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08-30-2012, 11:33 AM   #1
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is it safe for lens? Hydrogen Peroxide and Household Ammonia

Good day

Found an old manual lens had some fungus.... so i did some research about lens disassemble etc...

Now I have a question about what to use to clean fungus... there is a link:
Ron Herron's "Mamiya 35mm Cameras" Fungus How-To
where it suggested 50-50 of "Hydrogen Peroxide and Household Ammonia."

Had anyone tried this formula? Is it safe to lens coating?

And since I am going to disassemble, I probably would lubricate some parts. Any advise about what kind of oil or lubricants to use?

Thanks,
chalupa

08-30-2012, 11:49 AM   #2
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I actually use just 100% Hydrogen Peroxide (i.e. the normal hydrogen peroxide you get in a bottle from a pharmacy, etc.) to clean elements with fungus. I've done this on SMC Pentax coated elements, as well as earlier Pentax single and multi-coatings, as well as multi-coatings from several third-party makers. It's never caused any problems whatsoever, and I've never had fungus repeat where I've used it. My method is simply to wet a Pec pad with it, and then wipe the element with it. If the fungus is bad, you may want to do it a couple of times or immerse the element.. I wouldn't recommend leaving the element to sit in it, though, just to be on the safe side. Then I wipe it dry with a Pec Pad. After this, I then give it another wipe with a Pec pad wetted with a trustworthy lens cleaning fluid, and finally wipe that dry. That has always worked perfectly, and in my opinion its much less messy than cold cream and has much less fumes than using ammonia or some other chemicals.
08-30-2012, 12:07 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by macTak Quote
I actually use just 100% Hydrogen Peroxide (i.e. the normal hydrogen peroxide you get in a bottle from a pharmacy, etc.) to clean elements with fungus. I've done this on SMC Pentax coated elements, as well as earlier Pentax single and multi-coatings, as well as multi-coatings from several third-party makers. It's never caused any problems whatsoever, and I've never had fungus repeat where I've used it. My method is simply to wet a Pec pad with it, and then wipe the element with it. If the fungus is bad, you may want to do it a couple of times or immerse the element.. I wouldn't recommend leaving the element to sit in it, though, just to be on the safe side. Then I wipe it dry with a Pec Pad. After this, I then give it another wipe with a Pec pad wetted with a trustworthy lens cleaning fluid, and finally wipe that dry. That has always worked perfectly, and in my opinion its much less messy than cold cream and has much less fumes than using ammonia or some other chemicals.
I use my own saliva then clean it with Zeiss glass cleaning fluid with a Pec Pad. Works like a charm
08-30-2012, 12:40 PM   #4
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macTak, thanks for the quick reply. without Ammonia, it will be much easier for me. :) i will try 100 hydrogen peroxide


ducdao, thanks for your tip.



Last edited by Parallax; 08-30-2012 at 12:47 PM.
09-01-2012, 07:27 PM   #5
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Just to be accurate, the hydrogen peroxide you buy in a drugstore is most likely 3% hydrogen peroxide. 100% hydrogen peroxide is extremely dangerous. You used to be able to buy 10% hydrogen peroxide as hair bleach, but I don't know if that's still available.
I'm not an expert in optical coatings, but I would be cautious about using hydrogen peroxide-ammonia on coated optics.
09-01-2012, 09:30 PM   #6
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I would not use ammonia either, I wouls be afraid it could harm the coating. I bought a fungus infected lens to play with last winter. Common isopropyl alcohol works well, and according to everything I've read doesn't harm coatings. I gently wiped it with a q-tip and and finished with a microfibre cloth.
09-02-2012, 04:50 AM   #7
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I tried 99% isopropyl aclohol on the rear element. but fungus didn't come off (don't want to rub too hard). I haven't tried hydrogen peroxide yet -- I am waiting for my spanner wrench to disassemble lens for internal fungus.
09-02-2012, 04:51 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jford Quote
Just to be accurate, the hydrogen peroxide you buy in a drugstore is most likely 3% hydrogen peroxide.
yes. it is 3%. I got it from Walmart.
Thanks

09-02-2012, 07:07 AM   #9
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If anyone is looking for more potent hydrogen-peroxide, than what is available from the regular store, go to your local swimming-pool supplier and get a jug of BAQUACIL oxidizer. This stuff is 27.5% hydrogen-peroxide so reading and understanding the caution labels is important.

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 09-02-2012 at 07:19 AM.
09-02-2012, 09:07 AM   #10
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There are many species of fungus and some actually etch the glass with time. The etchings will never come off without repolishing the lens - something I would think essentially impossible to do. Removing the fungal growth before the glass is etched is a simple cleaning task (well, as simple as removing any other dirt.) But sanitizing the lens, removing all the spores to minimize the chance of regrowth - that's a bit harder.

Isopropyl alcohol should be good for cleaning greasy dirt and grime. Probably good for removing fungus tissue, but it may or may not actually kill the fungus or the spores. Too high a concentration simply dehydrates the tissue. Sounds wrong, but it's true. We use 70% alcohol, not 100%, for sanitizing surfaces because of this.

I would definitely NOT use 30% hydrogen peroxide to clean anything with an oxidizable coating. Optical coatings are designed to have precise refractive indices and thicknesses. I know from experience that 30% hydrogen peroxide "burns" human skin, creating a tough, almost caullus-like burn. I don't know enough about optical coatings to know whether they contain oxidizable metal ions - but if they do, you run the risk of destroying the coating's effect - or destroying the coating.

Of course, it's your lens.

Good luck.
09-02-2012, 09:24 AM   #11
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Hey, at least the fungus will be gone.
Seriously, this stuff is pretty nasty, don`t get it on yourself.
It is easy to dilute with distilled water to reduce the percentage. I have not used it for cleaning lenses, only as a swimming pool sanitizer, so not endorsing it in any way, just pointing out a source for a stronger solution.
09-03-2012, 07:11 AM   #12
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I have a pair of broken glasses. Like many glasses, it has coating. so I tried...

50-50 Hydrogen Peroxide/Ammonia
works better than hydrogen peroxide(3%). And coating is fine.

looks like with ammonia, it is easier to remove fingerprint. do some google on ammonia. looks like it is good to clean grease or oil-based stain:
Home and Garden Uses for Ammonia | Reader's Digest

(no, i haven't tried it on my lens yet, as still waiting for my tools. and remember never mix ammonia with bleach)

(Hey, Ex Finn, thanks for the info. I might have it for some experiment someday)
09-03-2012, 03:08 PM   #13
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You are all mad deluded kitchen sink chemists. Just use some cold cream. Works every time.
09-04-2012, 08:37 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by kh1234567890 Quote
You are all mad deluded kitchen sink chemists. Just use some cold cream. Works every time.
I can say the same about human saliva, plus it's free and environmental friendly
09-04-2012, 05:36 PM   #15
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"50-50 Hydrogen Peroxide/Ammonia works better than hydrogen peroxide(3%). And coating is fine. "
And how did you test the broken lens to ensure that the coating still has the refractive behavior it had before?

But as I said, it's your lens.
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