Cinematography Mailing List - CML

Ground Glass Cleaning


Greetings everyone,

The best way to clean ground glass when it is smeary, fingerprints?

Reason why I asked it, is that this is usually noticed whilst testing and the rental techs take care of it. This coming job I am going to have the gear a few hours before shooting call. From former experience with that rental place (Middle East) I am pretty sure the ground glass is going to need some cleaning, last November the smear was minimal and I was not to sure if I could use a lens cleaner, so I did not do it.

Anyone any suggestions, the ground glasses are all Arri made ones, camera type 435.


Emmanuel from Munich


I worked as a trainee, in a rental house a few years ago and they had me cleaning ground glasses from time to time.

Believe me or not but just using normal dishwashing liquid in perfectly all right. Was your hands. Then under a running tap, gently apply the washing liquid and rise off. After that just use ken air or something similar to dry the ground glass.

Just a note I did only do this on Sr2/3 and Arri 3 ground glasses, not sure about the 435 one. Its been a while since I saw one.

Hope it helps. I’m sure my suggestion will outrage many professional techs out there, but believe me it works.

Good luck with the shoot.

Llewellyn Thomas

If it is an etched glass then you are only dealing with a piece of glass. Dish soap will do a fine job of removing the oils. Lens cleaner should do the same too.

If the glass has some printed markings then you may wind up cleaning off the markings with some solvents. Dish detergent or good old soap should not bother these.

Do avoid scratching the glass with any chunks on your fingers, but a good washing should prepare you well.

All our ground glasses for our VV cameras are etched and have no inks, they clean up real well. Occasionally we do custom markings with a pencil, those you would wind up cleaning off.

Good luck.
As always this computer will self destruct in 30 sec.

Marty Brenneis
Camera droid

I use alcohol (denatured one, no stuff in it), it works brilliant.

When you dust off it, beware not to do it just in front of it but blow a little bit outside as you don't get these white traces, you'd have to clean again


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