Course work can be quite tough on the devices and a regular functionality check prolongs the life of the instrument.
Microscopes generally do not require much maintenance and should deliver many years of reliable performance if kept well. Improper use of the instruments causes the instruments to age much quicker. Course work can be quite tough on the devices and a regular functionality check prolongs the life of the instrument.
- Cleaning the eye pieces of fat: Fat from the eye lashed accumulates on the surface of the eye piece. Use a cleaning fluid and cleaning cloth that does not damage the optical coating of the optics.
- Cleaning the objectives from immersion oil: Use synthetic immersion oil only! Natural oils may solidify over time. Even if synthetic oils are used, make sure that the students clean the objectives properly after usage. Also check the non-immersion objectives for the presence of immersion oil! Occasionally students do rotate non-immersion objectives into the oil. Use a cleaning fluid that does not harm the cement that is responsible of holding the lens in place!
- Checking the working of the gears and cleaning the gears from hardened oil: It is not good to turn the knobs by force. This may increase the wear of the gears over time. The gears should be cleaned of solidified oil so that all of the knobs turn smoothly again.
- Replacing old light bulbs: Old light bulbs start to shift towards the red end of the spectrum. A blue filter (daylight filter) restores a more balanced color, it is best to replace old bulbs even if they are still functional. When replacing bulbs, do not touch the new bulb with your fingers, as the fat of your fingers will burn on the bulb and decrease the light intensity.