How To clean Binoculars – Step By Step Guide From Binocular Expert!

It’s not uncommon to find binoculars that come with lifetime guarantees. Sure, this is something that can be used for ages without giving in to daily wear and tear, right?

Well, there’s one thing to remember, without good cleaning habits and maintenance, the service and reliability you expect from your binoculars will be compromised. Eventually, you might be forced to make repairs or replacements, or worse still, get yourself a new pair of binoculars. Clearly, you don’t want to incur such costs; costs that can be eliminated with simple yet effective binoculars cleaning tips.

Mistakes in binoculars cleaning:

“If you don’t make mistakes, you don’t do anything.” That said, mistakes are likely to happen, something that should serve as a lesson the next time you do it.

So, what’s the one biggest mistake binoculars users tend to make during the cleaning process?

Don’t be surprised, there’s a high chance that you might have done it at one point or seen someone else do it. Well, it has to do with breathing onto the eyepiece or lenses, after which you rub with your shirt, tissue, or paper.

This is a common practice among most binoculars users. What people fail to understand is that the breathe-and-rub technique tends to gouge scratches and into the ultra-thin coating on lenses and glass.

The scratches, in most cases, are too tiny to pick out. However, they tend to scatter light, something that leads to cloudy images over time.

NB: Cleaning the lenses with ammonia-based cleaners, for instance, Windex or Glass Plus, isn’t a good idea. Ammonia tends to dissolve lenses coating. Therefore, to stay on the safe side, avoid using detergents on the lenses.

Cleaning A Pair Of Binoculars The Right Way: The Lenses

So, what’s the best way to clean a pair of binoculars? Furthermore, what products should you use to rid off marks and dirt?

This is the part where we’ll give advice and walk you through the steps you should take when cleaning binoculars.

But before that,

Don’t feel shy to pull out your user manual. Not all binoculars are made the same. Chances are that the manufacturer might have information on how to clean your specific binoculars, something that we may fail to capture in our general cleaning tips.

Step 1: Remove Loose Dust From The Lenses

Get the dust off before you rub, that’s the first rule of cleaning a pair of binoculars. But why is it so important? Well, rubbing with the dust on acts like sandpaper creating scratches.
Before we forget, there are rules for removing dust for lenses.

  • Use a soft brush, preferably the brush end of a lens cleaning pen.
  • In the case of blowing away the dust, use a lens blower. Avoid using compressed air cans since most contain chemicals that can damage the lenses.
  • Regardless which of the above method you use, ensure to hold the binoculars upside down. Gravity will make the dust fall away from the lenses.

Step 2: Clean Off The Remaining Dust Using Ultra-Soft Material And Lens Cleaning Solution

Sometimes the might prove too stubborn for a lens blower or lens cleaning pen. Here, you have 3 solutions:

  • Use a cotton swab dipped in water or lens cleaning solution. Move it gently across the lenses.
  • Rub gently with a soft microfiber cloth to reduce the chance of scratches.
  • In the case of waterproof binoculars, run it under tap water. However, ensure not to squirt it too hard.

Step 3: Wipe The Lenses

With all the dust gone, it’s time to wipe dry the lenses. Use an ultra-soft cotton cloth or a special microfiber lens cloth. Remember, the less rubbing you do, the better.

NB: It’s recommended that you wipe the lenses in a circular motion starting from the center and going outward.

Cleaning A Pair Of Binoculars The Right Way: The Body

Contrary to the belief of most people, cleaning a pair of binoculars isn’t all about cleaning the lenses. It’s important to clean the body as well, and correctly to avoid damaging the rubber coating.

Step 1: Remove Dust And Debris

Get rid of loose debris using a blower. Grit away particles that could act like sandpaper.

Step 2: Wipe All Parts Using Microfiber Or A Lint-free Cloth

The main aim is to remove remaining debris from the eyepieces, focusing mechanism, and barrels.

Step 3: Make A Final Rinse

Use a soft cloth dipped in warm water or mild cleanser. While doing so, make sure to avoid contact with the lenses.

Binoculars Maintenance Tips:

Poor maintenance contributes a lot in making your binoculars dirty. Plus, it goes without saying that prevention is better than cure, right? That said, we give some tips that will help prolong the life of your binoculars and limit the amount of cleaning you do.

So, here we go: Have a good case. This will prevent the collection of dust and other debris, especially during travel or when out there on a hunt.

  • Always keep the caps on the lenses whenever not in use.
  • When your pair of binoculars is not in use, keep the eyecups retracted at all times.
  • Don’t touch the lenses, especially with oily hands to avoid leaving behind fingerprints.
  • Don’t use compressed air to blow away dust.
  • Avoid blowing with your mouth lest saliva falls on the lenses.
  • Don’t clean with acetone or window cleaning detergents. Only use solutions specially meant for lens cleaning.


Cleaning a pair of binoculars might sound simple, but one slight mistake can compromise both its life and performance. With the Do’s and Don’t we’ve outlined above, it’s our hope that the task will become as easy as pie.

One advice for you, it will be best if you consider a specialized lens cleaning kit comprising pens, brushes, and exterior cleaners. Doing so will help eliminate the risk of damage.

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