Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cleaning Microscope Objectives

In order to determine if your microscope objectives require cleaning, place a blank glass microscope slide under the microscope. With the microscope in focus, move the slide around to determine if any visible spots are staying in place or moving. If the spots are moving they are on the slide. If they stay put, follow the directions below to clean your microscope objectives.

If you are using a dry objective (one that has not been used with immersion oil), you should be able to clean the objective with lens paper or a kimwipe without using any solutions.

If you are using an immersion oil objective, you may have oil hardened on the objective lens, resulting in a sub-par image. Moisten a piece of lens paper with a small amount of distilled water and hold it against the lens to dissolve the oil. If you were using Type B or type A immersion oil you may use Naptha, Xylene or turpentine (only a very small amount on the lens paper). After wiping the oil clean with one of these solvents ensure that the chemicals have been cleaned completely from the objective lens by wiping it again with lens paper using distilled water. We do not recommend using alcohol or acetone as the oil is insoluble to these solvents and they will dissolve most paint and plastics.