Cleaning the scanner glass surface

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by paul kern, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. What kind of liquid or method is recommendable for cleaning the
    scanner glass surface of a flatbed scanner like Epson 4990 ?
  2. You will find lots of different opinions on this. I think a microfiber cloth is an essential tool (less than $3 at the optical department of your mega-store). Buy one, only use it on your scanner and keep it in a clean plastic bag between uses. When you only have a small amount of dust on the glass, you can usually use the dry and clean microfiber cloth by itself to clean off the glass. When you have stubborn fingerprints, you will need a liquid. You can use something designed for cleaning glasses if you are really worried about it or many people feel Windex works fine. Use liquids sparingly. Spraying directly on the cloth is probably safest. You don't want a large amount on the glass that could wick along the edges. The edges of the glass bed are attached with foam tape on the underside of the rim of the scanner frame. This can absorb moisture. Where the real problem can occur is along the top. If the fluid wicks up and discolors the white calibration strip (under the edge of the scanner frame), you can start having real problems with mis-calibration.
    Dougs MF Film Holder for batch scanning of 120/220 medium format film with flatbeds
  3. Along the same to clean the interior side of scanner glass?
  4. Hi Paul: Rule #1 is not to spray the scanner glass. You do not want any of the cleaner, either wet or its vapours to get into the scanner chamber. Repeated uses can result in foging of mirrors or in some cases, mildew. The cleaning fluid should be applied to the cleaning wipes not to the glass. I'd recommend lintless wipes made for cleaning optical surfaces, use once and discard. If you do not have those handy try Procter and Gamble's "BOUNTY Extra Strength". It is almost lintless. All other 6 brands I tried leave lint and are not as good.

    Using re-useable cloth: The dirt picked up by the cloth accumulates on it and is eventually returned to the glass where it came from. Avoid wet cloths sold for cleaning windows. These can leave a trail of lint in their wake that will make matters worse. Also, tissues sold for cleaning spectacles contain silicones and turn the glass into a dust magnet after use.

    As to which cleaners to use, commercial glass cleaners can leave filmy residues. These stem from additives intended to give a shine to the window glass, the last thing you'd want on the scanner's glass.

    The SCANMAX wet mounting kits - come with a specialized cleaning kit including a streak free Optical Glass Cleaner. these things come with the Turn Key Kits.

    Lastly, it is a good idea to keep handy aerosol dust-off spray cans for that last blow off before the scan.
    Have a clean day!

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