Cleaning Optical Fiber Adapters Using Dustfree Absorbent Swabs

This topic describes how to clean fiber adapters using dustfree absorbent swabs.


There are several types of dustfree absorbent swabs available. Select appropriate dustfree absorbent swabs based on site conditions. You can obtain the following tools and materials from a fiber cable and connector manufacturer.

Tools, Equipment, and Materials

The following lists the required tools, equipment and materials:
  • Optical power meter

  • 400X fiber microscope (A video fiber microscope is recommended.)

  • Cleaning solvent (Isoamylol is preferred, propyl alcohol is the next, and alcohol or formalin is forbidden.)

  • Special compressed air

  • Dustfree absorbent swab (made of medical cotton or long fiber cotton)


Laser energy is invisible and may cause eye injuries. Never look directly into fiber connectors or ports.

Electrostatic discharge is hazardous to the electronic equipment. Wear an ESD wrist strap and ensure that the strap is grounded properly before touching the equipment and boards, to protect the static-sensitive components against electrostatic discharge of the human body. Otherwise, the equipment may be damaged or the service may be interrupted.


  1. Shut down the laser and disconnect the fiber end before inspecting the fiber connector.

  2. Test the optical power using a power meter to ensure that the laser is shut down.

  3. Select the dustfree absorbent swab with a proper diameter based on the type of an adapter.

    For SC and FC fiber adapters, use the dustfree absorbent swab with a diameter of 2.5 mm (0.1 in.); for the LC fiber adapter, use the dustfree absorbent swab with a diameter of 1.25 mm (0.05 in.). See Figure 1 and Figure 2.

    Figure 1 Dustfree absorbent swabs for cleaning the SC and FC connectors
    Figure 2 Dustfree absorbent swabs for cleaning the LC connectors
  4. Put a little cleaning solvent on the dustfree absorbent swab.

  5. Place the dustfree absorbent swab gently on the adapter so that the cleaning solvent is against the fiber end face. Draw out the dustfree absorbent swab from the fiber adapter and then rotate the dustfree absorbent swab clockwise once. Ensure that the tip of the dustfree absorbent swab directly contacts the fiber end face.

  6. Use the compressed air to blow off dust on the fiber end face.

    • When using the compressed air, keep the nozzle as close as possible to the fiber end face without touching it.

    • Before using the compressed air, first spray it into the air to expel deposits in the compressed air.

  7. Step 7 Use a fiber microscope to inspect the fiber to check whether there is any dirt. For details, see "Inspecting Optical Fiber Connectors". If the fiber end face is still dirty, repeat 1 to 6.

  8. Connect the fiber to the optical port immediately. If it is not used for the time being, put a protective cap on it.

  9. Turn on the laser after connecting the fiber to the board.

Copyright © Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.
Copyright © Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.
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