Cleaning microscopes

Discussion in 'Supporting Biology' started by MaddyS, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. Hi all,

    I've been working my way round the department this week trying to fix up all our microscopes, but I've noticed some of the optics tend to get coated in methylene blue by the younger students. Even after cleaning this off with a bit of Xylene, a few of them still look quite dark. Is there any way to get rid of the dark stain?

    Thanks in advance :D
  2. karen b

    karen b COMMITTEE

  3. I soaked ours in a shallow plate with 90% meths/water drop of washing up liquid over night wiped off then repeated next day clean as a whistle.
    MaddyS likes this.
  4. I would not be using xylene for that.

    the hazcard says
    ClaireS likes this.
  5. I do believe that CLEAPSS advised using either xylene or ethanol to wipe the surface of the optics, on page 1039 of the handbook.
  6. The disconnect comes because the Handbook section is 14 years old and the Hazcard is only 3 years old, i'd default to the newer publication if it were me
    That said if I remember right the Handbook only says you should use the nastier solvents if water does no good.....
  7. I wouldn't use Xylene because repeated use may cause separation of the optical elements.
    ClaireS likes this.
  8. Several years ago on a CLEAPSS microscope maintenance course we were advised to just use distilled water on a lens cloth or cotton bud and that is what I have stuck to. I have managed to remove methylene blue fairly easily.
  9. I use an earbud soaked in IDA and a bit of elbow grease. Always comes off. :)
    MaddyS and ClaireS like this.
  10. That happens to me if I drink too much of it...
  11. You're getting off lightly, then.