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cleaning question...

Started by Zhimbo, 08/26/2003 09:38PM
Posted 08/26/2003 09:38PM Opening Post
A story, then a question...

A couple of nights ago I was at a friend's house, trying to show him Mars. The weather wasn't cooperating very well, so we hung out in his backyard, waiting for holes, and eventually decided tonight was not the night.

I had left the endcap from my scope within arm's reach just off the path we were set up on. I "clunked" the cap on, and felt something cold and wet on the top of the was a giant, fat slug. Ugh. I took the cap off, flung the beastie into the lawn, and a thought occurred to me...was there, by any chance, a slug on the *other* side of the cap, too...nahhhh, what are the chances of that?

I peered into the tube with my red light...oh, great! There was a slug on my mirror! There was a SLUG on my MIRROR!!!

Tonight I get supplies - alcohol, distilled water, and cotton balls (I've never cleaned the mirror before). I've soaked the mirror in a water/alchohol mixture with a drop or two of dish detergent. I've wiped, ever so gently, with cotton balls while the mirror is submerged...and the main "splat" mark is still there...

I'm not too concerned yet, mostly I just wanted to share the story...I'm going to let it soak some more and repeat the cotton ball treatment. If the mark stays...any ideas?
Posted 08/26/2003 10:43PM #1
Idea #1. slug mucous is protein; maybe enzymes, maybe acid. Worse, maybe chemicaly reactive. Probably a good idea to get it off sooner rather than later Idea #2 Acetone. NOT nail poish remover with perfumes and skin lotion, but chemical grade acetone from a pharmecy. Place on and remove with the following method: drap-but do not rub-an old cotton t-shirt to soak the acetone off. Idea #3. Do a search here on Astromart and other places for mirror cleaning. Company 7 has some ideas, for example. Idea #4. Wait for more responses than mine!

The only thing wrong with censorship is [deleted].

Posted 08/27/2003 05:03AM #2
Generally mirror cleaning -

Put mirror in sink on thick towel. Pour diluted detergent onto mirror and let sit. Rinse thoroughly with tap water. Rinse with distilled water. Rinse with isopropyl alcohol. If there are remaining spots, try rinsing them off with acetone. The stuff from a hardware store is fine, but, if you worry, got it from a pharmacy. If you stand your mirror on edge, most of the water will slid off a clean mirror. Remaining spots can be removed with the edges of small pieces of paper towel.

If you slug spot does not come off, use spit on it. Saliva can remove stuff untouched by other solvents. After that, follow the above procedure.

I often find I can skip the alchohol and acetone.

If you use soft corron balls, old undershirts, or such to gently rub the mirror, even under water, you are almost certain to get fine scratches. All it takes is on piece of grit on the mirror. If such cleaning is required, I give optics one pass with a Kleenex that was wet with a mild detergent solution.
Posted 08/27/2003 09:08AM #3
Well, I'm satisfied now...the slug spot is still barely present in at least 2 small spots, but I've seem to have gotton rid of most of it without any apparent damage to the mirror...

Much patience, many rinses, and a pile of cotton balls (just the weight of the cotton ball, no pressure) seem to have done it. I assume getting rid of the final teensy bit of slug evidence isn't worth the risk.

It's been almost 2 years that I've used the scope without cleaning so there was a fair bit of dreck on it anyway.

Of course, the moral of the lesson is to avoid flinging a juicy slug onto your mirror in the first place...