How to Care for a Compound Microscope

By James Healey

Compound microscopes are a key tool in most laboratories and high school science classrooms. A compound microscope shines a light source through an object that is then reflected off an objective lens and up to an eyepiece for viewing. According to Lab Essentials, Inc., most compound microscopes can magnify objects from 40x up to 400x what the naked eye can see. Compound microscopes are very expensive and very fragile, so proper care is wise.

Step 1

Transport the microscope properly. Always carry your microscope with two hands: one holding the bottom and the other the arm. Place the microscope of a flat, stable surface.

Step 2

Plug in your microscope before powering it on. To prevent a blowout from the light bulb, always supply power to the microscope before turning it on.

Step 3

Prepare your slides properly. Place a cover slip, or cover glass, over any specimen you view to prevent any from getting on the lens. The lens should not touch the slide or cover glass, as it may break or even damage the lens.

Step 4

Avoid touching any glass pieces on the microscope with your fingers. Use special lens paper if cleaning is necessary. You can find lens paper at many photography stores, eye care stores and other science stores.

Step 5

Put away your microscope properly. Once you are done using your microscope, lower the stage as much as possible. This way, you can start the focusing process right the next time. Switch off the power, and unplug your microscope when it is not in use. Store the microscope in a dust-free area and covered if not used for an extended period.