Dust levels... Smoke covered glass tube.... Is this a bad thing

My glass tube is turning white from smoke. Will this harm it? How can I clean it. Does dust in the glowforge harm anything? A dog hair somehow manage to float into the forge and rest on the glass while I was cutting. Could that lead to problems?

You do need to clean your machine periodically:

Some residue will accumulate on the tube. It mostly shouldn’t cause any issues. I think most people clean the tube off when they clean the machine every ~40 hours, just for general cleanliness and aesthetics.

There is a lot of discussion on cleanings in the forums that can be found by searching on things like “cleaning.”




Heh. I was just passing by, didn’t see anyone else currently responding and, thought I’d grab it. :grinning:

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You should clean your optics relatively often but the rest is a lot about how facetious you are. I think of mine as a tool and accept that it will never look new and keep it clean enough. Others try to keep theirs pristine.
How quickly it gets dirty is based mostly on what you cut/engrave with it.


Yeah, burning hair really stinks. Other than that, no, it shouldn’t create an issue. :wink:

The guys have linked you to the cleaning instructions…in addition to that, I do tend to wipe down the tube when it gets too cloudy, just for aesthetic reasons. It can function just fine when it’s crudded up. (I turn off the machine, spray a paper towel with a 50/50 vinegar water solution, then wipe it down. You want just damp, not wet. Then let it dry completely before using the machine again.)


I’m very facetious. :wink:

I actually rub a small window clean on my glass tube each time I clean my optics, as a little reminder. Full cleanings are rarer.


The instructions linked above cover everything.

They specifically say it is not necessary to clean the laser tube. They also provide info on dusting off circuit boards, but say that is not necessary.

If you are comfortable around delicate electronics, you can clean them as others have stated. If not, just follow the recommendations.

I only clean the glass tube because I like watching the pretty pink light. :wink:


If this was a big deal, my laser would have blown up long ago :slight_smile:


The number one rule is to keep your optics clean. The recommendation is a generic 40 hours but as Mark said it will vary with what materials you have been using.

I have a habit of eyeballing the window under the left side on the gantry with a flashlight every 3or 4 times I use the machine. That window is the first to exhibit anything because it faces into the airstream full of smoke. As soon as any film is descernable I clean both windows and the lid camera.
I will inspect the lens and mirror about every 5 times I clean the windows.
That may be extreme but I take no chances. After I use the wipe to do the cleaning I use it on my glasses and finish off the wipe on the tube or inside of the lid.


Thanks for the advice everyone.

Along with the advice, @evermorian and @robermar36 gave, we would also recommend checking out the Additional Tidying page on ways to clean the circuit board and laser tube.

If you have any questions feel free to post a new topic or reach out to us directly at support.glowforge.com and we will be happy to help.