I use a bit of Ronsonol to clean up oil which migrated to the lens. Several passes touching very lightly with PecPads (basically a tiny bit of a pad cut off, handled only with tweezers to avoid oil from fingers, one use only). The only force applied is the that of the pad bending to come in contact with the glass. Once the oil is cleaned up, I move on to either Eclipse.. sometimes just breathing lightly on the lens and then wiping it again with another clean bit of the pad. I've tried denatured alcohol at points with particularly bad glass but it usually isn't needed.
Granted, I tend to leave lenses with reputations for soft glass to the experts.
As I noted in another thread about this earlier today, try using Varnish Maker's and Printer's Naptha to clean. In my local store it's labeled VM&P and sold as a substitute paint thinner. It's exactly the same chemical as Ronsonol lighter fluid, only cheaper in bulk. In fact, it works great in a Zippo.
Originally Posted by Brian Legge
It evaporates totally, and since it is petroleum based it dissolves grease wonderfully.
Careful though. It is extremely flammable and the vapors will overcome you. It's basically highly refined light raw gasoline without the automotive additives.
I wouldn't let it pour into the lens body. See if you can disassemble it.
This is how the naphtha that I use for cleaning old gummed seals is marked...
Originally Posted by michaelbsc
Available at Home Despot
Thanks very much for all the input. I've started wearing non dusted latex gloves which helps quite a bit. On the last lens I cleaned I used alcohol and qtips which actually did a pretty decent job. I've also tried acetone on a couple of junk lenses which works better but also rips off the black flocking paint on the edges.
Originally Posted by Dan Dozer
I'm not sure what a pec pad is - but if it works, it works!
I don't think it matters which alcohol type you use - the main problem with the spirit burner and rubbing alcohol type preparations is they contains colourings and perfume (probably the wrong word - they contain things to make them unpalatable). Most lens cleaners are safe to use and hopefully dry without streaks, but when you have a lens with grease on it - they are sometimes pretty useless at removing it.
Nothing, NOTHING beats chemically pure diethyl ether cut with 10% reagent grade water free ethanol. I used this mixture for years, but try walking into a drug store these days and ordering ether or pure ethanol and you are likely to leave in handcuffs. Even within the optics industry such things are virtually unattainable as almost no carrier will transport them and Health and Safety officers have palpitations over the volatility and flammability of ether.
If you can get a supply of a ethanol or petroleum benzine (or naptha - it has different names in different Countries) that is reasonably water free and has no nasty additives - that is probably the best you can do.
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Originally Posted by illumiquest
Please do not use acetone!
It is actually pretty good at dissolving grease. Also good at dissolving paint (as you've found) and also lens balsam
Being of low viscosity capillary action will pull it into the space around the edge of the lens where it can reach the joined edges of cemented lenses and start to separate them. Also - once the acetone evaporates from the surface of the glass the paint film it leaves behind is very hard to remove...
My rule is only use acetone on single un-cemented lens elements if they are out of the mount. (Opticians use it a lot on unmounted spectacle lenses) My other rule is, on most lenses, never take the lens out of the mount...
I know the vm&p naphtha from Klean Strip is extremely pure. At least according to Kleen Strip it is. They claim 95-100%, but i think it pretty consistently 100%.
Originally Posted by steven_e007
Their denatured ethanol obviously has something in it. But Everclear does not.