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Author Topic: Lens Cleaning  (Read 2176 times)

Brian Ship

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Lens Cleaning
« on: April 17, 2004, 10:45:42 pm »

I want to re-visit a constant topic, that’s lens cleaning on fixtures and perhaps reflectors.  

So far, Windex does at least a fair job without much if any residue, denatured alcohol is just a vehicle without a releasing agent thus either smears or does not really get it clean unless what is cleaned is absorbed or drips off.  But at least the alcohol will be completely gone after application and won’t harm coatings on the lens or reflectors.  That’s what is around our shop for the basic day to day cleaning but they do nothing for baked on fog goo and other things, much less paint spray.  I’m not really happy with either solution especially for S-4 Leko and Par lenses.

So I’m wondering what chemicals everyone else uses or techniques they do.  Is there a specific brand of general purpose glass cleaner you use such as Sparkle that works better but does not leave a residue?

Granted the dish washer idea, in glassware setting with a spotting agent was a good idea, but there are not too many Lx shops with dish washers in them... yet.  Just can’t bring myself to trying to push that PO thru the system.  Commercial strength 409 worked to some extent on the paint spray but not enough - given on something like that, a second washing with de-natured alcohol would be necessary.  Soaking in vinegar overnight also might be the solution but does not get the fixture out the door on the same day.  I’m thinking foaming agents but they are messy, I’m also thinking de-greasers for the baked on fog goo, given a second alcohol washing.  But I’m thinking none of them will do very well for lenses with baked on coatings, much less be safe for reflector cleaning - both dichroic and aluminum.

Nick S.

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Re: Lens Cleaning
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2004, 06:04:05 am »

One of the theatre's I do work at hasn't heard of the word "cleaning", and has 10 year old lights that havn't been cleaned I'm definately looking for a "heavy-duty" solution that will get rid of baked on dirt, grease interesting thought occurs, and that would be to put the lenses through an industrial catering dishwasher, but I doubt very much my canteen will let me try it out Smile


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Re: Lens Cleaning
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2004, 08:37:49 am »

I've found the best cleaning solution for optical systems to be one I've mixed myself.  The key ingredient believe it or not is windshield washer fluid. It contains alcohol as well as other agents.  Use that as a base and then add your application specific cleaner to the mix.  it kind of depends on the type of gunk you're trying to remove.  I mostly use spic & span glass & surface cleaner as an additive. most de-greasing fluids will leave you a residue.

Also, heh... if you have a club that can never seem to get the white milky film off their bar mirrors.  Sell them a few gallons of your "special"  optical cleaner.  they'll love you for it.  Laughing  

Also, I've been toying with the idea of trying rain-x on optical surfaces.  Given the properties of the compound it should fill in any micro divots in the optical surfaces making them stay clean longer.  The heat factor may be an issue on internal components.

I have a couple junk scanners I inherited from a club I'm going to try it out on.  (what the heck it's just a DJ Scan lol)

I'll post any results good or bad here.

Hope this helped.

jeffhtg (Jeff Kenney)

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Re: Lens Cleaning
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2004, 01:38:20 pm »

hmm should you not use harsh chemicals on mirrors and coated optics?

i always used bottled water and denatured alcohol. A long time ago someone told me that anything else will eventually eat off the mirror coating on most scanners. (while im cleaning a 150$ pal mirror)

Erik Jerde

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Re: Lens Cleaning
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2004, 04:11:30 am »

Just be real careful when mixing cleaning agents.  Mix the wrong stuff, and especially in an enclosed and/or poorly ventilated space and you can have a situation that can be quickly fatal.

When I cleaned a bunch of color pros a few months back that had a few years of baked on fog gunk and dust I used a foaming cleaner on the lenses that worked real well.  The bodies wiped clean real easy, so I don't recall using much of a cleaner on them.  Just compressed air and a rag.

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