How to Clean Binoculars – 11 Tips

Binoculars are a very important piece of equipment when it comes to hunting. You want to make sure your binoculars are in tip-top shape every time you go out on a trip.

Not only is it important to know how to clean your binoculars often, but you need to make sure you do it right. Cleaning binocular the wrong way could lead to damage, or binoculars that are not field ready. If you are a novice to binocular cleaning, or are just looking for some good ideas, here are 11 tips for how to clean binoculars.

Tip 1: Read Your Owner’s Manual

Before starting to clean your binoculars refer to the owner’s manual that came with it. The owner’s manual may offer suggestions for cleaning your specific binoculars, that aren’t considered general cleaning tips. The owner’s manual might also advise you of things you should NOT do when trying to clean them. You can save yourself time and energy, as well as preventing yourself from causing any damage to them.

Tip 2: Remove Debris From Lense

Before using any clothes to clean your binocular lenses you should remove debris from the lense. If you do not remove debris, you could end up scratching your lenses. Little pieces of dirt, act like sandpaper when rubbed with a cloth, so you need to make sure they are gone.

To get debris off the lenses you should use a lens blower or a special lense brush. If you do not have either on hand, you can simply blow on the lenses. However, this can cause moisture to build up on your lense so be careful.

Note: When you are removing debris from the lenses, make sure you are holding your binoculars upside down, so the debris fall away from the lenses

Tip 3: Use A Cotton Swab To Remove Debris

If you seem to not be able to clear your lenses of debri with a lense blower or brush you can try using a cotton swab. Dip the cotton swab in water and lightly move it across the lenses of your binoculars. Do not push or rub at all.

Tip 4: Avoid Using Compressed Air Cans

When trying to get debri off your lenses avoid using compressed air cans. There are chemicals in these air cans that can get on your lenses and potentially harm them.

Tip 5: Use Soft Microfiber Clothes

Anytime you clean your lenses you will want to make sure to use ultra soft microfiber clothes. Using a soft, microfiber cloth will help reduce the chances of you scratching the lenses. You can buy special clothes meant for binocular lenses

Note: If you can get your lenses clean by the various debris removing tips mentioned above, then you do not even have to clean them with a cloth. The less you have to use a cloth the better.

Tip 6: Try Not To Rub Binocular Lenses A Lot

When cleaning binocular lenses a good thing to remember is that the less rubbing you do, the better. If you spend a lot of time scrubbing your lenses you can actually damage them.

Tip 7: Clean Often

When it comes to cleaning binocular lenses you want to clean them well, and clean them often. Like with any fragile piece of equipment, the better maintained it is, the longer it will last, and the better it will function for you. Treat your binoculars like the investment they are and make sure you clean them often.

Note: Cleaning often does not mean every time you have to do a deep clean. The less amount of cleaning you have to do, the better.

Tip 8: Clean Lenses With Only Lense Cleaner

Once all debris is off of your binocular lenses, you can use lense cleaner to clean them. You want to make sure you ONLY use cleaner intended for binocular lenses. Glass cleaners and even eyeglass cleaners can ruin the coating that are on your binoculars.  

Tip 9: Use Tweezers For Other Parts Of Your Binoculars

If you see dirt or debris stuck in any of the creases of your binoculars you can use tweezers to get it out. Tweezers are a great addition to any binocular cleaning kit.

Note: Do not use tweezers to remove debris from the lenses. You could risk scratching the lenses.

Tip 10: Pay Attention To Your Binocular Straps

This tip may not necessarily address how to clean binoculars, but it does deal with maintenance. If you have binocular straps make sure you check in on them from time to time. You need to watch for tearing, and fraying. If your straps are looking worn you want to make sure to replace them or fix them. The straps could be the difference between your binoculars making it through a hunting trip or crashing on to rocks mid trip and getting damaged or ruined.

Tip 11: Have Good Eye Covers And A Good Case

Like with tip 10, tip 11 does not deal directly with how to clean binoculars, but once again with maintaining them. Once your binoculars are clean make sure you have a good case to store them in. Setting them on a shelf or putting them in a bad case, could lead to them collecting dust and other debri between hunting trips. Putting them in a good case, will not only prevent debris from collecting on the lenses, but will protect them from them breaking on accident.

While hunting make sure you have good eye covers to put on the lenses in between using them. Good eye covers will make it so less debris end up on the lenses. This helps protect the lenses from getting scratched while out on a trip. It also makes it so you will not have to spend a ton of time cleaning your lenses.

Note: Remember you want to clean your binoculars often, but you don’t want to have to put them through the wringer each time in order to get them clean.

Final Thoughts

With these 11 tips for how to clean binoculars, cleaning your gear has never been more effective or easy. If you follow them, the next time you go hunting your binoculars will be in great shape to help aid you in a great trip.

Gary Fretwell is a 33-year-old die hard hunter and blogger from Wyoming. After serving in Iraq, he finished school to become an Asset Protection Officer and currently is learning to be a tracker to help hunters like himself find big game!