Inside Glowforge Cleaning Etiquette

I’ve made a few things on my glowforge. Super happy! It seems like the inside glass is getting foggy from burning the maple. Should we not touch the tube? Can I clean the inside glass with windex? Or, what is the proper etiquette for cleaning the inside of the glowforge?

The official cleaning procedure mentions:

9. More Wiping
It’s normal for some dust to accumulate inside your Glowforge. It is not necessary, but you can wipe the laser tube or the inside of the case with additional ZEISS cleaning wipes. Allow any moisture to dry completely before turning on your Glowforge again.


Perfect! You’re awesome. Thank you. I did a search for “cleaning glowforge” and nothing came up. Soooo… How about instructions for cleaning the fan and exhaust? Any tips?

Sure – take a look at the link I provided. It’s all good info. :+1:


You’ll find that even with using the Zeiss wipes, the wood resin will still cloud the glass lid. I also use them to carefully clean the laser tube itself. I finally discovered though, that if I rub really hard (not on the tube) with the wipe, it will eventually clean a lot of the resin off, though I’m positive it will never again look brand new.

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I made a lot of Christmas gifts this year. So my unit got dirtier in the last 2 weeks than in the previous 2 months. I used a vinegar-based glass cleaner on both my lid and tube. The tube looks amazing again. I’d go as far as to say “brand new again.”

(For the record, I used only the Zeiss wipes on the head window, the window on the left, and the camera. At this point I wouldn’t trust anything else on those things.)


On the tube, inside lid and rails I use a glass cleaner, spraying it on a paper towel and wiping - not spraying in the machine.
Use only lens cleaning wipes on the optics and camera lens. The lens wipes are a special micro-fine tissue. Paper towels and even Kleenex are abrasive to sensitive lenses and optical coatings.


BTW: You can buy a 100 pack of Zeiss lens cleaners from Amazon for ~$10.

I find that I just use the one that I used for lens cleaning to do a wipe down of the most egregiously foul spots inside the GF and rarely do I have to break out a second wipe or the glass cleaner.


I use these:

They’re specifically manufactured to clean camera lenses and glasses (non-scratching) and I use one of those instead of the wipes, with a vinegar/water mixture.

(Basically, I ain’t using paper of any kind on those things, I don’t care how fine the paper is.)

They can be laundered and re-used.


You are clearly not using your machine enough. I had to get the industrial size pack. Something like 700 wipes, or some ridiculous number like that. :joy:
In my first 3 weeks, 4 cleanings. :open_mouth:


That’s a really good point. I know that pretty much any kind of paper used on a pair of eyeglasses will eventually leave minuscule scratches. I think I may move over to the microfiber camp. :slightly_smiling_face:


You are clearly not using your machine enough

Yup. Got the machine, had it replaced within a couple of days (thanks, UPS!)…

… then travelled for Thanksgiving for a week…

… got back, printed for 3 days…

… and had to travel for a family emergency for nearly 2 weeks…

… printed 3 or 4 days…

… and travel again.

Looking forward to not traveling for a solid few weeks.


If Zeiss wipes were bad for the lens and windows of the Glowforge, they wouldn’t recommend them.

Microfiber cloths are designed to entrap oils, but they can also pick up grit. I use them all the time on my glasses, but I’m not shining a laser through them.


I would say that unless you’re going to throw out each microfiber cloth after one use, the Zeiss wipes are the way to go. Reintroducing the contaminants that were previously wiped off each time you wipe is definitely worse, and I would imagine that washing them in detergent might introduce particles you wouldn’t want (even liquid detergent contains sodium chloride and sodium borate, aka borax), so that’s not great either.

Zeiss’s entire business is precision lenses for optics more sensitive than we’ve got. Buying their product, and using it once, seems like the best available option.


Sorry, sometimes it’s not clear on the interwebs.


Well now…that certainly makes good sense. I’ll just waffle back…I have a supply of Zeiss anyway.

Thanks for the answer @dwardio, that’s right. I’m going to close this thread. If you have additional questions, go ahead and post a new topic. Thanks for asking!