Simple steps to ensure contamination does not occur. If followed carefully, these steps will eliminate problems related to contaminated fiber.
1. Wet-dry cleaning is most effective for removing all forms of contamination and eliminates electrostatic charge.
2. Use optical-grade cleaning fluids that leave no residue and are fast-evaporating.
3. Use cleaning fluids in hermetically sealed packaging to prevent cross-contamination. Refillable pump bottles are simply not up to the task.
4. Use high-absorbency optical-grade fabric wipes (not paper).
5. Always clean both ends of a connector pair, and do it just before mating.
6. Clean new jumpers and patch cords, even right out of the bag, even if they have protective dust covers on them. You can be sure those jumpers weren’t properly cleaned in the factory, and the dust covers were not cleaned at all.
7. When using stick cleaners, use one stick per endface to avoid cross-contamination.
8. When using cleaning sticks, only rotate them in one direction; usually four to eight rotations is sufficient.
9. Mechanical “push-to-clean” cleaners and cassette cleaners are good for light to medium levels of contamination.
10. Boxes and tubs of optical-grade wipes plus a cleaning fluid are the best practices when splicing pigtails onto bulk cable.
11. Clean tools give you the best results. Always clean test assemblies, power meters, light sources and all the other equipment and test gear.