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Old 10-24-2013, 03:38 AM #1
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Question Best and safer way to clean lens and diode?

Hi!!
It seems to be a noob question but i already searched so much about that, and there's so much differents ways to do it, like one recommended by one person disaproved by another... etc, so i need some clear and good reviews and advices.

If it's just some dust an air blower cleaner is the best, or in second solution an air spray can.

But the real question is when you need to remove more than simple dust, what is for you the greater and safer way?

I heard about q-tips with rubbing alcohol or best isopropylic alcohol, but it seems to work flawlessly for some people and give bad results for others.

I also heard about lenspen, but no many reviews about it, they seems to like it so much but nithing clear also.

I finally hear about First contact cleaning silution, seems to work very well.

So i would love some pro tips and reviews.

For the record it's for a 445 2.5W.

Thānks in avance to all!


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Old 10-24-2013, 03:54 AM #2
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Default Re: Best and safer way to clean lens and diode?

Hmm, somebody actually recommended Teflon tape on a q tip. i'm yet to find an effective way to clean a diode window though
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Old 10-24-2013, 06:31 AM #3
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Default Re: Best and safer way to clean lens and diode?

First contact cleaner is probably the best and safest way as it can clean diode windows PERFCTLY (I've tested this myself). The next best way would be high quality methanol and individually wrapped cotton swabs without the glue. High quality 100% acetone with a q-tip works too but not quite as good as the other two methods. Lastly 92% or higher rubbing alcohol works. I've never had any luck with computer cleaner, compressed air or anything like that to be honest. You also need to be very careful when cleaning with Q-Tips as you can scratch the lens/diode windows if you press too hard. You also don't want to use the same Q-Tip more than once.

I have First Contact lens cleaner here for people who want their stuff cleaned but it's probably not worth sending your optics/diodes/lasers internationally.
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:20 AM #4
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Default Re: Best and safer way to clean lens and diode?

Anybody ever tried brake cleaner?
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:22 AM #5
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Default Re: Best and safer way to clean lens and diode?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NKO29 View Post
Hmm, somebody actually recommended Teflon tape on a q tip. i'm yet to find an effective way to clean a diode window though
This is completely wrong. The Teflon tape is used for the lensbarrel threads to minimize wiggling of the lensbarrel in the laser.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:18 PM #6
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Default Re: Best and safer way to clean lens and diode?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lightning Stalker View Post
Anybody ever tried brake cleaner?
I think it's far too aggressive for sensible optics, the ar coating will not like it i think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreythe00 View Post
First contact cleaner is probably the best and safest way as it can clean diode windows PERFCTLY (I've tested this myself). The next best way would be high quality methanol and individually wrapped cotton swabs without the glue. High quality 100% acetone with a q-tip works too but not quite as good as the other two methods. Lastly 92% or higher rubbing alcohol works. I've never had any luck with computer cleaner, compressed air or anything like that to be honest. You also need to be very careful when cleaning with Q-Tips as you can scratch the lens/diode windows if you press too hard. You also don't want to use the same Q-Tip more than once.

I have First Contact lens cleaner here for people who want their stuff cleaned but it's probably not worth sending your optics/diodes/lasers internationally.
Thanks for your instructive review!!
First contact seems to be very effective, it seems lot of people love this method here but i needed a precise and comparative review as yours!

I tried q-tips, that wasted me a g-9 lens.... so i'm a bit afraid about his method but i used ether so too much aggressive, here in france it's dificult to find pure isopropilyc alcohol.

If it's no risky at all i think i will give First contact a try!

Thanks for the proposition, as you said it will be more interesting for me to buy one bottle than sending it internationaly
But great proposition it's nice!





Quote:
Originally Posted by Blord View Post
This is completely wrong. The Teflon tape is used for the lensbarrel threads to minimize wiggling of the lensbarrel in the laser.
I have some wiggling, you recommend personaly this method or it's risky and can put some "dusts" of teflon on the lens window?
I have one at house but i don't want to have to clean it all the time because of that and risking to damage the diode with parts of teflon falling on the window.

all for your reviews!
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:30 PM #7
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Default Re: Best and safer way to clean lens and diode?

Quote:
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This is completely wrong. The Teflon tape is used for the lensbarrel threads to minimize wiggling of the lensbarrel in the laser.
Might be wrong but I definitely know somebody did suggest that as a way to clean a lens. I guess it might stick to the particles, and it shouldn't scratch but yeah it is mainly used for tightening threads.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:55 PM #8
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Default Re: Best and safer way to clean lens and diode?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NKO29 View Post
Might be wrong but I definitely know somebody did suggest that as a way to clean a lens. I guess it might stick to the particles, and it shouldn't scratch but yeah it is mainly used for tightening threads.
I also saw that when searching for cleaning methods, but i will be more confident with First contact!
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:28 PM #9
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Default Re: Best and safer way to clean lens and diode?

Quote:
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I think it's far too aggressive for sensible optics, the ar coating will not like it i think.
I was hoping to hear from someone who has actually tried it. Plastic could possibly melt, but
anything that would stand up to contact cleaner should stand up to brake cleaner since they
are very similar.
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:10 PM #10
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Default Re: Best and safer way to clean lens and diode?

Who said contact cleaner works on optics? Contact cleaner would completely ruin optics! I said First Contact. It is a polymer based cleaner. NOT contact cleaner. Photonic Cleaning Technologies
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:38 PM #11
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Default Re: Best and safer way to clean lens and diode?

First Contact, like the name implies, removes contaminants on first contact. qtips, no matter how clean, often drag contaminants around on the surface of the lens before removing them. Depending on the contaminant, this could result in smears or scratches. For our hobby, it is probably overkill, unless you have a fancy lens, are cleaning the optics on a very expensive laser, etc.

My lasers are, tops, $50. I could care less if the distribution wasn't perfect. Good 'nuff is good 'nuff for me.

That said, I use 91% isopropyl and q-tips from a bulk box of cotton swabs on my GLASS lenses. I hear that some alcohols don't play nicely with acrylic, and I never know if the plastic lenses are acrylic or polycarbonate. So, I just don't clean my plastic lenses

Brake cleaner is supposed to be very harsh stuff.
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:03 PM #12
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Default Re: Best and safer way to clean lens and diode?

I worked for a laser and optics company many years ago. I hated working the clean-room handling, prepping and cleaning optics.

The methods of cleaning were a process. You used method one, and if that didn't get everything, you went to method two, then back to method one. If still something is there, then method three, two, one etc. Touching the optic with anything came late in the process.

#1 was air. Clean, moisture-free compressed air. Blowing low PSI, too, like 20 PSI. And the use of a puffer. One of those small baby-enima looking things.

#2 washing with solvent. The solvents varied with the substrate, but 100% Acetone was common. Probably because polymer optics were not (common.) Squirt, drain, and blow.

#3 Touch surface with fine brush. Oil-free, dry, clean, very-fine brush. Something like a paintbrush.

#3 Touch surface LIGHTLY with rag. Lint-free rags. Not cotton, but some funky man-made fiber thing. AKA, clean-room wipes. 4x4-inches. Not Chemwipes

#4 Q-tips. (they looked like Q-tips, anyway)

#5 Polishing compounds. These are paste-like. They varied widely with the type of coating on the optic. The type chosen as to not harm the coating.

Those lens pens with the fine brush and puffer are actually all you need most of the time. If you get oils on your optics from your hands, you'll need a solvent.

And speaking of which: you NEVER handle an optic with your bare fingers. Even from the edges. In time, oil and acid from your fingers creeps around the edge of the optic and onto the surface. How did we handle them? Wearing finger cots or gloves.

But most of us are hobbyists. We take risks, fly by the seat of our pants, and bash things with hammers when we run out of ideas.

How to clean some of these polymer (plastic) optics? Boy, you sure got me. Acetone could melt the plastic. 100% isopropyl alcohol is a maybe. Good luck finding some. Pure ammonia and deionized water to degrease is another maybe.

But remember, before you go touching the surface of any optic with anything, make sure it is as clean as you can get it using air and a solvent, so you're not dragging anything gritty across the front of it.

Most AR coatings are made from SiO2 which has a decent hardness close to (if not identical to) that of glass.

Last edited by pschlosser; 10-25-2013 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:57 PM #13
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Default Re: Best and safer way to clean lens and diode?

For fingerprints or stains, I use lens cleaning fluid (used for eyeglasses) along with new Q tips. spray a little on the swab then wipe once. Get another swab and repeat. Final wipe with a dry swab to remove any leftover fluid on the lens surface.
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:32 AM #14
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Default Re: Best and safer way to clean lens and diode?

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Originally Posted by NKO29 View Post
Might be wrong but I definitely know somebody did suggest that as a way to clean a lens. I guess it might stick to the particles, and it shouldn't scratch but yeah it is mainly used for tightening threads.
Yes, someone suggested teflon tape wrapped on q-tips. Tried it and it caused more smears than there were before. I use Acetone and some micro fibre for optics like the one used to clean googles or sensitive TV screens. Works best for me.
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:56 AM #15
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Default Re: Best and safer way to clean lens and diode?

Thanks all for your knowledge!!
Anyone else tested first contact?
Because if its a way to make it as clean as possible in just one simple step without any risk, i will definetely give it a try!!
No need to worry about damaging the lens or the coating and simple to use, that's perfect for me

pschlosser: you mean that an AR coating is nearly unscratchable without common tools like q-tips or cotton?
Because on my g-9 lens (glass lens), the dot is still fuzzy i tried to clean it so many times but no way, there still some millions micro-dots around the dot, so everyone told me that the ar coating is scratched. But if that's not possible it is just needed to clean it again? All methods i have tried doesn't change anything.

It appears that i have some dust or something like that on the diode window, it's clearly visible on the raw beam, but i will not touch it before i'll be sure to have no risk to damage it, so i think i will wait to have some first contact.

If anyone here want to sell me some i will take it! Because it's impossible to buy very little quantities, need to take a standard kit which is a bit expensive
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