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Old 01-02-2009, 02:49 AM #1
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Default Best way to clean optics?

Would alcohol and a q-tip be ok? Mine looks a bit dirty from being in my pocket...


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Old 01-13-2009, 10:46 PM #2
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Default Re: Best way to clean optics?

Compressed air and/or a lens pen?
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:20 AM #3
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Default Re: Best way to clean optics?

The Lens Pen is one of the best options out there. It is highly portable and will make your dirty (as in fingerprints, small amounts of dust, etc) lens crystal clear. I have the lens pen Micro, and highly recommend it. If you don't have one already, the hurricane blower on their website is a must have. Not only is it good for lasers, but also for dusty electronics.

http://www.lenspen.com

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Old 02-13-2009, 12:58 AM #4
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Default Re: Best way to clean optics?

How about Windex? It works perfect on just about any type of glass, and I would absolutely not use alcohol. The lens pen looks great but 75$ is a bit much. Would windex be ok to use?
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:21 AM #5
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Default Re: Best way to clean optics?

I just received my LensPen MicroPro and Hurricane Blower... and don't know how I ever lived without them.

Gone are the days of spinning Q-tips or trying to jam the corner of a micro-fiber eyeglass cleaner in there! They didn't really work anyway; the lens usualy looked as bad if not worse than it was to begin with.

http://www.lenspen.com/?cPath=&amp;produ...1&amp;tpid=146
The little thing is amazing. No more weird pocked lint squiggles or dark crater looking dots. Worth EVERY PENNY!
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Old 03-07-2009, 04:37 AM #6
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Default Re: Best way to clean optics?

Never use windex, it will destroy most of the coatings on lenses and optics and will leave a residue on the glass.

The generally accepted way of cleaning optics without using something like a lens pen is to start with compressed air and if that doesn't work try just dribbling alcohol over the lens followed by drying it with compressed air and then dribbling distilled water over the lens and drying it with compressed air.

If this still does not clean it then you need to move on to q-tips (preferably high quality ones). *Wipe down with alcohol and then rinse it off by dribbling distilled water over it and dry with compressed air.

Note that as soon as you start rubbing the lens with anything, you will scratch it. *It generally isn't an issue for our types of optics, but any contact whatsoever (even from a lens pen) is generally frowned upon for the higher quality really expensive optics.

Note that you need 99%+ or better alcohol and actual distilled water. *If your cleaning solutions leave crap all over then lens after they dry you are going to be worse off than when you started. *

And of course, some coatings/lenses will dissolve in water/alcohol but you won't run into anything like that in a pointer.
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:25 PM #7
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Default Re: Best way to clean optics?

Using something like windex, or any other product containing detergents, is a bad idea. I think the coatings will be okay, but they leave a residue - which can only be removed by basically rinsing with other solvents (including water).

A really nice solvent for cleaning glass surfaces is isopropanol, or about 50% isopropanol in distilled water. It is safe to use on most coatings (though i can't guarantee anything), and any left behind will readily evaporate.

The difficulty is sparing the coatings, not cleaning glass itself: Glass is quite resilient to mechanical damage and nearly impossible to damage using solvents, but the coatings are much more sensitive.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:03 AM #8
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Default Re: Best way to clean optics?

I was told just use an air bulb. I used some &quot;compressed air&quot; from one of those computer dust off cans and coated my lens with some kind of residue that was hard to remove. Thanks for all the great info guys.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:36 AM #9
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Default Re: Best way to clean optics?

You should be careful with dust-off cans and such - many dont contain compressed air at all, but some propellant (often butane nowadays) that can come out carrying all sorts of contaminants.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:50 AM #10
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Default Re: Best way to clean optics?

They contain CO.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:44 AM #11
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Default Re: Best way to clean optics?

I guess you mean CO[sub]2[/sub] (as CO is highly poisonous).
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Old 03-14-2009, 05:41 PM #12
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Default Re: Best way to clean optics?

That would be CO2, but i seriously doubt any 'spraycan' will contain the pressure of CO2 a room temperature or somewhat above.

Duster cans contain either alkanes or fluoroalkanes, the latter for reduced flammability. One thing i read is that they now add some foul tasting compound to these cans to prevent kids from sniffing it - but it seems fairly obvious where that compound will end up when you try cleaning something with it
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