light, get a headlight. Trying to balance a flashlight for hands free use will likely result in the light getting dropped and eventually becoming unusable—a little forethought and basic research can eliminate many of these problems
If you choose the right light for the job and follow the basic tips listed above, you will increase the longevity of your light and keep it running at peak performance. After all, a flashlight is tool. And like all your tools, you want them to and remain in peak condition for as long as possible.