Section II. GENERAL MAINTENANCE OF OPTICAL COMPONENTS
9-3. Cleaning Optical Components
a. Personal Cleanliness and Shop Neatness. Personal cleanliness is a great asset toward efficiency in the handling and
cleaning of optical components The hands should be washed frequently to keep them as free as possible of dirt and
normal skin oil. Depot level optical shops are usually temperature and humidity controlled to provide the most ideal
environment for working with optical components. If a controlled environment is not available, a well ventilated room
located above the first floor of a building where there is a minimum of blowing dust is preferred. In the case of an
instrument repair mobile van, the van should be located at a place remote from vehicular and personnel traffic. Ideal shop
conditions are not always available, but in any shop the floor and benches should always be kept clean and the
equipment maintained in an orderly fashion.
· Lens cleaning compound may be used on externally exposed lenses of sealed
instruments, such as the objective or eyepiece lens, and on lens removed from
inside the instrument lens cells. This compound contains 70% water and if used
on lenses while still in the cells the cleaner could seep around the lens and into
the threads of the retaining rings thus leaving moisture in the instrument.
· When using acetone on coated optics, care should be exercised to prevent the
removal of the coating from the lens surface.
· Acetone is detrimental to plastic. Do not clean plastic optical components with
a. Cleaning Precautions. To minimize scratching and chipping during the cleaning process, optical components should
never be jumbled together, allowed to lie unprotected on the work bench, or on the bottom of a cleaning tray. After optical
components are removed from an optical system, they should always be wrapped in lens tissue for protection of the
optical surfaces until they are ready to be cleaned by the repairperson. Care should be taken to keep the fingers from
touching the polished surfaces of a component. Should you happen to touch a polished surface wipe off any fingerprints
immediately with lens cleaner. The oil from the skin will deteriorate the coating on the component if not removed.
b. Cleaning Procedures. Cleaning optical components requires various types of lens cleaning agents, supplies, and
equipment which are listed in table 9-1. Some of these materials may be obtained through the supply system, but some
of the tools may have to be fabricated by the repairperson.