The maintenance of a microscope is very important because it ensures that the microscope works better for years. Servicing of motorized microscope stages should be done by a microscope technician who is qualified.
Motorized microscope stages should always be serviced after 200 hours of usage. Most organizations usually service their microscopes after 3 years but more frequently if used regularly.
Microscope Storage and Handling
A microscope experiences many problems that are often caused by improper handling. Make sure that you hold the microscope by the arm and base when carrying it. You should not begin picking it by grabbing the microscope stage because this can lead to misalignment of the mechanical stage.
If you often need to transport your microscope to different locations, you require purchasing a microscope carrying case. You should keep your microscope covered with a dust cover in case you are not using it. By doing this, you will have extended your microscope’s life. The microscope should always remain covered by the dust cover even when it is stored in a cabinet.
Make sure that you store your microscope with the eyepieces even while the microscope is still covered. This will prevent dust from being collected around the tubes of the eye and it will be easier to clean. If you are to remove the eyepieces of the microscope, make sure that you shield the tubes using a plastic bag or caps. During shielding, ensure that a rubber band is placed around the tube of the eye.
When you are through with using the microscope, make sure that you turn the illuminator off and then wait for cooling before you put it away. Allowing the cooling of the bulb often increase the life span of the microscope. You should remember not to keep your microscope in corrosive areas as this will destroy the metal parts and lenses.
Cleaning of Microscope Lenses
When microscope lenses are scratched, you should make sure that you treat them appropriately with care. You should never use abrasive elements or sharp instruments when cleaning the lens of the microscope. If you need to clean the microscope objective lens or microscope eyepiece, you should first moisten the lens paper using a lens solution cleaner.
You should apply circular motion during the cleaning process. Drying of the lens should be done using a dry and clean paper lens. An aspirator is then used for removing any remaining particles or dirt.
To know if your eyepieces need to be cleaned, you should loosen the screw of the eyepiece and then revolve the eyepiece in circular motions while observing microscope. If you discover any dust particle, first take out the eyepiece of the microscope. After that, clean all the lens’s sides using a lens paper.
Not any liquid is appropriate for cleaning but distilled water is highly recommended. The eyepiece should not be removed completely from the microscope because they are several lenses found in the eyepiece and can be very difficult to reinstall in the right order.
To determine which objective lenses are to be cleaned, you should take a clear glass slide that is blank and place it under the microscope. When the microscope is focused, move the glass slide so that you can determine if the dust is staying within the slide or moving around the slide. If the dust is staying in the same position, it means that the dust is located at the objective lens.
When immersion microscopy oil is used, ensure that the oil is regularly cleaned from the objective lenses after use. Cleaning can be done through the use of a lens paper without using cleaning solutions. Removal of oil from the surface of the lens may require an oil solvent that is soluble. These soluble solvents may include turpentine, Naptha, or Xylene and should be used in small amounts.
Acetone, water, and alcohol are the insoluble solvents and should not be used. Any other oily substance may be removed by a detergent known as Wisk. You should ensure that you don’t put acetone in plastic parts because most plastic and paints will be dissolved. Make sure that you clean the lens with distilled water after using a solvent in the cleaning process.
Every microscope usually contains a user’s manual. You should make sure that you consult the user’s manual before you try to make adjustments with your microscope. It is very important to consider that you should neither use force nor over-tighten when performing maintenance of your microscope. This is because it can lead to damaging of the microscope’s metal parts.
It is very important to keep your microscope clean and maintained. This usually gives the microscope a long-lasting effect and can serve for many years. Failure to clean or maintain your microscope can lead to rapid breakdown of its parts.