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Kimwipes should be fine to clean lenses, as long as there is no grit or hard dirt on the lens surface. I have used a number of readily available papers and cloths, with good results; toilet paper, Kleenex, soft paper napkins, soft towels, etc. The key is that both the glass and tissue be clean and soft. A soft touch and lint free cloth or paper tissue is of course preferred. I have even seen wet newspaper used to clean glass windows, with no ill effects, as long as the moisture is promptly dried from the glass surface.

 

After diving, all glass surfaces should be promptly wiped dry, very gently so that no water remains on the glass surface to evaporate. If the water contains minerals, as the water evaporates, the minerals (such as calcium and magnesium carbonates) will form a deposit on the glass, which with time becomes next to impossible to remove.

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Kimwipes should be fine to clean lenses, as long as there is no grit or hard dirt on the lens surface.

 

.....and that's the problem. Kimwipes apparently do have grit that is used in their manufacture (diatomaceous earth) and should never be used on lenses. You should really use lens paper, if possible, but if not, something soft that is clean and without grit will work. We have Kimwipes in the lab, but we also purchase lens paper for use on optics, even though it is more expensive it is better for the lenses.

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.....and that's the problem. Kimwipes apparently do have grit that is used in their manufacture (diatomaceous earth) and should never be used on lenses. You should really use lens paper, if possible, but if not, something soft that is clean and without grit will work. We have Kimwipes in the lab, but we also purchase lens paper for use on optics, even though it is more expensive it is better for the lenses.

These folks disagree with you: https://www.aflglobal.com/Products/Test-and-Inspection/Fiber-Optic-Cleaning/Kimwipes.aspx

Do you have a citable source to back up your statement?

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The seller of Kimwipes does not mention diatomaceous earth, and states that Kimwipes are fine for glass.

I personally have absolutely no financial or other interest in the subject, other than to be a good underwater diver and photographer, and I would be interesed in learning where the diatomaceous information originated.

 

Here is the commercial quote:

"This product comes in one box which contains 280 pcs of 4.5"x8.75" wipers.

Features:

  • Disposable lint-free Kimwipes
  • Soft, gentle, absorbent lint-free wipes for light-duty tasks
  • Easily picks up liquid and dust without scratching fragile surfaces
  • Economical delicate task wipers are soft, non-abrasive and are considered safe for use on most delicate surfaces
  • Made from 100% virgin wood fiber "
  • https://www.fiberoptics4sale.com/products/34155?variant=50978039253

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Maybe they have changed, but that is what I was told when taking optics classes in graduate school. That was over twenty years ago now, though. I still don't use them on optics, you can do what you want.

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Is there also a compact box available or what/how do you use these on a trip?

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According to Zeiss (and I guess they know something about optics) Kimwipes are good for cleaning optics as long as they are wet; most likely because if there are particulates on the lens a dry rub can push the particle into the coating. We use 100% IPA for the wetness with no issues so far. For travel, you can take them out of the box and put them in a ziplock bag. For stubborn cleaning I fold them about 4 times, soak them with IPA and use a hemostat to hold the folded kimwipe. That way no finger grease gets on the lens.

Bill

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