A video produced by Sticklers explains the potential contamination problems that static charges can create for fiber-optic connectors, and what technicians can do to try to avoid those problems. “Static attracts dust onto the fiber endface, just like a magnet,” Sticklers explains in the video. Furthermore, it says, wiping and endface with a dry wipe generates a static charge. Because that charge has nowhere to go, it can stay on the endface for a long time.
“Even if the contact zone initially is clean, static can cause dust to move from the outer zone into the contact zone,” the video explains. Using isopropyl alchol (IPA) is not a best practice, according to Sticklers, because alcohol often leaves residues.
Rather, Sticklers encourages, use a fast-drying, non-flammable, residue-free cleaning fluid like its own. Such a fluid dissipates any static that is created during cleaning. Technicians should dampen a cleaning stick, insert the damp stick into the connector, and rotate it. This practice will prevent static charges from being created on the fiber-optic connector endface—and therefore will avoid the contamination that a static charge can attract.