Tips for Keeping Fiber-Optic Cables Clean

Tips for Keeping Fiber-Optic Cables Clean

Did you know you can improve connection and increase the longevity of your fiber-optic cables simply by keeping them clean? It’s true. Yet so many individuals don’t keep them clean, and we believe it’s because most people don’t know they should. Luckily, we’re here to help—continue reading for some tips for keeping fiber-optic cables clean.

Regularly inspect the cables with a fiberscope

Given the complexity of fiber-optic cables and how small harmful particles can be, we suggest getting a fiberscope. A fiberscope is a device that offers extraordinary magnification capabilities. In fact, in most cases, you can get as little as 100x and over 400x magnification using a fiberscope. Using a fiberscope with a regular inspection connection will give you the best results for identifying parts of the cable that need a cleaning.

Dry cleaning is an option, but not recommended by itself

One way to clean your fiber-optic cables is a method called dry cleaning. Dry cleaning involves using a cotton swab or dry wipe, which in general is fine, but there are two reasons you shouldn’t exclusively dry-clean your cables. First, some debris is easier to remove when it’s wet as opposed to dry. Second, using a dry wipe can attract other contaminants due to static electricity, which could have the opposite effect you’re going for.

Wet cleaning could be risky, too

To better clean debris that’s easier to remove when wet, you could try wet cleaning. Wet cleaning is a method that involves using isopropyl alcohol (IPA) or a pure solvent. However, much like the dry cleaning option, you shouldn’t use the wet cleaning method exclusively for a couple reasons. First, using a liquid can result in negative effects because the liquid can find its way to places it shouldn’t be. Second, the solvent can take an extended amount of time to evaporate, which can lead to damage.

Use a combination cleaning method

So, ultimately the best option is to combine dry and wet cleaning. The most common method is using very little solvent and then cleaning with a dry wipe or swab. By using a small amount of solvent first, you’ll be able to easily remove any tough debris that has built up over time. However, it’s important to clean the cable in a straight line and avoid any twisting, turning, or circular movements. Any nonlinear movement can damage the cable and potentially push debris further into the cable.

Fiber-optic cables certainly give users the best connection, but many people don’t realize they need to maintain their cables. However, with these tips for keeping fiber-optic cables clean, you’ll extend the life of your cables and maintain a superior connection.

If you’re looking for high-quality cables—whether that’s fiber-optic cables or 1000-ft Cat5e cables, CableWholesale has a large inventory for all your connectivity needs. With our expansive industry experience, we’re capable of producing high-quality products and top-notch customer service. Contact us today for more information.

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