I work in a clean room. I also clean optics everyday. Tired of cleaning optics after 20 years. I purposely never tell anyone how to clean optics.
But, I can suggest (2) items that are a must have for cleaning eps.
1) A microscope
2) A vacuum
The microscope to see what you're doing, up close and personal. I would never clean an ep or lens without a microscope.
The vacuum is used to suck off the chunks, especially around the edge of the barrel. For a home user I would suggest a cheap car vacuum. Then I would adapt it down to a 3/8" diameter of surgical tubing, "thick wall". Long enough to work with easily and long enough to keep the noisy vacuum away for such delicate work. I like serenity and to become one with the ep. In the working end of the surgical tube you put in a small piece of Teflon tubing, thick wall and with a tapered end that you can either grind tapered or file tapered to a reasonable point. You may have to adapt down to so a size that fits your need, almost to a needle point or about 1/16 or 1/8 inch or so.
Also, the vacuum with your many adapters is what's used if you want to disassemble an ep and lift out the various lenses. You put the ep on a nice, flat clean surface and then vacuum the lens up and out with whatever adapter that fits the lens. Then while holding the vacuum tube and lens over a nice clean soft particle free towel, you pinch the surgical tubing to release the lens. This way you don't have to turn the ep over and bang out the lenses avoiding what I've read here where folks get the lenses out of order.
I only use air when I'm done cleaning an individual lens. Never shake a duster can and never put the nozzle closer than lets say 6 inches or so. You're just blowing off any left over fuzz from your rag or cue tip. Don't use the full force of the can. Just a soft blowing amount of air. Hey, you just cleaned the lens; you don't have to blast it, just soft air.
Never blow down into a stack of loose lenses in an ep with your duster can. All you'll do is blow contaminants between the loose lenses or worse, flip them over losing the proper order. Put a cleaned lens in and when all is tightened, then you can blow off the outer surfaces if need be, but never close, never. You'll just get duster gas specs on the surface if you get too close.
The vacuum is used to put your lenses back in the ep. You pick up a lens and position it in the barrel. You then pinch the surgical tube to release it. This way you never touch it with your hands. Speaking of which, get a bag of finger cots, non-powder type (techni-tool.com). I hate cleaning eps so much that I'm considering wearing finger cots while viewing. With your microscope you can see the skin cells and such that build up from just one handling. We really are a "flaky" sort of animal. I use a microscope every day, hate them too.
One thing though, when vacuuming your lens surfaces, you don't have to touch the surface. The Teflon is for you shaky types. Always keep a fresh clean tube for lifting lenses in and out. If you don't, you'll just be frustrated each time you put a lens in and then look at it in the microscope and see some contaminant on the center of it.
So, I hope this helps you folks toward a better viewing experience. My eps are all pristine, always.
The actual rag types and cleaners I'll leave out of this. This is where the end users can really screw things up. Only experience here can keep you from using the wrong solvent in the wrong place.
However, I use spectral grade acetone, reagent grade ethanol and on very rare occasions, isopropyl. Don't price this stuff out unless you want to pay $100 to $300 a gallon. I've found that ethanol actually works best to remove skin oils and fleck and whatever, but it attacks most flat black paints unless they're epoxies. Isopropyl has a tendency to whiten or gray flat blacks. In the optics industry there is an in house joke. You can't clean optics, you can only move the contaminants around on the surface.
Good luck, Joe Conway