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One-click Cleaner — A Practical Tool for Cleaning Connector

We know that the interface of each fiber optic component should be kept clean because dirt and dust can completely obscure the light wavelength and affect the network performance. For fiber optic connector, which plays an important role in a complete optical link, it is impossible to ensure that it does not get dirty. Therefore, cleaning connector is a key task. This post is going to introduce a practical tool for cleaning connector to you—one-click cleaner as well as how to use it.

Overview of One-click Cleaner

The one-click cleaner is applicable for cleaning both connectors and adapters with one-push action. It utilizes dry cleaning without any alcohol and other harsh chemicals. In addition, the one-click cleaner uses the mechanical push action to advance an optical grade cleaning tape while the cleaning tip is rotated to ensure the fiber end-face is effectively, but gently cleaned. Simply insert the one-click cleaner into the connector or the adapter and push until you hear an audible “click”. According to different types of fiber optic connectors, there are three types of one-click cleaners—1.25mm LC/MU one-click cleaner, 2.5mm SC/ST/FC one-click cleaner and MTP/MPO one-click cleaner. The following part will focus on their structures and usages.

1.25mm LC/MU And 2.5mm SC/ST/FC One-click Cleaner

1.25mm one-click cleaner is an easy-to-use option for cleaning MU and LC connectors and exposed 1.25mm ferrules, while 2.5mm one-click cleaner is designed to clean SC, ST and FC connectors and exposed 2.5mm ferrules. The structure and usage of these two types of one-click cleaner are similar, so this part will only take 1.25mm one-click cleaner for example. As for the structure of 1.25mm LC/MU one-click cleaner, it can be divided into five parts—tip, nozzle, lock button, outer shell and guide cap. Tip is used to lead the cleaning cloth to the fiber optic connector and face; nozzle is used to lead the tip to the fiber optic connector and face; lock button is used to extend and contract the nozzle; outer shell is used to clean the fiber optic connector; guide cap acts as dust cap or cleaning adapter for connector plug. To have a better understanding of the structure of one-click cleaner and the function of each part, here is a figure for you.

structure of 1.25mm LC MU one-click cleaner

Since one-click cleaner can be used to clean both connectors and adapters whose interfaces are different, the operation methods of different applications are different.

Cleaning Connectors Installed In Adapters (Bulkhead Applications)
  1. Remove the guide cap and cover from the cleaner tip.
  2. Insert cleaner tip into the adapter.
  3. Push the cleaner body to start cleaning the connector end face until you hear an audible “click” sound which indicates the cleaning process is finished.
Cleaning Connectors Not Installed In Adapters
  1. Open the cover of the guide cap.
  2. Insert cleaner tip into the connector.
  3. Push the cleaner body to start cleaning the connector end face until you hear an audible “click” sound which indicates the cleaning process is finished.

Here is a figure that shows the operation steps for you.

1.25mm LC MU One-Click Cleaner User Guide

MTP/MPO One-click Cleaner

MTP/MPO one-click cleaner uses the innovative push-to-clean design for cleaning MTP/MPO fiber connector used in data centers and other high density optical networks, which simplifies the cleaning of the ferrule end-face of MTP/MPO fiber connector. The mechanical push action advances the optical grade cleaning tape while effectively and gently cleaning the end-face of the MTP/MPO fiber connector. The following figure shows the structure of MTP/MPO one-click cleaner. Tip is used to lead the cleaning cloth to the fiber optic connector and face; guide cap is used or cleaning connector; guide cap cover protects cleaner from dust; cleaning wheel has several rounds of linear polyester used for cleaning.

structure of MTP MPO one-click cleaner

For cleaning connector and adapter, the operation steps are different.

Cleaning Connectors Installed In Adapters (Bulkhead Applications)
  1. Pull off the guide cap.
  2. Insert cleaner tip into the adapter and turn the cleaning wheel backwards until “click” two times.
Cleaning Connectors Not Installed In Adapters
  1. Carefully open the guide cap cover.
  2. Insert the cleaner tip into the connector, apply slight pressure and turn the cleaning wheel backwards until “click” two times.

MTP MPO One-Click Cleaner User Guide

Conclusion

In order to get high level optical performance, it is imperative that fiber optic connections are clean and free of contaminants. Fiber optic cleaning product is being highly recommended as a kind of very important tool for data center cabling. One-click cleaner is a practical tool for cleaning fiber end-face without the use of alcohol and it can be used for about 600 to 800 times. It is really a cost-effective solution for fiber optic connector cleaning.

Fiber Patch Cable Cleaning Recommendations

Fiber optics have expanded the capabilities and possibilities of networks beyond our expectation. Fiber patch cable serves as a common yet indispensable part which determines connection quality between fiber optic equipment, therefore it has no tolerance to any contaminant like dust and dirt. So keeping the end face of patch cables clean to ensure performance and reliability of the network is vital. This article offers general tips on patch cable cleaning, while introduces some professional tools that help simplify the process.

Why Is Patch Cable Cleaning Critical?

It is claimed that over 85% of fiber related problems in data centers, campus, and other enterprise or telecom environments are caused by contaminated connectors or end-faces. Which can often lead to degraded performance, or even worse, failure of the whole network system. So, cleaning consideration is always put in a paramount place in optical network transmission.

To ensure proper performance and reliability, care must be taken with the installation and maintenance of patch cable end face, as well as the removable fiber connectors. Because data are transmitted through the small core of the fiber patch cable, a very small amount of dirt or residue may significantly increase the connector’s attenuation and weaken the signal. Lack of applying proper patch cable cleaning procedures can directly impact the quality of the system’s performance.

General Tips for Patch Cable Cleaning

fiber patch cable cleaning is one of the most rudimentary and essential procedures to ensure network availability and reliability. The following lists some general suggestions when performing patch cable cleaning.

Point 1: Try to work in a clean area. Avoid working around heating outlets.

Point 2: Always keep dust caps on connectors and bulkhead adapters for as long as possible. Only remove the dust caps to clean the components prior to making a connection.

Point 3: Never touch the ferrule end face of a fiber optic connector. No matter what you do, you will leave contamination behind.

Point 4: Always clean connectors before inserting into an adapter. Use specialized cleaning tools or lint free pads and isopropyl alcohol to clean.

Point 5: Ferrules on the connectors/cables used for testing will get dirty by transference of contaminants from alignment sleeves in the bulkhead adapters, so test cables and adapters should be cleaned or replaced regularly when testing a large system.

Recommendations of Efficient Patch Cable Cleaning Tools

It is important to have proper fiber patch cable cleaning tools to facilitate the cleaning job, which will greatly minimize the cleaning time and difficulty, making the cleaning process easier and more efficient. The commonly used patch cable cleaning tools are illustrated as follow.

a. Push-type cleaners (one-clike cleaners): this pen-shaped push-type cleaners feature an easy one-push action, which quickly and effectively cleans the end face of connectors on patch cables or through adapters without any alcohol or harsh chemicals. Always select the cleaner model for the connector type to be cleaned, 2.5mm for SC, FC and ST, and 1.25mm for LC and MU.

b. One-clike MTP/MPO cleaner: this cleaner is specifically designed to clean MTP/MPO connector end face on patch cables or in adapters. The unique design enables effective cleaning of either male (with pins) or female (without pins) connector, in fiber breakout modules and even networking gear like switches and routers.

one-click mtp mpo cleaner

c. Reel-type cleaners (cassette cleaners): they typically contain a lint free reel of cloth that is moved after each cleaning, always presenting a clean surface. Reel-type cleaners are safe patch cable cleaning options without the need for alcohol. Besides, they have refillable cleaning tapes, making them ideal for lab, assembly lines and field use.

d. Wipes and cleaning cards: there are a wide variety of patch cable cleaning wipes and cleaning cards for both field and manufacturing applications. They can be used either dry or with cleaning fluid to remove common contaminants for effective patch cable cleaning.

eCleaning swabs & sticks: Precisely designed, the mini foam clean swabs are made to serve various different patch cable cleaning and maintenance needs. Foam swabs are ideal for more precision cleaning where linting needs should be avoided. Swabs assist in cleaning small or hard to reach items.

fiber patch cable cleaning swab

Conclusion

For best optical performance, it is imperative that all fiber patch cable connections are clean and free of contaminants. An easy to use patch cable cleaning tool becomes a necessity for fiber technicians and installers. Even without specific training, field technicians and fiber installers can use a simple insertion and push motion to remove residue, debris and dust that can negatively impact network performance. So why not grab a patch cable cleaning tool to make your job easier?