How To Clean Binoculars (Inside/Outside/Lenses)

Written By John VanDerLaan 

We may earn revenue from the products available on this site and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more

Cleaning binoculars can be tricky if you are not familiar with the process. There are several actions that need to be performed in order to clean them effectively. This article will give you a good understanding of the proper way to care for and how to clean binoculars. These tips and tricks should allow you to keep your field glasses in tip-top shape for years of performance.

RELATED: Best Rangefinder Binoculars

How To Clean The Outside Of Binoculars

Cleaning Binoculars Outside

It’s always good to clean your binoculars after each use and before storing them away. You can use warm water, mild soap, or an optic solution to wipe down the binocular barrel and rubber eyepiece. Dry the outside thoroughly to avoid moisture or condensation from penetrating the lens.

It may help you understand the process if you know the working parts. When you are looking through a pair of binoculars, the feature that you will see most vividly is the smaller lenses, which you look through. These are known as the aperture (the second number in millimeters, 8x42 means you have a 42 mm aperture) that regulates how much light enters your eye for comfortable viewing.

The objective lens is located near the front of the binoculars, and it magnifies what you see (the first number, 8x42 means the object is magnified 8 times).

RELATED: Best Hunting Binoculars Under $200

Next comes the eyecup, which protects your eyes from glare and disturbing light while using the binoculars. The eyecups are adjustable to provide eye relief for users that wear glasses. 

When you look through a pair of binoculars, what you are actually seeing is an image that has been magnified. By doing this, you can see objects at a much closer distance than if they were viewed using the naked eye. Binoculars work better than regular eyeglasses because your eyes have more refraction in them, so with binoculars, you can see things at greater distances. 

Binoculars are often used outdoors and can get quite dirty. If you notice smudges or streaks on the lens surfaces, clean them up quickly and easily using a polishing cloth. Before cleaning, however, make sure to remove any dust, dirt, or debris on the lenses’ surface. Next, wipe down the exterior of the lenses with a soft cloth and dry them off completely.

RELATED: Best Hunting Binoculars Under $100

How To Clean Binoculars Lenses

How To Clean Binoculars Lenses

Using your hot breath and the tail of your favorite t-shirt to wipe off your lenses may be convenient, but it could also destroy your lenses. Your lenses may be scratched by rubbing the debris.

If you’re looking for an easy way to clean your binocular lenses, you should consider using a cleaning kit. This includes a lens cleaning cloth, a soft lens brush, and a liquid eyewash solution. You can quickly and easily clean your lenses using the correct solution and method for your lens type. Binocular lenses are used for a variety of weather and terrain conditions so that they will get dirty over time. A cleaning kit can help clean them quickly and easily, saving you time and hassle.

If you do not have a cleaning kit, you can use a mild soft soap and a microfiber or soft lint-free cloth. Just follow the steps below.

Step 1: Read the Manual

It is essential to clean your binocular lenses regularly to avoid lens distortion and other optical damage. But before cleaning, make sure to read the user manual carefully for cleaning instructions. Each manufacturer will have directions for the correct care of their products. There are also specifics do’s and don’ts to prevent a void on your warranty.

Step 2: Remove Any Dirt or Dust

In this step, you will first clean the lenses using a soft brush or a compressed air duster to loosen and remove any dust that may harm them. If using compressed air, please be cautious not to get it too close to the binocular lenses. Next, you will wipe them gently with a soft cloth dampened with a lens cleaning solution or warm water. To maintain your binoculars properly, you must keep your lenses clean and free from dirt, dust, and fingerprints this is essential for their long-term performance. 

Step 3: Thoroughly Dry 

Wipe down the lenses with a clean, lint-free cloth. 

Dry The Lenses

Drying Binocular Lenses

When drying your lenses check the lens for any loose dirt or debris before attempting to dry them. Again, loose debris can scratch the lens while wiping them to dry. Make sure to get into all the nooks and crannies! It may be necessary to use the tip of a q-tip to soak up any moisture near the seals. Be sure the binoculars are completely dry before putting them back in storage or using them to avoid moisture accumulation inside the lenses that can cause fogging or other optical problems. Please store your binoculars in a dry place with moderate temperatures that are not susceptible to extreme rise or fall. 

RELATED: How To Focus Binoculars

How To Clean Binoculars Inside 

Debris Inside Binoculars

If there is dirt inside your binocular lens, it can create a visual obstruction that will reduce the clarity of your view. This problem is commonly referred to as "binocular diopter." Binocular diopters are measured in units called "dioptres." They indicate how much distortion a particular type of glasses creates when used with binoculars.

You may also notice that your lenses are cloudy and foggy on the inside, so you may want to learn how to clean binoculars inside. The cause for this could be a leak. Most often, it is just condensation caused by an instant change of temperature.

If you are experiencing problems with your internal lens prisms on a pair of binoculars, there is probably something inside the prism that needs to be cleaned. Opening your binoculars to clean the prism will void your warranty. All the precise optical alignments can be destroyed, as well as cause your binoculars to be vulnerable to dust, bacteria, and scratches. It is never recommended that you open and expose the internal engineering.

The lenses of binoculars allow different types of light to pass through them and converge on the viewer's eyes. This will enable you to see objects clearly at faraway distances and details that would be missed if either lens were obstruction.

Two kinds of gasses are essential for this operation: nitrogen and oxygen. Nitrogen is used in the eyepiece because it filters out visible light while Passing O2 captures infrared radiation, which can reach your eye intact.

Optics professionals are experienced in removing various types of debris from optical equipment, so they may be able to solve your problem without having any further impact on their performance.

Again, checking with your manufacturer for advice and care is strongly advised. When investing in a premium set of binos, do not settle for amateur care.

How To Clean Binoculars That Are Sticky

How To Clean Sticky Binoculars

Oftentimes, binoculars that have a rubber armour coating will become sticky over time. You can remove this stickiness and return your binoculars to normal by using rubbing alcohol or any type of screen cleaning spray(they are basically alcohol).

Apply with a soft cloth and rub until the stickiness is removed.

What Steps Can You Take To Keep Your Binoculars Clean?

The first step that you can take to keep your binoculars clean is to invest in the best binocular harness that you can afford. These chest cases will keep your binoculars out of the elements, yet right at your fingertips for ease of use.

Binoculars are a valuable asset, and it is vital that they stay clean so you can use them to their full potential. Some tips for keeping your binoculars clean include rinsing them with fresh water after each use, using a mild cleaning solution designed specifically for optics, or wiping them down with a lint-free cloth every time you use them.

After use, always dry your binocular lenses thoroughly by wiping them with a cloth dampened in a lens cleaner solution. Be sure to wipe the lens gently so that the dirt and debris that may remain are brushed away and dried thoroughly.

When you're finished using your binoculars, immediately store them in their case or storage bag. This way, the lenses will be protected from dirt and dust. You must keep your field glasses or binos clean and free from dirt, dust, and fingerprints. It is essential for their long-term performance. Always keep them protected from scratches and damage, and clean them using a mild detergent and soft cloth when needed. When it is time to store your lenses, do so in their case.

How To Store Your Binoculars

How To Store Binoculars

When storing your binoculars, keeping them in a dust- and moisture-free environment is crucial. You can store binoculars either in the box they came in or in an appropriate storage container. It is also recommended that you protect your lenses from scratches by using a lens cap or wrapping them with padded fabric. Finally, make sure to clean your optics after each use with a cloth dampened with cleaning solution and water.

Binoculars should be stored in a cool, dark place to avoid damage. Ideally, they should be kept at around 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) or lower to prevent fogging and water condensation.

Final Thoughts

Binoculars can last many years, but the best bet to keep them working for a long time is to keep them clean and free of dust. Avoid using harsh chemicals or solvents on them, as this will damage the lenses. When storing binoculars away, be sure they are completely dry so that condensation does not form inside the optics. Avoid exposing them to extremes in temperature (above 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 32 degrees Celsius) as this could also lead to damage. All premium manufacturers suggest avoiding opening your binoculars for any reason.

Photo of author

John VanDerLaan

John VanDerLaan is the managing editor here at He oversees a team of editors, writers and pro staff that are subject matter experts in hunting and hunting gear. John's expertise includes thoroughly testing all types of hunting gear, as well as hunting all over the U.S. and Canada. While his hunting expertise includes game birds, small game and large game, his favorite game animal is the whitetail deer and he loves to share the knowledge that he has gained over 40 years of chasing the wily whitetail with both archery gear and firearms. John is an active member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America.

Leave a Comment