Biological Microscopes: How to Clean Them
Biological microscopes are the handiest lab equipment to use if you want to see the world in a microscopic view. If you own one, you need to clean it after use to maintain its quality.
Not everyone knows how to clean their microscopes properly. They think that simply wiping and dusting it will do the job. Yet, some do not understand that it is crucial to thoroughly clean your microscope to preserve the quality of the lens and remove anything that can obstruct your view.
What Are Biological Microscopes?
Microscopes are available in different varieties. One of the most popular for scientists and students is the compound microscope. This type allows scientists to see small specimens that humans can't see with their naked eye.
Therefore, these microscopes are useful for people whose professions require them to study small objects and microorganisms. It includes zoologists, veterinarians, and medical technologists. They are also a popular choice for education.
Compound microscopes are available as monocular and binocular. Monocular compound microscopes are more straightforward than binocular types. Monocular microscopes have a tube for one-eye viewing, and the objective is at the other end, unlike the binocular microscopes that allow two-eye viewing.
If you are a student, you probably have used a monocular microscope. Binocular microscopes have more features because they can provide magnification at higher levels. But, monoculars are cheaper and the most advisable for educational use.
Microscopes are an investment, whether they are monocular or binocular. If you want your investment to last, make sure to take good care of it. Start by knowing how to clean it well.
Why Do You Need to Clean Your Microscope?
Aside from preserving the viewing quality, cleaning your microscope is crucial because it provides a perfect breeding ground for germs, bacteria, and viruses. Note that the primary function of microscopes is to view small objects and organisms.
Because you are placing different kinds of samples on the slide to examine, your microscope can get dirty easily.
To kill the germs, viruses, and bacteria that might be living in your monocular microscopes, learn the proper way to clean them.
How to Clean Your Microscope Properly
Clean and disinfect the surfaces
After use, remove all the dirt and impurities you see on the surface of the microscope using a piece of cloth soaked in a detergent that is free from harsh chemicals. Next, use another piece of cloth soaked in lukewarm water to remove any traces of detergent and remaining impurities.
After that, disinfect the surface to kill the germs that might live there. Use 70% ethanol. Do not use other cleaning disinfectants because they might damage the frame. It is best to do this straight after using the microscope to prevent the microorganisms from spreading to different places.
Clean and disinfect all the exposed parts you see, particularly the eyepiece shades, focusing knob, nosepiece, and stage handle. At this point, be careful not to touch or clean the lenses.
2. Clean and disinfect the lenses
This stage requires careful handling. You need to use a blower and lens paper to clean the optical parts of your microscope.
If you see any impurities or dust covering the lenses, avoid wiping it away with your fingers. Use a blower to get rid of them to prevent any damage.
After that, use a lens paper and wrap it around your finger to thoroughly clean the impurities. Do not use other types of paper or cloth that might scratch the lens surface.
Next, soak the lens paper in a disinfectant. Again, use 70% ethanol to clean the lens. Start from the centre towards the periphery and clean in a circular movement.
Cleaning monocular microscopes is easy. However, you have to take some extra considerations to avoid corrosion and scratching the delicate parts.
Aside from knowing how to clean your microscope correctly, maintain it as much as possible. Keep it in a clean environment, free from areas where there is a frequent change of temperature. The last thing you want for your microscope is for it to have moisture and grow mould.
Keeping your microscope in a clean place makes the cleaning job easier for you and will prolong the shelf life of your microscope.
If you want to know more about microscopes or if you're going to buy one, visit our shop.