How to Clean Explore Scientific Waterproof Eyepieces
When it comes to caring for your optics, the general rule is clean them only when absolutely necessary. The biggest reason for this advice is the fact that optical cleaning tissues/cloths can trap a sharp particle of matter (e.g. sand or other debris) against the glass. If this happens, when you wipe the glass you run the risk of scratching the lens.
Pristine optics produce the highest contrast images that an eyepiece is capable of delivering. However, the cleaning process can be tricky. For example, most conventional eyepieces are not waterproof, which means cleaning solutions can easily run off the edges and collect in between the optics where it is impossible to remove.
Explore Scientific’s Waterproof Eyepieces eliminate the concern over trapped solutions because they are sealed and gas purged to keep out liquids. This makes them the easiest eyepieces to clean.
Below you will find the solutions, tools and techniques recommended for cleaning Explore Scientific eyepieces:
- Spray bottle #1: Pure distilled water
- Spray bottle #2: 95% or better pure isopropyl alcohol
- Spray bottle #3: Lens cleaner: A mix of 1/3 isopropyl, 2/3 distilled water, 3 drops of pure, clear, non-perfumed, liquid dishwashing detergent (e.g. Dawn brand)
- Running tap water
- A photographic-grade camel hair brush
- Compressed air
- Soft fiber, non-lotioned and non-scented tissues (e.g. Kleenex Softique or similar)
- Tissue wands (which can be made by rolling a sheet of tissue tightly then breaking it in half to make two tissue wands)
Slightly Dusty Eyepiece Optics
A few specks of dust will not affect image quality so cleaning the optics is not a necessity. However, if it bothers you, the following conservative cleaning method is recommended.
To begin, remove the dust covers and rubber eyecup and blow off any dust or dirt with compressed air. If stubborn particles remain you can use the camel hair brush to gently swipe them off of the glass. Once all visible particles are removed, spray the optics down with pure distilled water and blow off all of the surfaces with compressed air until dry.
Dirty Eyepiece Optics
Dirty eyepieces usually just have a coating of fine dust or some pollen. You may not notice a large visual difference between a clean eyepiece and one that is slightly dirty. However, for the most critical observations it is important to remember the cleanest optics will produce the highest contrast.
Begin the cleaning process by removing dust and other debris as described previously. Once all visible particles are removed, rinse the surface of the optics on both sides under cold running tap water. Do not worry about water leaking inside, as there is a waterproof seal. Next, spray the optics with pure distilled water and blow off all surfaces with compressed air until dry.
Very Dirty Eyepiece Optics
Very dirty eyepieces may have fingerprints or significant amounts of dust, pollen or other pollutants that make the optics look hazy. All visual views through a very dirty eyepiece will look low contrast, so cleaning is definitely recommended.
Begin the cleaning process by removing visible particles and rinsing the surface of the optics with cold running water as described previously. Next, spray the optics with pure isopropyl alcohol and gently swab with a clean tissue wand. Finish off by spraying the optics with pure distilled water and blowing off all surfaces with compressed air until dry.
Severely Dirty Eyepiece Optics
There may be times when the optics are burdened with a large amount of build-up from dust or other materials (e.g. food, candy, makeup, pollens, tree resins, pollution, etc.). The technique below should be able to carefully remove the most stubborn debris.
Begin the cleaning process by removing visible particles and rinsing the surface of the optics with cold running water as described previously. Next, spray the optics with the lens cleaner mixture, and gently swab the optical surface with a clean tissue wand. Then spray the optics with pure isopropyl alcohol, and gently swab with another clean tissue wand. Finish off by spraying the optics with pure distilled water and blowing off all surfaces with compressed air until dry.