IMPORTANT MESSAGE. We need your support now to keep running. Click here to find out why.
Log InRegister
Home PageAbout MindatThe Mindat ManualHistory of MindatCopyright StatusWho We AreContact UsAdvertise on Mindat
Donate to MindatCorporate SponsorshipSponsor a PageSponsored PagesMindat AdvertisersAdvertise on Mindat
Learning CenterWhat is a mineral?The most common minerals on earthInformation for Educators
Minerals by PropertiesMinerals by ChemistryAdvanced Locality SearchRandom MineralRandom LocalitySearch by minIDLocalities Near MeSearch ArticlesSearch GlossaryMore Search Options
Search For:
Mineral Name:
Locality Name:
The Mindat ManualAdd a New PhotoRate PhotosLocality Edit ReportCoordinate Completion ReportAdd Glossary Item
StatisticsThe ElementsUsersBooks & MagazinesMineral MuseumsMineral Shows & EventsThe Mindat DirectoryDevice Settings
Photo SearchPhoto GalleriesNew Photos TodayNew Photos YesterdayMembers' Photo GalleriesPast Photo of the Day Gallery

Cleaning lenses

Posted by Jerry Cone  
Jerry Cone November 26, 2017 10:50PM
I've read the "Dust on camera components" thread. My question is more basic.

What is a good way (best way if possible) to clean microscope lenses. I use a camera with a telephoto and microscope objective lens attached for photomicrography.

I've used a cleaning solution with a cloth provided and sometimes with a q-tip. I can't seem to get all the 'grit' and threads (probably from the q-tip) off the lenses. Maybe these spots and threads have nothing to do with the trails on the photo.

I'm sure people have different methods and I'd love to hear them.


OT. Ljøstad November 27, 2017 03:52AM

If you got a kind of unwanted, greyish worms creping over the image of a finished, stacked photo, it comes from a dirt particle on the sensor of your camera.
Joel Dyer November 27, 2017 05:17AM
Hi Jerry,

Q-tips aren't of much use for direct cleaning of microscope objectives, as almost always they leave smaller or larger cotton fiber fragments on the objective surfaces.

As for chemicals used to clean the objectives, I would certainly avoid common alchohols, as they may damage various anti-reflection and other coatings. The problem also is that modern and older microscope objectives can be built with different compositions / coatings, some of which can tolerate some chemicals, others some other chemicals.

In many microscope care documents I've seen "benzine" or "purified benzine" mentioned. This is not the same as the fuel you put into your car tank. In general mineral turpentine ("mineraalitärpätti" or "lakkabensiini" in Finnish) has been used, and I've tried this with many of my antique and modern objectives, with no damage yet. However, using special microscope cleaning kits may be the best method in many cases.

Personally, I use lint-free (or lint-minimal) microfiber cloths. I first blow off off possible grit(!!) or obvious dust from the objective surfaces. Then, I dampen the surfaces with the cleaning fluid & blow off the dust again.
After this, I slightly dampen the microfiber with the cleaning agent and gently rotate the microfiber against the objective surface with a q-tip or something other round-ended and soft behind it until I have a clean objective. I'm sure a "mini-vacuum" for removing a lot of the dust would be the absolute best first action & I'm planning to get one of these, also for use with my cameras.

Some links for you:

Microscopy website:

Microscope World:

Zeiss document:



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/27/2017 05:18AM by Joel Dyer.
Jerry Cone November 27, 2017 11:16AM
Thanks Joel, great information, just what I needed.

Take care,

Jerry Cone November 27, 2017 11:30AM
Thanks OT, I do have the worms. I'm not sure I want to tackle cleaning the sensor.

Tom Tucker November 27, 2017 12:59PM
A page at Absolute Clarity and Callibration website, notes "things to do" and gives hints to cleaning your lenses. They're a good outfit to work with. Tom
Jerry Cone November 27, 2017 09:48PM
Thanks to you too Tom.

Jean-Pierre Bourgarel December 22, 2017 01:53PM
A good cleaning is :

Jerry Cone December 23, 2017 12:21AM
Thanks Jean-Pierre, that looks like a great idea!
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

Mineral and/or Locality is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
Copyright © and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2018, except where stated. relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters.
Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions - Contact Us Current server date and time: October 19, 2018 03:28:19
Go to top of page