The Most Popular Types of Cleaning Swabs and Cleaning Sticks

Author: Rick Hoffman

The  fiber optics industry relies heavily on precise and efficient cleaning techniques to ensure optimal performance of fiber optic equipment. Among the various fiber cleaning tools available, swabs and cleaning sticks have become increasingly popular for their effectiveness and ease of use. These small yet powerful tools are specially designed to remove dust, dirt, and other contaminants from fiber end-faces and connectors, ensuring reliable signal transmission.

In this article, we will explore the most popular types of fiber cleaning swabs and cleaning sticks currently used within the fiber optics industry, highlighting their unique features and benefits.

Material Varieties

There are several popular types of fiber optic swabs and cleaning sticks used in the fiber optics industry, each made from different materials to suit specific cleaning needs. Foam swabs, microfiber swabs, polyester swabs and cotton swabs are widely used, although they are not recommened. Although they are soft and absorbant, they leave lint and static charges behind, which lead to fiber optic contamination. 

Swabs made with polymer fiber tips are a better choice. They are soft, non-abrasive and offer a high level of lint-free cleaning, making them well-suited for fiber optic cleaning tasks.

Cleaning Sticks

Cleaning sticks are an essential tool in the maintenance and upkeep of fiber optic technology. These specialized cleaning tools are designed to effectively remove dirt, dust, and other contaminants from fiber optic connectors. Here are few advantages of cleaning sticks in fiber optic technology:

  • Efficiently removes dirt, dust, and contaminants from fiber optic connectors

  • Compact and ergonomic design for convenient use

  • Tips are specially designed to gently clean connectors without causing damage

  • Prevents signal loss and improves transmission quality

  • Prolongs the lifespan of fiber optic systems

  • Ensures optimal performance and reliability of fiber optic connections

  • Easy to use for technicians of all skill level

Popular Brands for Cleaning Swabs and Sticks

When it comes to cleaning swabs and sticks for fiber optic technology, there are several popular brands known for their quality and reliability. However, The Sticklers™ Cleanstixx™ brand stands out for their engineered design and high quality. 

Sticklers™ Cleanstixx™ fiber cleaning sticks, engineered for perfection. Featuring patented sintered polymer tips, these sticks ensure consistent, high-quality cleaning every time. The precisely molded tips cover the entire end face, leaving no room for contamination. Their ultra-clean construction, devoid of foam, fabric, or glue, guarantees a pristine cleaning process.  With thousands of ultra-clean sintered polymer fibers that expand and conform to end-face geometry under pressure, these sticks excel at absorbing oils, dust, and other contaminants, surpassing other cleaning sticks on the market in both performance and reliability.

The sturdy tunnel body is designed for easy gripping and features a flat side to prevent rolling on flat surfaces. While sturdy enough for rigorous end face cleaning, the sticks are also flexible enough to bend in half after use, indicating they're dirty and should not be reused. Moreover, Sticklers™ Cleanstixx™ stand out with their off-set cleaning tip, color-coded sizes for easy identification, stop-and-drop geometry, and molded tabs for enhanced handling. The precisely molded flat tip ensures comprehensive cleaning of the entire end face, not just the central core or contact zone.

Packaged in self-sealing, high-purity packaging, each stick is dispensed individually, preventing contamination of unused sticks. CleanStixx™ are available in a variety of sizes and configurations to match the fiber optic end face size and shape. 

Sticklers™ Cleanstixx™ 1.6mm Fiber Optic Connector Cleaning Sticks are designed with precision to effectively remove dirt, dust, and environmental contamination from fiber optic connectors. With an extra-long tip, the CleanStixx™ 1.6mm cleaning swabs can reach deep into sockets without the need for disassembling the connector, saving time and effort. The soft and non-abrasive material of the swabs ensures gentle cleaning without causing any damage to the connectors.

Sticklers™ CleanStixx™ 2.5mm Fiber Optic Cleaning Sticks are the solution to getting your fiber network running faster and with improved reliability. These swabs are specially designed for effective cleaning of 2.5mm fiber optic connectors.

Sticklers™ CleanStixx™ 1.25mm Fiber Optic Cleaning Sticks  are the reliable and affordable cleaning tools for your fiber optic needs. These swabs are designed to effectively remove contaminants from 1.25mm fiber optic connectors, ensuring optimal performance and signal quality.

Sticklers™ Cleanstixx™ XMT MPO Fiber Cleaning Sticks are the perfect solution for cleaning connectors with larger connectors and lenses. These swabs are designed specifically for MPO fiber optic connectors, providing effective cleaning and improved performance.


In conclusion, cleaning swabs and cleaning sticks are essential tools for maintaining the performance and longevity of fiber optic technology. These cleaning tools ensure the removal of dirt, dust, and contaminants, which can inhibit signal transmission and cause potential disruptions. By utilizing cleaning swabs and cleaning sticks regularly, technicians can effectively maintain the quality and reliability of their fiber optic networks. With their ease of use and effectiveness, these cleaning tools are must-have accessories for any fiber optic installation or maintenance routine. Don't overlook the importance of proper cleaning practices and invest in the right cleaning swabs and cleaning sticks to ensure optimal performance of your fiber optic technology.