December 20, 2014, 10:27:57 PM

Author Topic: Microfibre Cloths for Lens Cleaning  (Read 3263 times)

Zv

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Re: Microfibre Cloths for Lens Cleaning
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2014, 12:56:01 PM »
Thanks for all the feedback and terrific suggestions. I had no idea this was going to turn into such an interesting topic. I have always just used a microfiber cloth to clean my lenses but am now considering some of the suggestions above.

Btw - what's wrong with putting the microfibre cloth in the washing machine? What happens to it?

When I was collecting crystal whisky glasses I was advised not to dry them with a cloth that had been washed with softener as it, and other chemicals we tend to put in washing machines, can cloud the glass. How this correlates to the glass found on camera lenses I do not know, but I tend to just get new cloths rather than wash them. That said, the guy I was chatting to has never had a problem washing his, in fact he wishes the company were still producing them.

I don't think it's a huge issue but I can see the potential for problems depending on what the cloth is exposed to in the laundry process.  I agree that cloth can retain various chemicals or compounds from a wash process.  If I were to wash an important item like a lens cloth, I would probably just hand wash it so I can control what is introduced to the cloth in the form of dirt or other contaminants from other dirty items, soaps, grit, etc.  All you are trying to do is remove some light oils, dust and light dirt from the cloth anyway.  Woolite or some other delicate detergent would probably work great, then simply hang dry the cloth.  If you've ever held a dryer softener sheet, you will get an idea what is left on clean clothes in the dryer.  Nice for skin maybe but not for leaving smudges on lens glass.

Yeah that's a good point I don't want left over detergent / softner or lint on it plus our washing machine isn't the best at completely removing all that junk! I think I'll just hand wash them from now on. Thanks for the tip!
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Re: Microfibre Cloths for Lens Cleaning
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2014, 12:56:01 PM »

jrista

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Re: Microfibre Cloths for Lens Cleaning
« Reply #31 on: May 05, 2014, 01:34:05 PM »
Thanks for all the feedback and terrific suggestions. I had no idea this was going to turn into such an interesting topic. I have always just used a microfiber cloth to clean my lenses but am now considering some of the suggestions above.

Btw - what's wrong with putting the microfibre cloth in the washing machine? What happens to it?

When I was collecting crystal whisky glasses I was advised not to dry them with a cloth that had been washed with softener as it, and other chemicals we tend to put in washing machines, can cloud the glass. How this correlates to the glass found on camera lenses I do not know, but I tend to just get new cloths rather than wash them. That said, the guy I was chatting to has never had a problem washing his, in fact he wishes the company were still producing them.

I don't think it's a huge issue but I can see the potential for problems depending on what the cloth is exposed to in the laundry process.  I agree that cloth can retain various chemicals or compounds from a wash process.  If I were to wash an important item like a lens cloth, I would probably just hand wash it so I can control what is introduced to the cloth in the form of dirt or other contaminants from other dirty items, soaps, grit, etc.  All you are trying to do is remove some light oils, dust and light dirt from the cloth anyway.  Woolite or some other delicate detergent would probably work great, then simply hang dry the cloth.  If you've ever held a dryer softener sheet, you will get an idea what is left on clean clothes in the dryer.  Nice for skin maybe but not for leaving smudges on lens glass.

Yeah that's a good point I don't want left over detergent / softner or lint on it plus our washing machine isn't the best at completely removing all that junk! I think I'll just hand wash them from now on. Thanks for the tip!

Washing your cleaning cloths the same way you wash your clothes is a bad idea. Most cloths washing detergents and softeners are explicitly designed to leave behind sent molecules to "freshen" up your clothing. Not all detergent gets rinsed out either, unless you use a doubly-long extended rinse cycle, and even then, your still going to have soap residues in the fabric.

Washing your cleaning cloths with your cloths, or in the same way as your cloths, is a sure way to ruin them. You want very clean cloths, without any residues or detergents or other molecules of any kind.

One of the best ways to clean cleaning cloths is to use activated water. This is water that's been sent through electrolysis, which slightly changes the pH and also created "charge bubbles", electrically charged nodules of water molecules that bond to dirt in a similar way to detergent. Since it's really just water, there is nothing to be left behind.

mackguyver

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Re: Microfibre Cloths for Lens Cleaning
« Reply #32 on: May 05, 2014, 04:16:31 PM »
I second jrista's suggestion of the lens pen.  That and the rocket blower are all you need 90% of the time.  I would also recommend Costco's eye glass cleaner.  It comes with a few bottles of solution and a pair of nice microfiber cloths for a reasonable cost and you can even refill the solution for free.

Jack Douglas

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Re: Microfibre Cloths for Lens Cleaning
« Reply #33 on: May 05, 2014, 04:51:23 PM »
Funny idea popped into my head.  There is a spring loaded vacuum plunger type gismo known as a solder sucker that draws molten solder off a printed circuit board when you press its release button.  If it had a very short fine brush on the end I think it'd extract dust?? 

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Northstar

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Re: Microfibre Cloths for Lens Cleaning
« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2014, 05:47:47 PM »
This thread has been a good reminder...

Freshly washed in warm water and a drop of mild dish soap....double rinse...sun dry.



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Re: Microfibre Cloths for Lens Cleaning
« Reply #35 on: May 05, 2014, 10:30:22 PM »
Jack,
Do NOT use solder sucker for the purpose you proposed!  The rebound from the suction spring causes a big impulse of the solder sucker.  Do it on a sensor and you'll break the sensor.
Years ago, in the home computer industry, there was a handy, battery operated vacuum, pretty much the size of an electric tooth brush.  Suction is not too powerful, and it was normally tipped with a small brush.  Maybe Jameco.com still carry them.
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Re: Microfibre Cloths for Lens Cleaning
« Reply #36 on: May 05, 2014, 11:58:46 PM »
I think that there are lots of good ideas here, and most are just fine.  I used crates of kim wipes before I retired, I always thought of them as abrasive.
 
I am perfectly happy with the little eyeglass cleaning kits that Costco sells.  they have a non abrasive cleaning fluid that is safe even on coated plastic lenses, and include two micro fiber cloths which are great for a final polish.  I use a tissue that is wetted with the solution to clean the lens, then polish it with the microfiber cloth to clear up any remaining moisture.
 
The big issue is to avoid using chemicals or gritty cleaners, and to avoid spraying liquid on the lens where it just might run inside and make things worse.  If I get a old lens that is really dirty, I might have to use a qtip at the edges to get grime out.  Even with extremely dirty lenses, I've never scratched one, but have seen a couple gouged by a lens cap that fell off and had its way with the coating.

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Re: Microfibre Cloths for Lens Cleaning
« Reply #36 on: May 05, 2014, 11:58:46 PM »

Valvebounce

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Re: Microfibre Cloths for Lens Cleaning
« Reply #37 on: May 09, 2014, 05:07:34 AM »
Hi Jack.
Having regularly used a solder sucker I would be very wary of putting one inside the lens mount, the recoil at the point of release is quite fierce and could cause a collision with the internals! Just a thought!

Cheers Graham.

Funny idea popped into my head.  There is a spring loaded vacuum plunger type gismo known as a solder sucker that draws molten solder off a printed circuit board when you press its release button.  If it had a very short fine brush on the end I think it'd extract dust?? 

Jack
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Re: Microfibre Cloths for Lens Cleaning
« Reply #37 on: May 09, 2014, 05:07:34 AM »