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How To Clean Binoculars (Without Leaving a Scratch)

Written by Garrett Hayes

Last updated on Feb 10th, 2024
How To Clean Binoculars

Over time, your binoculars can collect dirt, debris, and smudges that can affect the clarity of the lenses and their overall performance.

Cleaning binoculars is an essential maintenance task that will not only keep them looking new but also maintain their performance. In this article, we will guide you through the steps of how to clean binoculars using the right tools and techniques to ensure they remain in good condition for years to come.

Learn How to Use Binoculars, if you are a beginner and unfamiliar with how they work.

Tools For Cleaning Binoculars

There are several tools that are essential for cleaning binoculars. Here are the tools that you'll need:

1. Soft Brush:

A soft-bristled brush is used to remove any large debris, dust, or other particles from the surface of the binoculars. When selecting a soft brush, look for one with fine, soft bristles that won't scratch or damage the binoculars.

2. Lens Cleaning Solution:

A high-quality lens cleaning solution is important to use for cleaning the lenses. Look for a solution that is specifically designed for cleaning optics, as these will be gentle and won't damage the lenses. Avoid using any harsh chemicals or household cleaners that may damage the lenses.

3. Microfiber Cloth:

A microfiber cloth is used to wipe down the binocular lenses and the body of the binoculars. These clothes are soft and won't scratch the lenses or damage the coatings. It's important to use a clean microfiber cloth to avoid transferring dirt or debris back onto the binoculars.

how to clean binoculars

4. Blower Brush (Optional):

A blower brush is a tool that is used to remove any dust or debris from the binocular lenses or other hard-to-reach areas of the binoculars. It's not necessary, but it can be helpful for some people who prefer to use it before using the soft brush.

When purchasing these tools, make sure to choose high-quality products that are specifically designed for cleaning binoculars. Avoid using any household or rough materials that can damage or scratch the lenses.

Preparing To Clean Binoculars

Before cleaning your binoculars, it's important to remove any large debris, dust, or dirt from the surface of the binoculars. This is where the soft brush or blower brush comes in handy. Use the brush to gently sweep away any dirt or debris from the lenses and the body of the binoculars.

Often even when there are watersports or dust on the objective lenses, you can still see amazingly well through your binocular.

When holding and supporting your binoculars during cleaning, it's important to be careful and avoid any accidental damage. Follow these tips to hold and support your binoculars safely:

  • Hold the binoculars with both hands: Use one hand to support the body of the binoculars and the other hand to support the eyepieces. This will help prevent any accidental drops or damage.
  • Keep the lenses facing downward: When you're holding the binoculars, make sure that the lenses are facing downwards. This will prevent any dirt or debris from falling onto the lenses.
  • Avoid touching the lenses: When holding and cleaning your binoculars, try to avoid touching the lenses with your fingers. This can leave smudges or fingerprints on the lenses, which can affect their performance.

Cleaning The Lenses

Cleaning the lenses of your binoculars is the most important step in the cleaning process. Here are the steps to follow:

How To Clean Binoculars
  • Apply lens cleaning solution:

First, apply a small amount of lens cleaning solution onto a clean microfiber cloth. Be sure not to use too much solution as this can cause streaks or smudges on the lenses.

  • Gently wipe the lenses:

Use the microfiber cloth to gently wipe the lenses in a circular motion. Start from the center of the lens and work your way outwards. Make sure to wipe both the front and back of the lenses.

  • Remove any remaining smudges:

If there are any remaining smudges or fingerprints on the lenses, use a clean, dry part of the microfiber cloth to gently remove them.

It's important to avoid using any harsh chemicals or abrasive materials on the lenses. This can cause scratches or damage to the coatings on the lenses. Always use a high-quality lens cleaning solution that is specifically designed for cleaning optics. Also, avoid using your shirt or any other cloth that is not specifically designed for cleaning lenses, as these can scratch the lenses or leave fibers on them.

Cleaning The Body And Eyepieces

After cleaning the lenses, it's important to also clean the body and eyepieces of the binoculars to remove any dirt or debris. Here's how to clean the body and eyepieces of your binoculars:

  • Use a clean microfiber cloth:

Take a clean microfiber cloth and gently wipe the body and eyepieces of the binoculars. Use a circular motion and make sure to remove any dirt or debris from the surface.

  • Avoid moisture or cleaning solution in the hinges:

When cleaning the body and eyepieces of the binoculars, make sure to avoid getting any moisture or cleaning solution in the hinges or other moving parts of the binoculars. This can damage the internal parts and affect the performance of the binoculars.

  • Dry and store:

After cleaning the binoculars, make sure to dry them thoroughly with a clean microfiber cloth. Then, store them in a dry, cool place to prevent any damage or deterioration.

Storing Binoculars

After cleaning your binoculars, it's important to store them properly to avoid any damage or deterioration. Here are some tips for storing your binoculars:

Store In A Dry, Cool Place:

Moisture and heat can damage the internal components of binoculars, so it's important to store them in a dry, cool place. Avoid storing them in direct sunlight, which can also damage the lenses and coatings.

Use A Protective Case:

Using a protective case can help keep your binoculars safe from damage and dust. Look for a case that fits your binoculars well and provides adequate protection from bumps or scratches. If your binoculars didn't come with a case, you can purchase one separately.

Use Lens Caps:

Using lens caps can help protect the lenses from dust and scratches. Always use them when storing your binoculars to keep the lenses in good condition.

Keep Them Accessible:

Finally, make sure to store your binoculars in a place that is easily accessible. This will make it more likely that you'll use them regularly and be able to enjoy the benefits of owning a pair of binoculars.

Conclusion

In conclusion, proper cleaning and maintenance are crucial for extending the life of your binoculars and ensuring they perform at their best. By using the right tools and taking care when cleaning and storing them, you can enjoy clear and accurate vision for many years.

Moreover, don’t forget to read about the Best Bird Watching Binoculars, suitable for both casual birders and dedicated enthusiasts, including ornithologists. And also read my article, where I explained How To Focus Binoculars, techniques for focusing, and troubleshooting common problems that may occur during focusing.

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