(Last Updated On: January 22, 2021)
You witnessed someone do it. Breathe on the eyepiece of his binoculars, then rub the glass on the corner of his shirt. Poor man, he never realized that he was degrading every picture he’d ever see again with that binocular.
The wrong way to use binoculars to sweep
The breathe-and-rub process, like a glass shower door, is truly a formula for frosting the glass. Silica, in other words, tiny crystals, is a crucial dust element. It’s tougher with silica than glass. You gouge small marks into the glass and the ultra-thin coatings on the lenses if you brush to dust over the eyepiece.
Individually, you can’t see the scratches because they’re so thin, but they scatter light. And then your binocular starts to offer a cloudy picture over time. So the first rule of binocular cleaning is to GET THE DUST OFF BEFORE YOU RUB.
The proper way to clean your binoculars
Before You Get Started
Reading the owner’s manual is the very first thing you can do. I understand that many of them are very common, but others point out unique ways the manufacturer suggests that you clean the particular product you own. They also often contain data to avoid consequences or chemicals that might potentially damage any of the materials that makes up your system, so it is always worth testing first.
Many of the special coatings that manufacturers add to help with the light transmission can be relatively easy to scratch or damage, so when cleaning lenses, be extra careful.
Remove all of the loose dust from the lenses of the binoculars.
Brush a lens cleaning pen with the end of the brush. The brush is gentle and won’t damage the coatings or glass. (Holding the binocular upside down so that the dust falls away can help.)
Or blow a can of air with it (from photo store). Breath contains minute droplets of water that can spot your lens. Don’t use your breath.
With water or lens cleaning solution, moisten a Q-tip and float away any residual dust. Or you can run it under the tap (but don’t squirt it hard) if your binocular is waterproof. DO NOT use fluid designed to clean eyeglasses or windows, as the coatings can be affected.
You can clean the lens with lens tissue or with a special micro-fiber lens cloth, or with soft cotton cloth now that the dust is gone
As these are too rough, don’t use paper towels or facial tissue. Sometimes, they have wood fiber that can scratch the lenses or the lens coatings.
Please, be gentle.
Note! More binoculars were destroyed by inaccurate cleaning than by dropping them on the sidewalk.
Cleaning the Binoculars inside
How do I take my binoculars out to clean them if moisture, dust, or dirt inside the binoculars?
Don’t! Remember that they fill many new binoculars with nitrogen, especially the more costly pairs that keeps the optics from fogging up, which will be lost if you open them.
Opening up your binoculars would also break any waterproof seals, and by moving the orientation of the lenses or prism, you might also easily make them entirely unusable. If you think you need to clean the inside of your binoculars, it is best to contact the manufacturer or an approved dealer for more information. Please take a look at my Binocular Repairs page, which provides contact details for the most prominent manufacturers and independent experts who can fix your optics.
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