Re: [NTLK] Cleaning the screen with isopropyl alcohol is bad

From: Dale A. Raby (
Date: Tue Nov 02 2004 - 05:49:21 PST

Hello List,

Of late, I have kept my mouth shut here in Mark Twain's old adage that
it is better to remain silent and be thought stupid than to open one's
mouth and erase all possible doubt. That said, I think I may have
something to contribute to this topic.

My background is in photography. As such, I have had to deal with
various coated lens surfaces over the years... some of them quite
dirty. My old professor Jerry Dell described the best way to clean a
fingerprinted lens... just breathe on it and wipe with Kodak Lens
Cleaning Tissues. The mist from your breath is quite enough to handle
all but the worst grime. The worst grime is removed by putting a drop
of lens cleaner on the tissue, not the lens surface, and cleaning it

Lens coatings are actually metal, which is to say they are fairly
resistant to most chemicals... but even so, nobody I know of would ever
take something as nasty as acetone to a lens surface. To take something
like that to a plastic surface... well, go ahead and try it on YOUR
Newton screen... I would rather not have mine dissolved into a pile of

Commercial lens cleaners are mostly water with a bit of detergent or
soap and/or ammonia. While I would not recommend Windex, the principal
difference is probably only one of strength. A professional window
washer I know of (yeah, I was a janitor once) simply uses a drop or two
of Dawn dish washing liquid in a bucket of water for his window washing
crews. I tried this on glass doors and mirrors that I was assigned to
maintain and found it worked just fine. This removes fingerprints,
grease, and lipstick... the three most common substances found on my
doors and mirrors... don't ask me why anyone would kiss a mirror in a
public rest room given the amount of unsanitary matter deposited into
the air with every toilet flush, but there are people who do!

I would have to say that there is just no reason I can imagine for
anyone to use anything other than a moist lens cleaning tissue on a
Newton screen... so good luck with alcohol and other noxious substances.


> > How about Acetone? Nail polish removal that is will get you some
> > action I bet...

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