Commonly and extensively used in all different types of labs across the world, microscopes are used to view everything from plant cells to mineral samples, and allow you to observe items that are too small for the naked eye. This kind of device is integral for studying structures, cells, and microorganisms in both diagnostics and research applications.
There are several kinds of microscope, but at SciChem, we only work with the very best microscope manufacturers, including BMS. They offer a wide range of microscopes for both professional use and hobbyists, and they are specialists in the field.
In this article, the experts at BMS have shared their top tips for looking after your microscope.
Take Care of Lenses
The lens is the most critical part of a microscope, and the objective lens must be lowered in order to adjust the view focus. One of the most common issues we see with this equipment is damage to the lenses, so proper care and attention must be taken to keep them in top condition.
When viewing a slide, make sure the objective lens doesn’t lower too much and touch the base. Lenses touching the slides can cause damage such as scuffs and scratches, making them unusable. It is also important to take care to keep lenses as clean as possible.
They are notoriously difficult to clean when they become dirty, so be careful to avoid touching the lenses when using or moving the microscope.
Avoid Improper Handling
The way you handle your microscope will play an important role in the lifespan of your equipment. Improper handling is often the reason behind microscope problems, so extra care should always be taken in order to avoid this.
When you are moving your microscope around the lab, hold both the base and the metal support arm carefully. Never handle your microscope using the eye piece holder or the flat plate, as this can lead to misalignment. The flat plate is the part of the microscope where slides are positioned during an observation.
Use A Dust Cover
All BMS microscopes include dust covers as standard, and for good reason. You should always use the dust cover for this equipment, especially in storage and when moving the microscope around.
Whenever your equipment is not being used, put the dust cover or dust bag back on to protect it. Getting dust on or in a microscope can cause a lot of problems, and the easiest way to avoid this is a dust cover.
The eye tubes of your microscope should also be protected from dust, so if you remove them, make sure to cover them with caps and store properly.
Look After the Bulbs
Microscopes feature tiny bulbs which are used for the illuminator. Make sure you switch off the illuminator whenever it is not in use, in order to minimise damage. If the bulbs are left on for long periods, they will overheat and eventually blow, causing further damage to your equipment.
When you do turn off your illuminator, wait for it to completely cool before you put the microscope away. By allowing it to cool down, you can extend the lifespan of the bulb and avoid having to make replacements which can be costly.
Follow The Instructions
It might sound obvious, but the instructions and information provided in your microscope’s user manual are there for a reason. BMS microscopes will come with a manual as well as any specialist spanners which are required for adjustments.
Always follow the instructions carefully and only use the provided spanners to make microscope adjustments. Never use different tools than the ones provided, and never use force with your microscope. When you do make adjustments, avoid overtightening as this can damage the equipment.
The chances are your microscope is going to spend the majority of its time in storage. We have already discussed the importance of storing with a dust cover, but it is also vital you keep your equipment in a clean, dry space with plenty of ventilation.
Damp air near the microscope will cause damage over time, so make sure to keep equipment somewhere dry and away from anything that could leak.
Microscopes should also not be stored near to potentially corrosive chemicals which may give off fumes, as this can corrode metal parts and destroy the lenses.
For more information on BMS microscopes, contact our expert team today.