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Thread: Cleaning small amounts of dust off of optics using canned "air"?

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    Question Cleaning small amounts of dust off of optics using canned "air"?



    I have a nephew that has an Orion StarBlast 4.5'' reflector telescope. In September, I was up at his house in Colorado and I had to remove the secondary mirror assembly. I think I saw a small amount of dust on the secondary mirror. Would it be OK to use canned "air" ( which is actually nasty, toxic and environmentally unfriendly fluorcarbons ) to remove the dust from the secondary mirror and other optics?

    Thanks,

    jdb2

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    Default Re: Cleaning small amounts of dust off of optics using canned "air"?

    I'd stick to something like one of the Giottos Rocket puffers - basically, a large rubber bulb that gives a decent puff of air when you squeeze it. (avoid the standard small photo blowers with a brush on the end - they're usually more or less useless as a puffer. (The Giottos ones - apart from being rocket shaped and a lot bigger - actually work ).

    A standard puffer isn't going to spray contaminents on the mirror, or risk damage from thermal shock to the optics. The manuals for my Tak refractors specifically warn against using canned air.

    And remember never to shine a torch through your optics - it won't harm the optics, but it will stress you out as it lights up all the inevitable harmless dust .
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    Default Re: Cleaning small amounts of dust off of optics using canned "air"?

    What Jerry says. If it is a small amount of dust, let it be. But if you can't using rubber bulb is the safest way.
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    Default Re: Cleaning small amounts of dust off of optics using canned "air"?

    Hi jbd2,

    Jerry and Bigz have it. I just asked a similar question of Explore Scientific and was told the same thing. Don't look at the lens or mirror with a bright light as it will make you crazy! Small to moderate amounts of debris will not effect the viewing at all. If anything is used, try the blower bulb method.

    Thanks,
    Jim
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    Talking Re: Cleaning small amounts of dust off of optics using canned "air"?

    Thanks so much for all the helpful replies! Special thanks to jerryTheC

    I just bought a Giottos Rocket puffer off of Amazon.com to be sent to my nephew's house -- I'll use it when I get up there.

    jdb2
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    Default Re: Cleaning small amounts of dust off of optics using canned "air"?

    I never use canned air on any of my scopes. I use either a brush puffer or a bulb blower. "If it's not broke don't fix it".
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    Default Re: Cleaning small amounts of dust off of optics using canned "air"?

    I have never been tempted to use canned air on optics surfaces.
    I have never been tempted to lick the optics surfaces, and then to clean them with a lens pen.

    Best,

    JG
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    Default Re: Cleaning small amounts of dust off of optics using canned "air"?

    I won't use store bought "Canned Air" at all. Especially not on optics. I realize some are possibly better than others, but it's still a toxic mix of unknown hydrofluorocarbons that I don't want anywhere near my optics or electronic circuits. Just my view.
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