Sub-pellicle defects and haze increase due to photon reaction with cleaning chemistry residues are especially problematic on photomasks for 193 nm and shorter exposure wavelengths. In addition to mask cleaning, these chemistries are also used for photoresist stripping from photomasks. In this paper sulfuric acid free processes are shown to be effective for mask cleaning and photoresist removal. Bulk removal of photoresist was accomplished with both oxygen based dry plasma stripping and with wet oxidizing chemistry. Surface preparation prior to the main cleaning step was necessary to render Cr surface hydrophilic and enable targeted cleaning performance. This was accomplished with an O<sub>3</sub>/DI pre-treatment step. Full mask megasonics improved particle removal efficiency of moderately to heavily contaminated masks.