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What You Need to Know About Proper Microscope Maintenance

Nov 22, 2022

Microscopes have been around for a long time, but new technology allows us to manufacture them much more cheaply than in the past.

Maybe that is why the popularity of microscopes has gone up in recent years and is expected to continue to go up. Experts predict that the microscope industry will be going through a magnificent period of growth over the next several years!

At the same time, some people end up buying multiple microscopes over time because they do not know much about microscope maintenance and upkeep. Before you buy a microscope, it is a good idea to understand what kind of maintenance comes with using one. Otherwise, you may end up wearing out your microscope much sooner than expected.

That means that proper microscope maintenance can save you money in the long run as well as help you to get more enjoyment and insight from your microscope.

So what are the most important things to focus on when it comes to microscope maintenance? Read on to learn all about the best tips that will keep your microscope in top condition!

Be Prepared for Microscope Care

Don’t make the mistake of buying a microscope before you know how you will take care of it. Otherwise, you may end up buying another one sooner than you would like. You may need tools to take care of your microscope, like a dust cover, air bulb, lens paper, and lens cleaner.

Without these tools, your microscope will accumulate dust, make-up, dirt, and other kinds of contamination.

If you take excellent care of a microscope, it likely won’t display any problems for a long time. However, once the first problem starts, it can lead to others. It is much better if you can keep problems from coming up in the first place for as long as possible.

Be Gentle With Microscope Use

As you handle a microscope, it is important to remember that it is a sophisticated and sensitive piece of equipment. Many people start out being careful with their microscope when they first get it. However, after the novelty wears off, they start to handle it with less care. For example, dragging it across the benchtop making that dreaded, jarring vibration sound and rattling the entire scope.

Moving it a little too roughly can end up needing to repair it or even buy a new microscope. The more careful you can remain with your microscope, the longer it will last. One easy way to remember to be careful with your microscope is by putting a sticker or other visual reminder on it.

Don’t Let Your New Microscope’s Lens Touch Anything

Although it is important to remember that microscopes are sensitive in general, some pieces of them are more sensitive than others. For example, you can put your fingers all over the dials. On the other hand, it is best if you never let the lenses touch anything at all, let alone your fingers.

Even when you are looking at slides, be careful not to lower the lens of the microscope so low that it touches the slide. Doing so can smudge or damage the lens in mounting media or your specimen mount, which will then require you to clean it.

However, the cleaning process itself can also potentially mar the pristineness of the lens. It is better by far if you can avoid touching your lens to anything at all. Only designated oil, water or glycerin lenses should be in contact with those very specific liquids. All others should stay clean and dry.

Buy a Microscope When You Have a Storage Area

Some people buy a microscope before they know where they will keep it. Then, they store it in a random location that is not suitable for it. At that point, there is a higher chance that their microscope will suffer damage at some point.

Before you buy a microscope, get a clear understanding of its dimensions. Then, find an appropriate place to store it. Building custom cabinets may be a huge project, but worth the time and money to keep your microscopes like new.

Let Your Microscope Bulbs Cool Down

Microscopes use intense light to allow us to see incredibly tiny details, especially on fluorescence microscopes. However, that intense light can also lead to a lot of heat in the bulbs. Whether using halogen, mercury, or mercury halide bulbs, it is much harder on your bulb to repeatedly shut down and turn on the light source.

If you instead turn off the illuminator and allow the bulbs to cool down, they will last longer.

Read Your User Manual

There are many rules which apply to almost every microscope. However, every kind of microscope has its own unique idiosyncrasies. Along with applying general maintenance tips, it is important to read your user’s manual.

It will detail aspects of maintaining your specific microscope that we cannot cover in this article. On top of that, you will learn more about how to get the most out of your microscope as you read through the manual.

Many people never read the manual because it seems like a daunting and tedious task. If you try to read the manual in one sitting, that may well be true. However, you can make the process much more comfortable if you break it up into chunks.

If you read a little more of the manual every few times you use your microscope, you should be able to finish it in time to start applying proper maintenance.

Learn More About Microscope Safety and Maintenance

Even reading the manual will not make you a professional in microscope maintenance and care. If you have further questions about making the most of your microscope, you might want to reach out to professionals for further learning.

They can help you resolve problems and teach you more about taking care of your microscope. They may also be able to point you to where you can find replacement parts or tools for cleaning and maintenance.

Understand the Most Important Things to Know About Microscope Maintenance

Buying a microscope is an investment in fascination and learning. But learning about proper microscope maintenance is an investment as well. If you do not learn about correct microscope maintenance, it will be difficult for you to get the most out of your investment in a microscope.

To learn more about microscopes and how to make the most of them, feel free to reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!

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