How to Clean Binoculars?

James Harper
James Harper
Research Writer
Being a professional journalist, James knows how to turn any topic into a comprehensive, easy-to-digest text. Even if you've never dealt with telescopes before, rest assured read more
Reviewed By
Charles Goebel
Charles Goebel
Expert Consultant
Charles holds a Master’s degree in Physics Engineering (optics and photonics specialization), has been teaching physics at school for almost 15 years and recently has star read more
Last updated: September 13, 2023
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Binoculars Trusted Source Binoculars - Wikipedia Binoculars or field glasses are two refracting telescopes mounted side-by-side and aligned to point in the same direction, allowing the viewer to use both eyes (binocular vision) when viewing distant objects. can considerably aid the clarity and range of one’s vision, but a dirty pair of binoculars can do the exact opposite. Binoculars can be an expensive investment, which is why keeping them clean allows more functionality, ultimately letting you reap the benefits of the money you spent on them. As easy and tempting as it may be to fog the lens with your breath and wiping it off with the underside of your first, the technique is still inadequate at best. What you really need is to learn how to clean binoculars in a way that ensures no damage to the lens and results in a crystal clear image quality.

The lens is a delicate part. Therefore extra care, precision, and precaution are necessary. This guide will take you through a step-by-step process of how to clean your binoculars, the correct products to use, as well as the dos and don’ts of binocular maintenance.

Step-by-Step Lens Cleaning Guide

The most critical area in your binoculars that needs thorough but careful cleaning is the glass lenses.

Step 1: Get Supplies

How to Clean Binoculars?To make sure that you don’t scratch or damage your binocular lenses, use a soft and gentle microfiber cloth. These are specially made for glass and lens cleaning. Binoculars usually come with a microfiber cloth. However, if you don’t have one, you can easily get it from an optics store or an online vendor. We recommend you buy a complete binocular maintenance kit to make your job easier!

You can consider getting the Vortex Optics Fog-Free Lens Cleaning Field Kit, which is a lightweight set that includes:

  • A soft microfiber cloth;
  • A brush;
  • Lens cleaning fluids.

You can also use a cleaning pen that comes with the kit to clean off the loose dust from your binocular lenses.

People use handkerchiefs and tissue papers, which are not the best because they leave micro-scratches on the lens. You must avoid cleaning your binocular len’s by running them under water because it damages the surface, and the coating of your lenses degrades the quality. This reduces and breaks the light waves coming through the binoculars.

Step 2: Wipe the Lens with Microfiber Cloth

How to Clean Binoculars?Wipe the lens with your microfiber cloth gently to remove the dirt and dust particles from the surface. This should clean the lens in most cases. However, if you have stubborn spots and stains like fingerprints, water stains, and dust buildup, this will not be sufficient.

 Step 3: Wet the Lens with Spray

How to Clean Binoculars?Now that you have gotten rid of the dust, you need to take care of the stains as they won’t go away with simple wiping. Take the anti-fog lens cleaner that you got with the kit and spray a moderate amount onto the lens. The kit offered by Vortex will do just fine! Use a solution that is specially made for coated binocular lenses instead of something like Windex because there is a chance that it won’t work very well.

Step 4: Rub in the Solution

Now wipe the lens cleaning solution around on the lens in a gentle, circular motion. Make sure to get all the stains hidden in the nooks and crannies as well.

Step 5: Wipe It All Off

Use the same microfiber cloth you used earlier to clean the lens once again. This will dry up the liquid and remove the stubborn and sticky stains you had on the lens. One go might not be enough for binoculars that have been left dirty for a long time, so repeat the whole procedure at least two times to have crystal clear lenses.

Bonus Tip: Another way to clean your binocular lenses is to use the air method. Take a can of compressed air and release short, consistent bursts of air onto the dirty lens. Wipe off the fog to have perfectly clean lenses. People also use cleansing pens and brush to get dirt and dust out of crevices and corners. However, it is important to make sure you don’t brush too harshly.

What to Do With the Body?

When using binoculars outdoors, especially in the wild, you are bound to get dirt on them. However, the worst thing to do would be to leave them dirty. An easy way to clean the exterior of your binoculars is to use some good quality rubbing alcohol. Pour some rubbing alcohol on a clean cloth and wipe the rubber armor of your binoculars. You can also do this using some cotton pads. Feel free to rub them down clean, but make sure not to get any alcohol on the lenses because it will surely damage them beyond repair. This is the easiest and most efficient way to clean even your expensive Bushnell binoculars!

Cleaning Inside the Binoculars

Cleaning the inside binoculars Trusted Source How to Clean Binoculars: Lens, Exterior, and Interior Best Practices Are you tired of binocular smudges and scratches? Bushnell explains how to clean binoculars properly so you can enjoy pristine images in the natural world. is a tricky task. Most important things first; never try to clean the insides of your Bushnell binoculars yourself. Dismantling a Bushnell binocular is a task no amateur must attempt by themselves because it will surely ruin the optical lens’s alignment when reassembling. Save the manufacturer’s warranty for a rainy day because dismantling the binoculars will annul your warranty.

However, if you know how to correctly reassemble binoculars and it is vital to clean them after a particularly happening trip, you may use a lens-specific cleaning solution and a gentle cloth to do so. In order to dismantle your binoculars, do this:

  • Unscrew the cap first to expose the focus mechanism;
  • Now, remove the eyepiece and the cover plate to reveal the prism;
  • Retract the bottom plate to wipe down the insides of the lens;
  • Reassemble the binocular exactly as it was;
  • Be careful to place the tiny screws in the exact same positions that you found them in.

Maintenance Tips

You need to maintain your binoculars the right way to make sure they stay with you on your adventures for a long time. A very common mistake people make is to clean their binoculars more often than necessary. Overdoing anything can be harmful. Similarly, cleaning your binoculars when it’s not required will increase the risk of scratching your lenses and wearing them out before time.

For your prism binoculars, make sure to set the focus on infinity when storing or traveling. Also, be mindful not to leave your binoculars on the car’s seat while driving because it increases the chances of damaging the binoculars and causes an unnecessary hazard to your safety as well.

Now, most importantly, do not forget to brush off the dust from your binocular lenses before cleaning with a solution because leftover dust particles can also increase the chances of scratching the lens surface.

However, if your old pair of binoculars is damaged or the lenses are scratched, you may want to consider upgrading and getting a new pair of binoculars and maintaining these the right way. The Vortex Diamondback HD 10x42mm Roof Prism Binoculars DB-215 is a great option for all kinds of uses.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to clean and take care of your precious binoculars, you can make them last for a long time and have a crystal clear view of your target. Make sure to follow the step-by-step guide accurately and be mindful of the do’s and don’ts of cleaning binoculars.

We love a good pair of binoculars that make our wild adventures even better! Some activities, like wildlife sighting and bird watching, require specific types of binoculars but don’t worry because you can get some great binoculars for wildlife viewing. Even if you’re on a budget, it doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve an awesome pair of binoculars. All it means is that you can choose from the best binoculars you can get for under $300, and, to be honest, they are one of the best ones you can find out there.

We hope that you found this guide to be a useful one. Feel free to share your thoughts on how to clean binoculars and maintain them with any bonus tips too! Happy cleaning!


Binoculars - Wikipedia
Binoculars or field glasses are two refracting telescopes mounted side-by-side and aligned to point in the same direction, allowing the viewer to use both eyes (binocular vision) when viewing distant objects.
How to Clean Binoculars: Lens, Exterior, and Interior Best Practices
Are you tired of binocular smudges and scratches? Bushnell explains how to clean binoculars properly so you can enjoy pristine images in the natural world.
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