Cargille Immersion Oils
Tips for the removal of immersion oil from microscope lens
Determining how to clean a lens depends very much on what type of oil has to be removed. One
of the many advantages of the
Cargille Brand of Immersion Oils is that they are generally soluble in a number
of common laboratory solvents such as methylene chloride, heptane, toluene or xylene.
Some non-Cargille oils or refractive index liquids may require different and more aggressive
The next step is to make sure that the solvent you are using will not harm the objective. For
the better and more name-brand recognized microscopes, the above mentioned solvents generally
are acceptable. However some of the other microscopes, ones that are generally low in cost and
not to international standards have objectives that could be damaged by one or more of these
solvents. Therefore it is always important to check your microscope's User's Manual which
should supply information relative to acceptable solvents for lens cleaning. If you do not
have the manual, then contact the manufacturer directly before applying any solvent.
For the actual cleaning, the best technique (in our opinion) is to "wick off" as much of the
oil as possible using SPI Supplies® Brand
Lens Tissue Paper. When it looks like all that can be removed this way has been removed,
we next dip the end (corner) of the lens tissue into the selected solvent, and using a minimum
of solvent, proceed to clean up the objective. Since these solvents are generally not good to
be breathing, with some even being carcinogenic, minimize exposure to the vapors. Never tip
the objective into the solvent solution!
After cleaning, we recommend a final "swipe" of the lens cleaning tissue, using absolute alcohol
(assuming it is compatible with the objective lens) to remove any residues from the previously
Remember that the Cargille fluids are always formulated to be easy to remove in contamination
situations and to possess the minimum possible toxicity. This does not mean that all Cargille
fluids are easy to remove, or that they are non-toxic, quite to the contrary, but it does mean
that relative to competitive products, the Cargille fluids are easier to remove and product vs.
product, represent lower levels of toxicity.
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