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View Full Version : How to Wash Lens Cloth Chamois without Leftover Residue



Andre Noble
28-Nov-2013, 13:50
Hello,

Does anyone have a favorite technique of washing their microfiber or chamois lens cloth so that they are clean and free of moisturizers, detergent residue - to say nothing of dirt itself?

For example, when washing lens chamois in dish washing liquid, later cleaning lens with said cloth once can see residue from the detergent on lens surface, etc.

Thanks in advance.

vinny
28-Nov-2013, 14:35
I don't use detergents. I RARELY clean a lens. I replace a cloth when it gets nasty.

Randy Moe
28-Nov-2013, 15:42
Gotta agree with Vinny, I try to never clean a lens. I am really careful with them and will not let anyone handle them. Microfiber is so cheap I also just use new ones, I do blow dust off with dry clean air, not with canned air.

I have heard people wash the microfiber in Woolite, but why?


I don't use detergents. I RARELY clean a lens. I replace a cloth when it gets nasty.

Gem Singer
28-Nov-2013, 15:46
I wash my large microfiber cloth in warm water with a few drops of Woolite.

Rinse in warm water. Hang to dry as if it were a large sheet of film.

Store in a sealable plastic bag.

Cloth is more than five years old. Hasn't scratched yet.

Paul Fitzgerald
28-Nov-2013, 18:49
rarely clean lenses, NEVER reuse the cloth, just use new microfiber paper towels

Carrand 45076 Microfuse Towels (http://www.amazon.com/Roll-Of-Pcs-Microfuse-Towels/dp/B00213TWYY/ref=pd_sim_sbs_auto_1)

Randy Moe
28-Nov-2013, 18:58
Do these towels have paper content, the link says 'infused with microfiber"? Paper scares me, it's wood and wood scratches glass. imho


rarely clean lenses, NEVER reuse the cloth, just use new microfiber paper towels

Carrand 45076 Microfuse Towels (http://www.amazon.com/Roll-Of-Pcs-Microfuse-Towels/dp/B00213TWYY/ref=pd_sim_sbs_auto_1)

Paul Fitzgerald
28-Nov-2013, 19:03
if it's paper it's like Tyvek, purely synthetic, no wood pulp or debris. Seriously tough, can't tear it, need to cut it with scissors, store the roll and pieces in a zip-lok bag.

Gem Singer
28-Nov-2013, 19:13
P.S. I also rarely need to use my microfiber cloth to clean a lens. When I do, it usually is only a gentle wipe.

However, there are many other surfaces that need to be wiped clean (focusing screen, optical viewer, spot meter, etc.).

Don't want to carry a bunch of disposable microfiber wipes in my kit.

My 12"x12" microfiber cloth was distributed by a major lens manufacturer (Schneider, Nikon, Leica?) . Sold for a slightly over $20.

Besides, I have developed a sentimental attachment to it after all these years.

gleaf
28-Nov-2013, 21:49
I would have some concern over the hardness of the rinse water leaving lime residue on the microfibers around here. My untreated side tap water being approx. 25 hardness on a 50 maximum scale.

AtlantaTerry
29-Nov-2013, 03:57
Rinse anything photographic (film, microfiber cloth, etc.) in steam distilled water.

Doremus Scudder
30-Nov-2013, 03:56
I soak my microfiber and chamois lens cloths in a bowl with water and a bit of non-scented detergent overnight. I then rinse, rinse and rinse again to get rid of the detergent and then let the cloths sit in a bowl of clear water for several hours. That seems to do the job for me.

Best,

Doremus

Bernice Loui
30-Nov-2013, 09:52
Suggest not using any of these microfiber lens cleaning cloths or similar wipe.

Consider for a moment highly abrasive stuff (usually microscopic and not easily seen with the naked eye) that can easily end up on the surface of a lens is ground into the lens surface when pressure is applied to it using most any wipe, cloth or similar cleaning device.

Years ago when I purchased some new Schneider lenses, they included a microfiber cleaning wipe. It has never been used and never will be used.

Consider using this lens cleaning method instead:

ASO fine optics CLEANING SYSTEM: Part I
PRECISION COATED OPTICAL Lenses, Corrector Plates and other REFRACTIVE GLASS
by
Dr. P. Clay Sherrod
Arkansas Sky Observatory


http://www.jatobservatory.org/OpticsCleaningSystem.html


Consider for a moment each step of this lens cleaning process and why it makes sense.



Bernice



Hello,

Does anyone have a favorite technique of washing their microfiber or chamois lens cloth so that they are clean and free of moisturizers, detergent residue - to say nothing of dirt itself?

For example, when washing lens chamois in dish washing liquid, later cleaning lens with said cloth once can see residue from the detergent on lens surface, etc.

Thanks in advance.

cowanw
30-Nov-2013, 11:04
But Bernice, Schneider says never use Kleenex.
http://www.schneideroptics.com/pdfs/whitepapers/lens_cleaning.pdf

resummerfield
30-Nov-2013, 11:28
Wonderful article, Bernice! Thanks for posting this!

Mark Sawyer
30-Nov-2013, 11:33
Consider using this lens cleaning method instead:

ASO fine optics CLEANING SYSTEM: Part I
PRECISION COATED OPTICAL Lenses, Corrector Plates and other REFRACTIVE GLASS
by
Dr. P. Clay Sherrod
Arkansas Sky Observatory


http://www.jatobservatory.org/OpticsCleaningSystem.html


I was pretty shocked to read a recommendation of Kleenex for cleaning lenses! Kleenex tissues are made from wood pulp, known for abrading glass and plastics. And even worse for coatings. This from Kleenex's own website, (referring to use on eyeglasses):

"While we know that many consumers use Kleenex® tissue to wipe or clean their lenses, we have not tested Kleenex® tissue for this purpose; therefore, we cannot recommend it. We suggest that consumers check with their lens care providers for the best method of cleaning their lenses."

Doremus Scudder
1-Dec-2013, 03:40
FWIW,

I believe a clean microfiber cloth or photo chamois, used sparingly and after removing dust and particulates with a blower or soft-bristle brush, to be a useful and not damaging tool.

Years ago, when microfiber cloths were first being introduced, a salesman came into the camera store I was working at and was trying to convince us to carry them. I, being skeptical, took one of the cloths and a Kodak Wratten gel filter that we had in stock. I rubbed the heck out of the gel filter with the microfiber cloth, trying my best to scratch or scuff the gel and applying lots more pressure and a lot less care than I would cleaning a lens. The gel came out unscathed, even after repeated attempts. That sold me. I've been using them ever since.

True, lens cleaning should be kept to a minimum, and should be done correctly, but now and then (especially after a trip to the windy Pacific coast where the salt spray blows in and coats everything) the glass surfaces of a lens need cleaning.

However, the OP's question was not about lens cleaning techniques, but about how to clean the microfiber cloth. I'll add to my answer that distilled water is a good idea if you suspect your water quality to prevent possible scale formation when drying.

Best,


Doremus