The best way to keep your binoculars clean is to keep them from getting dirty as much as possible.
It is inevitable that some dirt and dust will get on the lenses. But with good care, you can keep the lenses fairly clean, requiring only occasional cleaning.
Keeping your binocular lenses clean reduces the risk of scratches, eliminates smudges and makes for clearer viewing. Here’s how to clean binocular lenses.
Keeping Dirt Away
Your binoculars likely came with lens caps. Those are essential for protecting the objective lenses from scratches and dirt.
Whenever you are not using your binoculars, make sure the caps are on, even if you’ve put the binoculars down for a short break.
Most binoculars do not come with protective caps for the eyepieces. We highly recommend buying them.
Because they face upwards, the eyepieces are more susceptible to dust and pollen accumulation. They are also at a higher risk of a coffee or water spill.
Eyepiece caps protect the lenses from dust, fingerprints and rain. Look for caps that you can hang from your lanyard. This makes it easier to get into the habit of putting the caps on whenever you lower the binoculars.
Another way to keep your binocular lenses clean is to store the binoculars in a clean case or bag whenever you are not using them.
Most binoculars come with carry cases. If yours did not, you can order one on Amazon. A case protects the lenses and the body of the binoculars from accumulating dust, whether they are sitting at home or next to you in the car.
Cleaning the Lenses
No matter how tempted you are, never clean your binocular lenses with your fingers, the corner of your shirt or your handkerchief.
All these materials are abrasive and can easily scratch the coating on the lenses.
Here are other don’ts:
- Don’t use your saliva
- Unless your binoculars are waterproof, never rinse the lenses under running water. Even if the binoculars are waterproof, you should only rinse in case of a major emergency such as a coffee spill or if they fall in a muddy pond.
- Do not use any detergents. They’ll damage the optical coating on the lenses.
- Do not use any cleaners not meant for use on lenses.
- Do not use tissue, unless they are lens cleaning tissues.
With that in mind, here’s how to safely clean your binocular lenses.
1. Wipe the body
Before you get to the lenses, use a barely damp cloth to clean dust and dirt off the body of the binoculars. This will ensure this dirt does not transfer to the lenses after you’ve cleaned them.
2. Blow away the dust
Use a puffer blower to blow away any loose dust and particles from the lenses. Direct the blower at an angle so that the dust flies away from the lens.
If you don’t have a blower, hold the binoculars above you and blow at the lenses with your mouth. Make sure you blow at an angle to avoid blowing dust into the lens, where it could cause serious damage.
3. Wipe the lenses
Apply a little lens cleaning liquid on one end of the cleaning cloth that came with your binoculars. Then wipe the lenses gently, starting at the centre towards the edges in a circular motion.
Using the other dry end of the cloth, wipe away any moisture left on the lenses.
Hold the lenses under a bright light and look for any remaining dirt or smudges.
4. Clean the caps
Wipe the inside of both the objective lens caps and the eyepiece cups with a damp cloth. This will prevent any dust in them from getting onto the lenses.