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  3. Cleaning Lenses: Optical Systems

Basics of Microscopes

Microscope Optical Systems

Cleaning Lenses

It is important to clean a microscope of dirt, oil, and stains after use because the lens can easily catch dirt, fingerprints, or culture solution during operation.

How to clean lenses

The following tools are mainly required for cleaning:
- Blower (compressed air)
- Lens cleaning paper
- Cotton swabs
- Cleaning agent (those recommended by the manufacturer, absolute alcohol, mixture of ether and alcohol, distilled water, etc.)

1. Cleaning with a blower or other device

First, remove the dust and dirt on the lens with a blower or compressed air.
(Compressed air should not be used for some lenses due to its high air pressure. Please refer to the operation manual when deciding whether to use it.)

2. Removing stains

Use a cleaning agent such as the one recommended by the manufacturer, absolute alcohol, mixture of ether and alcohol, or distilled water. Eyeglass cleaner should not be used because it contains defogger.
When using a flammable cleaning agent such as ether, be careful it doesn't ignite. You should turn off the surrounding electronic equipment beforehand. Also pay attention to ventilation in the room.
Apply a small amount of cleaning agent to a dust-proof material such as gauze, non-woven cloth, or cleaning paper, and gently wipe the lens from the center to the outer circumference in a spiral pattern. For a small lens, wind lens paper around the tip of a cotton swab and wipe the lens without applying much force.
The above cleaning procedure can also be used for condenser lenses.
After using an oil immersion objective lens, be sure to clean it; otherwise the lens surface will deteriorate. Absorb the remaining oil with cleaning paper and then gently wipe the lens with cleaning paper dampened with cleaning agent.

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