How to Maintain and Clean PMMA Fiber Optic Cables

Maintaining and cleaning PMMA (Polymethyl Methacrylate) fiber optic cables is essential for optimal performance. Proper care extends the life of these cables and ensures consistent transmission quality. In this article, we will explore the best practices for maintaining and cleaning PMMA fiber optic cables to help you keep your system running smoothly.

Maintenance of PMMA Fiber Optic Cables

Regular Inspection

Routine inspection of PMMA fiber optic cables is crucial. Check the cables regularly for any signs of wear and tear, kinks, or bends. Damaged cables can lead to signal loss and reduced performance.

Visual Inspection

Perform a visual inspection to identify any physical damage. Look for cracks, abrasions, or any visible signs of wear. Ensure that the cables are not tightly coiled or bent beyond their recommended bend radius, as this can damage the fibers inside.

Functional Testing

In addition to visual inspection, conduct functional tests to check the performance of the cables. Use a light source and power meter to measure signal strength and identify any significant losses that might indicate damage or dirt.

Cleaning Tools and Materials

To clean PMMA fiber optic cables effectively, use the right tools and materials. Commonly used cleaning tools include:

  • Lint-free wipes: These are essential to avoid leaving any residue on the cables.
  • Isopropyl alcohol (IPA): A high concentration of IPA (at least 90%) is effective for cleaning without leaving any residue.
  • Compressed air: Used to remove dust and debris from connectors and cable ends.
  • Fiber optic cleaning kits: These kits often include all necessary tools for cleaning fiber optic cables.

Cleaning Procedure

Cleaning PMMA fiber optic cables involves several steps to ensure thorough removal of dirt and contaminants.

Cleaning the Cable Ends

  • Turn off equipment: Before cleaning, ensure that all connected equipment is powered down to avoid any electrical hazards or signal interference.
  • Use compressed air: Gently blow compressed air on the cable ends to remove loose dust and debris.
  • Apply isopropyl alcohol: Moisten a lint-free wipe with isopropyl alcohol and gently wipe the cable ends. Make sure to use a clean section of the wipe for each pass to avoid recontamination.
  • Dry with lint-free wipe: After cleaning with alcohol, use a dry lint-free wipe to remove any remaining alcohol and ensure the cable ends are dry.

Cleaning Connectors

  • Inspect connectors: Visually inspect connectors for any dirt or damage.
  • Use a cleaning tool: Utilize a connector cleaning tool or a lint-free swab moistened with isopropyl alcohol to clean inside the connector.
  • Dry the connector: Allow the connector to air dry or use a dry lint-free swab to remove any excess alcohol.


Maintaining and cleaning PMMA fiber optic cables is essential for preserving their performance and longevity. Regular inspections, proper cleaning techniques, and careful handling can significantly extend the life of your cables and maintain optimal transmission quality.