Cleaning the laser tube and the rest of my GlowBaby with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Okay, I just want to point out a few facts here:

  • I am 36 or 37 years old. I have a hard time deciding/remembering and doing the math. (That was not intended to make anyone laugh- although I DO see where humor could be found).
  • I have had OCD all of my existence that I can remember. And I don’t mean the “OCD” term that everyone freely throws around as an exaggeration. I mean Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Diagnosed. By a pediatrician, physician, psychiatrist, counselor, any member of my family, and anyone that has spent more than 24 hours near me.
  • Ever since I was taught how to overcome and control this disorder, I have been able to successfully control impulses-- inside and out. EXCEPT FOR CLEANING. I can, for the most part, control my cleaning impulses. At least enough for my life to go smoothly.
  • I own a GLOWFORGE.
  • My GLOWFORGE is a trigger.
  • 4 hours of my day yesterday went to cleaning my GLOWFORGE.
  • We ate dinner at 11:00 PM last night.
  • Two hours of my day today has gone to ATTEMPTING to clean around my laser tube. With no success. Success in someone else’s brain would have been accomplished 2 hours in… YESTERDAY.
  • The tools, instruments, and contraptions that came out of the woodworks… OH MY!
  • I need to see a psychiatrist. Even though I have not visited one in over 12 to 15 years.
  • My husband, for the first time, has seen that my OCD can be an inconvenience.
  • Our first live and true argument was titled “The Glowforge was clean 3 hours ago”

And now…I am going to go try to finish cleaning around my laser tube.



You’re welcome to come visit me! Anytime! Please? :slightly_smiling_face:


I am able to get a sheet of copy paper under the tube (it takes a few tries) then lightly spray the paper and run it back and forth. I do not do this often and it is not needed to run the laser.


You have my genuine sympathies - this is a beggar of a machine to keep properly clean. In fact I think it’s impossible.

It’s like you have to give your permission for this to be a tool that gets dirty.


I have done that also, but not recently.


You are not truly OCD unless you state it CDO (alphabetically)


Doesn’t the first belie the second? :slight_smile:


Lol! I usually do pretty good. As long as I just ingnore cleaning it. But once I say okay. It’s time. It’s on! My hands are stained with GlowForge Goo. I have a blister in one finger from trying to get it off. I wore gloves. But apparently my fingers kept getting holes!

The few times that I have told my husband “ I gotta clean my glow baby tomorrow”… ever since the first time I cleaned it his response every time is “oh God, really?” And he always argues. Telling me that it’s not that bad.

Now that it is done I can laugh.

But I have absolutely no issue cleaning the tube. That’s easy. It’s this one tiny little streak of smudge on the Z frame or laser frame that I can not reach from either side!!!

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Oh how I wish I could tell my brain that and it just change its ways!


I do love the fact that you can at any time lick my kitchen floor and not have a worry in the world. Covid19 or not… :joy:


Mandy, we love you girl. Don’t change. Love your enthusiasm with your family, your Glowforge and the forum.


I am near opposite about cleaning in general, apart from most of my tools & equipment.

For cleaning around the tube, I like “pipe cleaners”–though I recently bought some at a store and they weren’t called that, but “chenille wire” or something. Put a bit of IPA or cleaner you like to use, and it works great to get around the tube and gently slide it around to get at lots of those niggling little bits…


Spray it with???

I use vinegar and water in a spray bottle for this. I have been meaning to pick up some of the 3M electronic cleaner that has been mentioned in the forum.


A: Anyone heard from Mandy today?

B: Check back tomorrow. Today is her GF Cleaning Day.

A: Wasn’t day before yesterday her GF Cleaning Day?

B: Yes, it was. And your point?

I know a bit of what you are going through, Mandy. I’m autistic and have a twinge of OCD. Just enough to contribute to an autism diagnosis but not anything even close to the real thing. I can imagine what you are going through, and I expect whatever I imagine isn’t even close.

That said, after only 5 or 6 hours of print time I noticed a haze on the lid and laser tube and fell deep down the cleaning rabbit hole. Fortunately I was able to control my urges to clean it at that level all the time. Unfortunately, I’m now in a gray area in which although I can control the compulsion to clean it, it is no longer fun to watch it print. No matter how hard I try to focus on the print head, I invariably find my attention has turned to the dirt.

Me: Watch for fire:

Brain: Oooh. that lid is soooo ohazy.

Me: Watch for fire:

Brain: Laser tube looks frosty.

Me: Watch for fire:

Brain: Like the fire that could start when the heat sink is too clogged to work? It’s overheating as we speak.

Me: Holy crap! I wonder if it is.

Brain: Ha ha! Made you look!


But, then you would have to clean it again? Oh! how much better than the opposite problems! :flushed:


Thankyou @ptodd I love you guys, too! I love reading the forums reading everyone’s intelligence, sarcasm, jokes, and getting stuck in my rabbit holes (now that I finally know what a rabbit hole is).

You either love me or hate me! That’s usually the way it goes. A lot of people don’t like my upbeat personality. At least that’s how I see myself. I’ve heard “she marches to beat of her own drum” my whole life. Whether I agree or disagree- I’m not sure. I just like to make myself smile as well as everyone around me. I’m glad someone got a kick out of it! That was my aim.

For my hubby, it was not that funny at the moment. But if he didn’t like it, I don’t think he would tell the world about it so much. Almost anyone that crosses paths gets told the story. So there must be some kind of joy he experienced. After the fact. :dancer:t4::man_dancing:t2:


Yes! That is how it is! I mean if I had to clock in at a job, I would be fired! Because nine times out of ten, I find something I need to clean “real quick” before I leave the house. My husband jokes that he could call and say “Hey honey, I just broke down on the interstate. Could you come give me a ride?” And I would say “Sure, I am on my way. But let me scrub this wall first, I think someone touched it!”

Even though, I have learned how to control most of my urges. The Glowforge is definitely a trigger.
That I can control, until I can’t control any longer.

Once it is to that point that I can no longer control it, CANCEL EVERYTHING!


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