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How to Clean Laser Mirrors

Follow These Steps to Clean Your Laser Mirrors:

  1. Ensure that you can easily reach each mirror by opening the access doors.
  2. Open and fold the wipe in half and gently wipe Mirror 1 (the mirror at the end of the laser tube). 
  3. Fold the wipe in half again and wipe Mirror 2 clean. The mirror surfaces should dry in a few seconds and you can use a flashlight to check ifthey are clean.
  4. Cleaning mirror 3 is a little tricky since it is mounted inside the laser head. Take the folded wipe and wrap it around a Q-tip. Insert it into the head to clean mirror 3. Generally, we find that Mirror 3 is far less contaminated than the other mirrors, likely due to it being more enclosed.
  5. Do not operate the laser for at least 15 minutes after cleaning to allow the moisture to completely evaporate.

How Often Should Clean the Mirror

At the end of each week, along with the cleaning and lubrication of the linear bearings and axis slides, we perform a deep clean of the mirrors and lens.  

To perform this, ensure that you have plenty of access to the mirrors through the access doors and again, ensure that the laser is switched OFF when performing the clean. We also recommend wearing clean cotton or latex gloves to keep fingerprints off as well as to protect your skin. 

You will need a mirror removal tool, or if you are careful, a pair of circlip pliers can be used. 

The mirror is held in place by a threaded ring that can be unscrewed by inserting the tool or the plier tips into the two holes on the back of the mirror mount and turning counterclockwise. Be careful not to apply too much pressure as you do not want to upset your mirror alignment which is critical to the performance of the laser cutter.

Once you have unscrewed the retaining ring, take a piece of masking tape and gently place it on the back of the mirror. This will allow you to easily remove the mirror from its holder.  

All 3 mirrors can be removed this way ready for deep cleaning.

Instead of using the wipes, we clean the mirrors with a purpose-made lens cloth soaked in 100% isopropyl alcohol. Do not be tempted to use cheaper cleaning solutions as they can leave residues behind. Never use cleaners that contain ammonia on your laser mirrors or laser focus lenses.