How To Do Your Fiber Connector Cleaning Correctly

Fiber optic connector plays an important role in fiber cables connection. They are always used to join fiber cables where a connect/disconnect capability is required. Fiber optic connectors are always disconnected or reconnected repeatedly causing many impurities adhesion. Any contamination in the fiber connection can cause failure of the component or failure of the whole system. Even microscopic dust particles can cause a variety of problems for optical connections. In addition, dirty connectors can quickly exceed the allowed loss. As a result, to ensure the cleaning of fiber cables and fiber optic connectors is very necessary. In order to ensure the normal operation of network and reduce unnecessary losses, it is very necessary to know how to make fiber connector cleaning with a correct way.

Common Contaminates
Dust & Dirt

Dust and dirt are inevitable contaminates as slight air currents can transport them to exposed fiber optic connectors. According to some researches, particles of different sizes have different degrees of effect on fiber cables:

• A 1−micrometer dust particle on a single−mode core can block up to 1% of the light (a 0.05dB loss).
• A 9−micrometer speck is still too small to see without a microscope, but it can completely block the fiber core. These contaminants can be more difficult to remove than dust particles.

Metallic particles

Connector bodies and fiber housings are commonly made of plated metal so that normal wear and tear will scrape off the platting in tiny particles. Normal wearand tear of hand tools can also produce tiny metallic particles.


Oils are frequently from human hands while it is sometimes from other oils such as WD-40, hydraulic fluid, etc.

How to clean
Generally, there are two types of fiber optic connector applications that we need to clean:
• Free connectors on a fiber optic patch cable or fiber pigtail
• Connectors plugged in patch panels or other hardware devices and equipment

Cleaning steps:
1. Inspect the fiber connector, component, or bulkhead with a fiberscope.
2. If the connector is dirty, clean it with a dry cleaning technique.
3. Inspect the connector.
4. If the connector is still dirty, repeat the dry cleaning technique.
5. Inspect the connector.
6.If the connector is still dirty, clean it with a wet cleaning technique followed immediately with a dry clean in order to ensure no residue is left on the end-face.
Note: Wet cleaning is not recommended for bulkheads and receptacles. Damage to equipment can occur.
7. Inspect the connector again.
8. If the contaminate still cannot be removed, repeat the cleaning procedure until the endface is clean.


Cleaning Tools You May Need
Dry Cleaning Products:
One-Push Cleaner/Pen Cleaner

one-push cleaner

Reel Connector Cleaners

fiber connector cleaning with cassette cleaner

Wipexperts M-3 Cleanroom Wipes

Wipexperts M-3 Cleanroom Wipes
Lint-Free Swabs

clean swabs

Web Cleaning Products:
Alcohol with lint free wipes

alcohol and swaps
Pre-saturated or soaked wipes

wet wipes

•Always inspect the connectors or adapters before you clean
•Always turn off any laser sources before you inspect fiber connectors, optical components, or bulkheads
•Never touch the end face of the fiber connectors
•Never touch the clean area of a tissue, swab, or cleaning fabric
•Never touch any portion of a tissue or swab where alcohol was applied
•Never touch the dispensing tip of an alcohol bottle