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How To Care for Your Microscope: 5 Tips

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A microscope is one of the common instruments you will find in any laboratory. It consists of many parts, but the most fragile are an objective lens and an eyepiece, which magnifies microscopic objects and makes them visible to the human eye. Microscopes are very delicate equipment that requires proper care and regular maintenance. This simple piece of equipment requires attention, especially in cleaning and maintaining the microscope objectives and other lenses.

Here are 5 tips for caring for and maintaining a microscope that every microscope owner should know.

A microscope is a very intricate piece of equipment that requires a lot of care. For one, the lenses are in a predefined order, so messing with them or misaligning them because of improper handling could lead to a non-functioning microscope. So, you want to be very keen when handling it. In your setup, hold your microscope with one hand on the arm and the other on the base when moving it. And when moving from one place to another, package it in its original box. Lastly, avoid swinging, shaking, or tossing your microscope.

  • Place Your Microscope on a Steady, Spacious, and Well-Lit Platform

You want to place your microscope on a flat, steady surface devoid of vibrations. This is key because vibrations cause significant movements of the object under observation, making it difficult to make any findings. Additionally, vibrations can misalign the microscope’s moving parts, necessitating a new setup. Also, ensure you have enough space to maneuver easily without moving the microscope. And finally, your work area should be well-lit and devoid of any direct light that causes glare.

  • Do Not Let the Lens Touch the Slide

While magnifying, ensure that your objective lens does not kiss the slides. Objective lenses are some of the most expensive to replace, so you want to avoid scratches or breakage from the lens kissing the slide. Therefore, when you are focusing your image, move the lens using the coarse or soft adjustment knob slowly as you look at the space between the edge of the lens and the slide. A good practice is to use the soft adjustment knob when using a high magnification lens (63x or higher) and remember to switch to a lower one after use.

  • Be Gentle When Cleaning Your Lenses

Objective lenses form one of the delicate parts of your microscope. For one, they are highly susceptible to scratches and expensive to replace. And so, you want to handle them with extra care while cleaning. Use gentle cleaning products such as microscope wipes and distilled water. Also, when cleaning, make gentle circular motions. With an objective lens, you want to avoid alcohol and ordinary cleaning wipes, as they are abrasive on your lens.

  • Store Your Microscope in a Clean and Dry Place

When the microscope is not in use, unplug the cord and store it in a clean, flat, dry, and ventilated space. The area should not be exposed to moisture or other corrosive fumes that may corrode the microscope’s metallic components or the lenses. Neither should it contain any item that might fall or bump on the microscope. Also, cover your microscope when not in use to prevent dust from accumulating.

Conclusion

Like any other equipment, a microscope requires proper handling and maintenance for long-lasting use. These instruments are intricate, and the objective lenses are delicate. Therefore, extra care should be taken when handling and cleaning the microscope to avoid scratching or damaging them.

 

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