Category Archives: Fiber Optic Tools

One-Push 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-push cleaner as well as how to use it.

Overview of One-Push Cleaner

The one-push 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-push 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-push cleaner into the connector or the adapter and push until you hear an audible “push”. According to different types of fiber optic connectors, there are three types of one-push cleaners—1.25mm LC/MU one-push cleaner, 2.5mm SC/ST/FC one-push cleaner and MTP/MPO one-push cleaner. The following part will focus on their structures and usages.

1.25mm LC/MU and 2.5mm SC/ST/FC One-push Cleaner

1.25mm one-push pen cleaner is an easy-to-use option for cleaning MU and LC connectors and exposed 1.25mm ferrules, while 2.5mm one-push pen cleaner is designed to clean SC, ST, FC and LSH  connectors and exposed 2.5mm ferrules. Since one-push cleaner can be used to clean both connectors and adapters whose interfaces are different, the operation methods of different applications are different.

one-push cleaner

Cleaning Connectors Installed In Adapters (Bulkhead Applications)
  1. Remove the dust 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 connector in adapters

Cleaning Connectors Not Installed In Adapters
  1. Open the cover of the dust 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.

cleaning connectors

MTP/MPO One-push Cleaner

MTP/MPO one-push 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-push cleaner. Cleaning head is used to lead the cleaning cloth to the fiber optic connector and face; protective cap protects cleaner from dust; thumb wheel has several rounds of linear polyester used for cleaning.

MPO pen cleaner

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

Cleaning Connectors Installed In Adapters (Bulkhead Applications)
  1. Pull off the protective cap.
  2. Insert cleaner tip into the adapter and turn the thumb wheel backwards until “click” two times.

cleaning MTP/MPO connectors in adapter

Cleaning Connectors Not Installed In Adapters
  1. Carefully open the protective cap cover.
  2. Insert the cleaner tip into the connector, apply slight pressure and turn the thumb wheel backwards until “click” two times.

MTP MPO cleaner


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-push 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. Pen cleaner (one-push cleaners): one-push pen 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, ST and LSH, and 1.25mm for LC and MU.

one-push pen cleaner

b. One-push 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.

MTP 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


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?