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Wipes: Paper, Cotton, or Polyester, Knit or Hydroentangled, Dry or Wet?
There are so many choices when it comes to selecting a clean wipe for optics cleaning. AND, there is a big difference on what is available. Price is often a deciding factor when choosing a wipe, but should not be the first eliminator. A standard must be adhered to, and since there are already cleanroom standards, that is a good place to start. Classes of cleanrooms are rated by the level of contaminants (parts per million - ppm). The old standard was named by its rating in ppm (Class 10,000, Class 1,000, Class 100, Class 10, and Class 1) and the newer ISO standard follows the old but by single digits (Class 5, Class 4 , Class 3, Class 2, and Class 1). Each fabric type and construction has different specifications regarding releasable particles and fibers. Some wipes are laundered in different specifications of filtered wash water. Generally, the best wipe for the least amount of releasable particles and fibers is polyester knit, then followed by polyester-cellulose hydroentangled, then cotton, and last (and least recommended) paper. Dry wipes are available. Wet wipes are also packaged as presaturated and premoistened. Presaturated does not allow for additional absorption while premoistened, available in differing percentages of moistness, does allow for absorbing wet contaminants such as oils. When choosing wet wipes, 99% alcohol is recommended - read about this in the Isopropyl Alcohol section. Antistatic wipes are available. Though your application may not require such high standards, high speed fiber optics needs the best in contamination elimination and control. This can be accomplished with a wipe rated for ISO Class 4 (Class 100) or better.
General: ISO Class 4 (Class 100) or better, antistatic.
Dry: Laundered (0.45 micron filtered) Polyester Knit
Wet: Laundered (0.45 micron filtered) Premoistened Polyester Knit