The correct optical performance of objectives, (precision pieces of microscope equipment) depends on their cleanliness. Despite this, lab technicians and researchers frequently neglect to clean their immersion oil objective lenses, which puts them in a sticky situation.
Here are six suggestions for effectively cleaning grease from your objective lens.
1. After using the oil, clean it off quickly.
Dried oil can readily trap dust, dirt, fingerprints, and other contaminating particles. It's also difficult to clear from an objective lens. A small amount of trapped dust can harm picture quality and result in optical flaws like fog or shade. Additionally, the objective lens may eventually become damaged by the dried grease.
Because of this, we suggest wiping the immersion oil off your objectives immediately. The oil will still be moist and easy to remove.
Following good lab procedures guarantees the microscope system is prepared for the next technician. If not, the worker runs the risk of unintentionally contaminating samples and other objectives with the oil residue. This also saves them time scraping off the dried immersion oil.
2. Examine the focus for any dust using the eyepiece.
Since objective lenses are quite tiny, it may be challenging to detect any lens dust. Luckily, we have a clever technique to get past this obstacle. Simply take the microscope's ocular out and place it in front of the objective lens. You can now magnify any dust you need to clear by looking through the eyepiece. You can also use a loupe if you have one on hand.
Sometimes a microscope objective is too securely fastened to be removed for examination and cleaning. In this situation, move the target to a position that allows you to clean quickly.
3. Use a blower to get rid of any dust or grime.
Start the cleaning procedure after you've examined the glass. First, blow any dust or other debris from the objective lens without contacting it using a blower.
4. To make a point, fold a sheet of lens paper.
Take a brand-new sheet of lens paper and shape it into a point. Remember that the size of the objective determines how to bend the lens paper.
Wrap the lens paper around your finger for big objectives. This helps you wipe the complete lens surface.
Your finger might be too big to clean the lens surface because many objectives are small. Draw a shape with the lens paper to represent a point in this scenario.
Use lens paper instead of face tissues or lab tissues at all times. Consumer tissues have stray, coarse fibers that can scratch the surface of the lens or break off and stay there.
5. Let an appropriate liquid soak the lens paper.
The lens paper should be immersed in an appropriate solvent to remove the oil and clean the lens without endangering it. We advise using blended alcohol, anhydrous alcohol, or a lens-cleaning solution that is readily accessible in stores.
You must use these cleaning solutions carefully because they are flammable. Turn off your microscope and any nearby lab machinery to help reduce any risks, and make sure the space is well-ventilated.
6. Use a spiral motion to wipe from the middle to the outside.
Now, using the lens paper that has been moistened, wipe the lens in a spiral motion from the center to the edge. By wiping, you can push any dust or grime to the edges.
Use the lens or loupe to inspect your work and check for any residue. Fold and submerge fresh lens paper to remove any remaining immersion oil before wiping. Till the objective lens is spotless, repeat these procedures.
Spiral-shaped lens-cleaning technique
The spiral wiping method has the advantage that it can be used to clear other optical surfaces, including camera lenses, condenser lenses, and glass plates. Simply place the lens paper on the surface and rotate it by touching only the edges if the surface is too big to clean with your finger.
One final reminder: After cleaning any optical microscope accessories, always check them with an eyepiece or loupe to make sure there is no residual grease or dust. To keep the system organized, instantly reattach the cleaned component to your microscope.
We know it’s easy to get distracted in the lab — you have samples to prepare and meetings to attend. But taking a minute from your busy routine to clean oil off your objective lenses can ensure good image quality and prevent expensive equipment replacements.
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