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Eyepiece cleaning woes

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#26 rgm40

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:48 PM

I just couldn't resist using the Purasol again. Like most following this thread, I just couldn't believe the purosol would create the problem I described in the OP. First, I tried cleaning a "new" TV smoothie 17mm PL with my tried and true method of the cotton balls/distilled water/drop of Dawn. Guess what, I developed one of those spots and thought I had damaged coating. That sinking feeling set in again. I could not get it off even after two or three tries. I put it away, somewhat disgusted, and slept on it. The next night after work, I went to the store and purchased some Q-tips. Came back and tried the Purasol and Q-tip on the TV. After a couple of tries I achieved some measure of success. The really bright speck was gone. There seemed to be a very very slight degree of streaking left over which was taken care of by the cotton ball/water/dawn method. Results: like new. Whew. Decided to get the 18mm Ultima back out and give it another go with the Purasol. After about 4 or 5 tries I may have reduced the brightness of the spots just a bit, but they are still there. I am starting to think that perhaps some stubborn contaminants build up around the edge of the top lens, and get broken loose and deposited on the eyepiece when cleaning as many have said. I have changed my opinion of the Purasol and no longer believe this was the problem. My apologies to my bottle of Purasol :grin: I tried breath/fog Q-tip method and no luck. I tried the spit method and no luck. I am thinking of trying some 91 percent Alcohol next, or perhaps some ROR as Don suggests. I am really trying just to leave it alone but it is bugging me to death :4

#27 Starman1

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:53 PM

Try ROR (ror.net).
It took mascara off (an eyepiece) that alcohol wouldn't touch.

#28 Jim Rosenstock

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:21 PM

Whatever's left of that little spot is unlikely to affect your views at all.....but I understand, it bugs you anyway! :4

Well, just be careful that your cleaning efforts don't cause any added damage...be cautious and don't do anything crazy! :o

One quick "war story"...a few years ago I bought a nicely-priced eyepiece from a guy who had cleaned it with R-O-R, a preferred formula at the time. He noted that there was a small sleek (not affecting viewing) that the R-O-R would not remove, and if it bothered me, I could return it. Well, a Q-tip dipped in 91% Isopropyl cleaned it right up, first swipe!

I rarely use anything other than 91% Isopropyl on my eyepieces. It works for me. :shrug:

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#29 Starman1

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 12:16 AM

What's in ROR from their MSDS sheet:
Ammonia 26° 0.775%
Sodium Chloride 0.830%
Isopropyl Alcohol 4.266%
Liquid Soap 9.011%
Distilled Water 85.118%

Obviously, it's the soap that removes the organic materials.
Change the alcohol and water contents, and it might be even better.
But I've cleaned a lot of eyepieces with 70% isopropyl, and ROR works better.
But it might be possible to improve on ROR by adding IPA to it.

#30 Lt 26

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:46 AM

Fogging as a final step always worked for me. Would not advise using ethanol made from corn in America. Very corrosive stuff when exposed to moisture. Which is why they have a hard time getting the mix over 10% and pay out the nose when they do. Not the same stuff they make in Brazil.

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#31 dedo

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:56 AM

I too have had the bright spots problem, even on the inner lens of a brand new triplet objective...go figure! So far, what has always worked for me is a brand new lenspen. I used it to clean, very carefully, many many lens surfaces, from eyepieces to mak's meniscus to big lenses, always with great success without the smallest damage in a single pass whic, IMO, is far less dangerous than trying again and again with q-tips or whatever else.
Yes, the finger pad is absolutely safe, saliva too and is very efficient but there just are things, such are those bright specks, for what that isn't enough unless you keep pass on it, which I think is less safe than using a brand new lenspen in a single pass.
Acetone works wonders too, but it is not very safe on the edges where it can dissolve cell's paint, rubber and more taking them on the lens surface.
Just my experience.

#32 dcoyle

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 12:15 PM

I would be very leary of using one's finger pad for fear there is some grit of some sort embedded in it. IMO, same for a lens pen, the second stroke.

I use the air bulb on an EP after every session. If there is more than a tiny amount of stuff on the lens, I use a q tip, in a "roll up as you go forward" motion, with fluids. One use and throw away. The trick on using q tips is you don't want to advance the q tip so fast as to leave a trail of liquid behind. This is particularly tough in very dry climates.

I try the weaker fluid first.

I avoid IPA from the drugstore after a weird experience with using a drugstore IPA that left a film that even acetone wouldn't take off. (it did come off with lighter fluid, which I tried in desperation.)

For me, the hierachy is ROR, Purosol and acetone.

I only use q tips when the lens is too small to use toilet paper. I spray the solvent on the paper wad and then use the same roll up motion, once, and throw away.

Avoid observing under trees!

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#33 kevint1

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 04:44 PM

I got a new pair of glasses with anit reflection coatings a few weeks ago. As usual, I received a bottle of cleaning solution and a package of micro fiber cloths with the glasses. Has anyone used this type of cleaning solution on their eyepieces? I'm not sure what's in it, but I have never had a problem with it on my eyeglasses.

#34 Starman1

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 04:54 PM

Those cleaning solutions are usually mostly water with a little soap and alcohol added, and sometime a dye or scent.
They can clean eyepieces (spray a q-tip and then apply to the eyepiece, don't spray the eyepiece), and do a fairly good job of lifting eyelash oils.
However, they typically have a higher soap content than most commercial eyepiece cleaning solutions, so when they dry there can be some soap residue on the lens.
If so, a q-tip and water cleaning gets it right off.

#35 palmer570

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 03:38 AM

I'm bummed a little now.

After reading Starman's post about eyepieces may need cleaning when new I checked my new ES82's.
All looked pretty good till I looked at the bottom of my
30mm. Had small smudges right in the middle and at first thought it was a finger print from manufacturing. But realized the glass is very close to the rubber cap and the cap was leaving the smudges either from me touching the cap when it was on, which I highly doubt, or from storing standing up in my eyepiece storage case.

So going to pick up some hard caps and get rid of the rubber and also store it laying down for now. Love the ES82's I have but the rubber cap seems like a oversight.

#36 dcoyle

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:10 AM

I noticed the same problem on the 30/82 ES bottom cap, and replaced it with a hard TV cap.

Dan

#37 Traveler

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:30 AM

Am I the only one who use Optical Wonder (Baader and Astro-Physics) with great succes? Click link for more information.

#38 spencerj

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:24 AM

The link said alcohol from the hardware store is ok.
Would that be "Isopropyl" or "Denatured" alcohol?
Acetone is used to strip finishes, paint, laquer etc. Too strong in my opinion.


Acetone will eat plastic and you don't want to spill any on your stained kitchen table, but it is an incredible optical cleaner.

Before I found the Televue instructions for acetone cleaning, I tried a number of cleaners and methods and was never really happy with the results. There was always a streak or residue and I felt like I had to go over the optical surface multiple times (risking damage). I have certainly scratched more than one eyepiece using a "lens pen" or "micro fiber cloth".

For the last five or six years, I have used acetone exclusively to clean optics. I use it everyday to clean my glasses--plastic lens with coatings. It only takes one pass to make them pristine with no residue left behind. I get the same results on all my optical telescope equipment (accept mirrors). Again . . . just keep it away from plastic (rubber is not an issue) and wood finishes.

#39 csrlice12

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 10:50 AM

I finally just purchased a bottle of Purosol and removed all doubt.....

#40 Kent10

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:58 AM

I tried a number of cleaners and methods and was never really happy with the results. There was always a streak or residue and I felt like I had to go over the optical surface multiple times (risking damage).


Hi Jason:

Which solutions did you try that you weren't happy with? Did you try the Baader Wonder Fluid. Unfortunately I don't think we can get it in the US but it is supposed to be very good. I am also wondering if you tried Eclipse which is methanol. It has gotten great reviews and I just ordered some to clean my TEC objective. I also considered the acetone after reading the Televue article but decided to try the Eclipse first. Thanks, Kent

#41 Kent10

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 04:04 PM

I have another question for you, Jason or anyone else using acetone. Roland Christen on AM wrote this "The acetone by itself will not clean anything off, but it will remove the faint swirl marks thta are left behind by the other cleaning agents." http://www.astromart...7356&poll_id...

I thought acetone was amongst the best to clean optics but here he says by itself it won't clean anything off. Do you know what he means by that. He only uses it last to get rid of the swirl marks left from the other cleaners. Thanks

#42 csrlice12

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 04:36 PM

It evaporates totally away.

#43 Starman1

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 05:02 PM

Acetone is highly volatile. Though it can dissolve a lot of contaminants on the glass, it evaporates so fast the contaminants are left behind unless wiped up at almost the same time the surface is made wet (as with a Q-Tip).
So, despite the fact most contaminants are easily dissolved in a solvent, the removal of the contaminants from the glass requires a surfactant to separate the dissolved contaminants from the glass, and an absorbent medium to wipe the dissolved contaminants and surfactant away from the glass and some form of medium that isn't so volatile it evaporates immediately. It's one of the reasons ROR is so effective: alcohol, ammonia, water, and soap. It doesn't dissolve too fast, so you have time to wipe it up.
I agree with Christen on acetone. It seems to be very effective at eliminating any swirls left from previous cleaning.

#44 Kent10

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 05:16 PM

Thanks Don. Very interesting. To clean my objective I ordered Eclipse along with Pec Pads and Opto-Wipes which I believe Roland C also recommends. Would you say then that when using Acetone it would be better to use the Opto-Wipes which are absorbent rather than the Pec Pads which are not. Eclipse is mostly methanol I think so I wonder if that evaporates quickly like the Acetone and leaves the contaminants behind. Thanks again.

#45 EJN

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 05:22 PM

I boil my eyepieces in antifreeze. The full strength type, not the 50-50 mix.
That removes *everything*

#46 Scott in NC

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:29 PM

I boil my eyepieces in antifreeze. The full strength type, not the 50-50 mix.
That removes *everything*


Boil? :question:

#47 GeneT

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 10:13 PM

6) Human spit. Ultimate remover of organic compounds from glass.


:grin: :lol: :grin:

#48 GeneT

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 10:23 PM

learning to leave them alone and limit cleaning frequency to rare and necessary occasion


Wiser words never spoken!

#49 rgm40

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:29 PM

After all those cleanings :tonofbricks: I have decided to leave it alone. After all said and done I do have a couple of specks that I could not get off using the Dawn method or Purosol, but I gave the eyepiece a good night out with the scope and the eyepiece performed like a champ. Did not notice any distortions whatsoever.

#50 orion61

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:45 PM

I use 100% pure ethanol that I got from a guy I know who is a chemistry prof at a local college. Also, I believe that TeleVue knows how to clean eyepieces, and I have used acetone (as they recommend) without a problem. I wouldn't use acetone (or alcohol) on eyepieces that use plastics and/or paint, e.g. home made ones. That said, I have largely switched to ROR, finished off with a breath fogging and wiping with an unscented Kleenex. Really works well for me.

I think I saw the guy you got the 100% ethanol from on the show Moonshiners, :cool: My Grand pappy was rumored to be involved in that hobby. :grin:
I got some micro fiber cloth at the Dollar Store and they
pull the smudgies and oil right off.
You can try the eyeglass cleaning cloths at the local Pearle too.
I also suggest a soft Camels hair brush to lightly remove dust.
The one drawback to using RKE eyepieces (or other Kellners)
is the field stop is right on the bottom lens and anything is magnified.






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