Things You Should Know About MPO/MTP Connector Cleaning

As a common throughout the high-density network today, MPO/MTP connectors provide IT managers power to add, drop, move and change the network. In order to make them work smoothly, routine inspection and cleaning are very important for these connectors, since every single issue with connector cleanliness and contamination could result in network failure. But many people could be puzzled by how to correctly clean these small but critical components in their networking applications. Just read this post and you will learn some knowledge about MPO/MTP cleaning.

Why Should We Pay More Attention on MPO/MTP Connector?

MPO/MTP connector is the most common multi-fiber connector type, containing one or two rows of fibers (12-fiber MPO/MTP and 24-fiber MPO/MTP) in a single connector, which is widely used in today’s high-density 40G or 100G Ethernet networks. Unlike single-fiber connectors, which has a small ferrule, a MPO or MTP connector has a larger contact area, making it more prone to be contaminated. Besides, the alignment of MPO/MTP fibers is achieved by the connection of a male connector which has outer pins and female connector which has alignment holes(note:male connector has pins and female connector has no pins). We can see these differences from the image below. Additionally, due to the presence of alignment pins, the cleaning of the extreme sides of the MPO/MTP connector end-face is often neglected by users, so when cleaning a MPO/MTP connector, every corner on the connector must be clean for it to function properly.

MPO connector

Which Cleaning Method Should We Use?

Generally, dry cleaning and wet cleaning are two methods used during fiber optic cleaning procedures. Dry cleaning is a type of cleaning method which does not require any solvent, while wet cleaning requires the use of solvent such as isopropyl alcohol.

Dry cleaning is an efficient and preferred method to remove dusts and finger grease due to the possibilities of residue when using alcohol based products. However, dry cleaning method is not always the sufficient to completely remove all the contaminants. If you still inspect that the MPO/MTP connector is contaminated after first dry cleaning, you need to combine dry and wet cleaning method. If you still find contamination on the connector after using the second wet and dry cleaning, you should redo the second cleaning again until the connector is completely cleaned.

Note: 1. Do be careful when cleaning the connector, if the connector is damaged permanently, you need to replace a new one. 2. Always do inspection after every cleaning.

Which Cleaning Tool Should We Choose?

Fiber Optic Cassette Cleaner: Cassette cleaner is an ideal choice for those who need to clean the accessible connector with a wide range of connector styles. It can be reused by replacing the cleaning reel/cartridge, which could save the general cost. But keep in mind that don’t reverse cleaning direction to avoid bringing back the wiped contaminants while using cassette cleaner. The following shows cleaning connectors terminated on the MPO trunk cable.

One-Click MPO/MTP Cleaner: One-click MPO/MTP cleaner is a good choice for those who need to clean both connector and adapter in their system. It is an easy-to-use cleaning tool, which comes with a barrel on the end for cleaning both connectors and adapter. With this type of cleaner, you just need to a simple “one-click”, the cleaning is done.

Besides the cleaner we have mentioned above, there are other accessories available, such as lint-free wipe, optical grade dust remove, lint-free swab, etc. More details can get from the following picture.


Fiber optic connector cleaning is a necessary step to keep the cabling connection working smoothly. Due to more complicated structure and design, we should pay more attention on the MPO/MTP connector cleaning. This post have introduced two methods and several useful tools during the cleaning process. All the tools can be purchased in FS.COM.


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