First, I suggest that you do not try using any type of liquid to start out with in the lens area. Get a can of compressed air with a fine tip and blow out the space between the cover and the lens barrel. Any residue hampering movement (possibly even a single grain of sand) could be keeping it from opening and closing correctly.
You can also take a look at the link below for some generic suggestions to dealing with this problem.
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If you require suggestions of conventional repair services and/or a cost to value assessment, please let me know.
Please keep in mind that my diagnosis & solutions provided are directly dependent on the accuracy of your description of the problem. As with any "do it yourself" fixes, success is a "team effort", since I can't see or touch the camera, and relies on the customer's manual dexterity and ability to follow the instructions well.
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