How to Clean Fiber Optic Connectors

By following these guidelines, you can ensure the performance and reliability of your fiber optic connections are preserved. Proper cleaning techniques are vital for the longevity and efficiency of your fiber optic infrastructure.
fiber optic connector clean
Table of Contents

Fiber optic technology is the backbone of modern communication, with its ability to transmit vast amounts of data swiftly and reliably.

The core and cladding of a fiber optic cable, typically 9µm and 125µm in diameter respectively, serve as the pathway for light signals.

However, contaminants such as dust, oils, and other impurities, often invisible to the naked eye, can significantly degrade the performance of fiber optic connections.

how to clean fiber optic connector

Cleaning fiber optic connectors is essential to maintain the integrity of the signal transmission.

Why Cleaning Fiber Optic Connectors is Essential

Contaminants on the surface of fiber optic connectors can drastically impact signal quality.

A single dust particle, much smaller than the 9µm core, can obstruct the light path, leading to loss of signal or even permanent damage to the connector.

Proper cleaning ensures minimal signal loss and preserves the longevity of the connectors.

fiber optic connector clean

Step-by-Step Cleaning Guide

  1. Ensure no light is present in the fiber; clean connectors one at a time.
  2. Fold the cleaning fabric at least twice to avoid contamination from other surfaces, such as skin.
  3. Saturate the cleaning fabric with alcohol.
  4. Gently press and rotate the fiber optic connector on the saturated fabric for several turns.
  5. Flip the cleaning fabric to a clean side and wipe the connector end-face in one direction.
  6. Dispose of the used cleaning fabric.
  7. Inspect the cleaned connector with a microscope; repeat cleaning if necessary until the inspection results are satisfactory.
  8. Immediately reconnect the fiber after cleaning.
how to clean fiber optic connector

DO’s and DON’Ts for Fiber Optic Connector Cleaning


  • Disconnect laser sources before inspecting fiber connectors, components, or bulkheads.
  • Disconnect the cable at both ends and remove any related equipment from the chassis.
  • Use safety glasses where required, ensuring they conform to regulations and are appropriate for your lasers.
  • Inspect connectors or adapters prior to cleaning.
  • Handle connectors by the housing to connect or disconnect.
  • Keep protective caps on unplugged fiber connectors.
  • Store unused caps in a resealable container to prevent dust transfer. Keep these containers near the work area.
  • Dispose of used cleaning materials properly.


  • Avoid alcohol-based cleaning that leaves residue.
  • Never look into a fiber with active system lasers.
  • Do not clean bulkheads or receptacles without inspection capabilities.
  • Avoid touching products without proper grounding.
  • Do not use unfiltered handheld magnifiers for inspection.
  • Never connect fiber to a fiberscope with active lasers.
  • Avoid twisting or forcefully pulling the fiber cable.
  • Never reuse cleaning tissues, swabs, or reels.
  • Do not touch the clean area of a cleaning material.
  • Avoid touching alcohol application areas.
  • Do not touch the tip of an alcohol dispensing bottle.
  • Exercise caution when using alcohol due to its flammability – avoid open flames.

For fiber optic connector products or further technical guidance, please contact Fibconet!

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