Water stains on reflector

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I know of several threads on cleaning reflectors but I'm don't have access to compressed air. What's a good non damaging way to clean water stains off a reflector? Alcohol? Ultrasonic? Distilled water?
 

csshih

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I'd volunteer to say distilled water..
but
how bad is it? if it doesn't affect your beam, I'll suggest to just grit your teeth and carry on as usual.
I've destroyed 1 reflector before. luckily replacements were available.
 

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I'd volunteer to say distilled water..
but
how bad is it? if it doesn't affect your beam, I'll suggest to just grit your teeth and carry on as usual.
I've destroyed 1 reflector before. luckily replacements were available.

it's not about the beam. It's about the OCD.
 

csshih

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I have that exact same problem, mate.. with my clumsiness..I destroy stuff I try to fix :(
 

tx101

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I know of several threads on cleaning reflectors but I'm don't have access to compressed air. What's a good non damaging way to clean water stains off a reflector? Alcohol? Ultrasonic? Distilled water?


Try those aerosol cans of compressed air used typically to clean computer
keyboards etc
I normally use them to blast off the dust from a reflector
 

JamisonM

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I think you're probably better off leaving it as is or getting a replacement. The reflective surface of a reflector is probably the most delicate part of a flashlight. Trying to clean it can make it worse.
 

kosPap

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Try those aerosol cans of compressed air used typically to clean computer
keyboards etc
I normally use them to blast off the dust from a reflector

NOT THESE..unless you read the exact content....
Dust-off does NOT contain air but another gas that uis stated to harm SLR mirrors (and I cna prove it)...

I had better lack with acetone...
 

Mjolnir

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It is very easy to scratch a reflector, even with the finest of lens cloths. It is better off just leaving it how it is; you will likely end up with scratches and bare spots that will affect your OCD (its ok, we all have it) much worse than mere stains or dirt.
 

sparkysko

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If it's aluminum maybe acetone or brake cleaner.

I've tried alcohol before and it just left more stains. Although I was probably using 50 or 70% alcohol. 90% might work good.
 

jzmtl

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I've done this with Mag reflectors with good result, your result may vary depends on your local water quality, soap used etc. do it at your own risk.

Rinse it with warm tap water, if that doesn't get rid of it use some good quality liquid hand soap and rub the reflector with your finger pad (make sure your hands are clean), then rinse with warm tap again, finally blow all the remaining water off refelctor surface with canned air. Don't use any sort of cloth or wipes, they all will scratch.
 

kosPap

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well how about B&W film rinsing dilutions? Their function is to clean the film and leave no salt residue...afterall they are a kind of soap....

OK OK I know, I have lots off and I will try it for you...
 

bluepilgrim

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When I had a job which required cleaning first surface mirrors I used rubbing alcohol. The most important thing is to not use any pressure -- more important that grit-free even. The best thing to use is a soft camel hair brush -- just the tip of it. Then flush the surface with lots of alcohol or distilled water. If you must dry it toilet paper or lens paper is best -- other paper has grit in it -- but only blot it lightly -- never rub. Natural air drying or blowing it with moisture and dust free air is best.

For an unknown surface, as when there there might be a coating of some kind on the surface, test a tiny bit of the surface first with the rubbing alcohol to make sure there is no reaction.

That's general advice, but there might be special circumstances with some optics. Keep in mind, however, that there is a difference between an optic looking bad and not performing well, even with fine optics, as well as a simple reflector. A thin film of dust or gunk may look bad and still the optic will work fine -- but if you lose too much of the reflective coating it might look OK and not perform optimally.
 

bluepilgrim

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Sounds like disolved minerals in the tap water. The only thing I can think of that might work is distilled water to redisolve them and wash them away. I'm not sure how much you get in there or what it would do to the rest of the light if it got too wet. I guess the head is not *completely* sealed -- or it got in through the battery side.

I have used distilled to wash a keyboard -- but you have to let it thouroughly dry for a few days afterwards. Sometimes I have to just take the thing apart, though.

I'd say just leave the stains there and use the light as is. Or put a diffuser over the lens so you can't see them.
 

jzmtl

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I actually got the stain from warm tap water. I can't even access the bit with the stains with a cloth as the head is sealed.

That's the thing, you can't let water dry on the reflector. That's why I said you need to blow all the water off with canned air.

Fail that try demineralized water for final rinse, you can find big jugs of them in automotive stores that's used for dilute antifreeze. Some of them has bittering agent added thou so watch for those, duno if it would leave stain too.
 
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