Fiber Optic Cleaning Methods
Fiber optic cleaning kit on the market can be divided to four types based on the cleaning method.
Dry cleaning: Optic cleaning without the use of any solvent.
Wet cleaning: Optic cleaning with a solvent. Typically IPA (isopropyl alcohol).
Non-Abrasive cleaning: Cleaning without abrasive material touching the fiber optic connector end face.
Examples are air dusters or pressured solvent jet used in automated in-situ connector cleaners.
Abrasive cleaning: The popular lint free wipes, reel based Cletop fiber connector cleaners and
optic cleaning swabs such as the Cletop sticks are all abrasive cleaning types.
Fiber optic cabling has become telecommunication backbone of today’s university campuses
and enterprises. With the prosperity of GLC-SX-MM Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet,
ensuring clean fiber optic connections has become one of the most critical requirements for
maintaining error-free communication in these fiber optic communication systems.
Repeated fiber optic connector disconnection and reconnection often leaves debris in the
bulkhead adapter or receptacle. With single mode fiber core as small as 9 micrometer, even a
single 1 micrometer dust particle can cause a big signal loss or even interrupt the communication,
if WS-G5483 left blocking the fiber core.
Dry cleaning products
Air spray (air duster, canned air, compressed air) – Air dusters are used to blow loose particles
from optical fiber connector endface, or dry up solvent (isopropyl alcohol) residue after a wet
All air dusters are not the same. Optic grade is more expensive. Air spray is a non-abrasive fiber
Wet Cleaning Products
Alcohol with lint-free wipes: This is the traditional way of fiber optic wet cleaning. A few drops of
solvent (typically isopropyl alcohol) are applied to lens paper which is folded in 4~6 layers and
laying flat on the table. The operator then holds the connector vertically and cleans it in figure 8
motion. This must be followed by a dry cleaning step to prevent solvent residue, either by air
duster or dry lint-free wipes.
Pre-saturated or GLC-T soaked wipes – wet cleaning. Pre-saturated wipes are good for cleaning
glass fiber or connector end faces. They are available in a convenient pre-saturated towelette.
The towels are durable and non-linting. Pre-saturated wipes are a convenient option for field use.