How To Clean Binoculars – Lens, Interior, Exterior – Best Guide


We have reviewed binoculars for several purposes and also provided a guide to buying binoculars. But getting binoculars you really want is not an achievement, in fact, the achievement is to take care of binoculars and keep them clean so that they last longer and gives you the perfect picture when you’re looking through them. Well, this is possible only if you know the tips and steps on how to clean binoculars.

Binocular maintenance is very important whether you want to clean new binocular or want to clean old binoculars, doing it the right way ensures long life and gives perfect images.

Mostly binoculars are used for outdoor activities and it’s necessary to remove the dust and debris that gets stuck in there. But do not clean binoculars very often. Yes! you heard us right. The reason is the lenses are coated, which allows a greater amount of light through the lenses to create clearer, brighter, and sharper images.

If you clean binoculars very often, the coatings will wear off or get messed up leaving the lenses uncoated. Also, if you clean binoculars incorrectly, you can damage the lenses as well.

We’ve seen people who pull out a pair of binoculars, breathes onto them, and cleans the lenses with the inside of a t-shirt, and they do not realize that this action can cause damage.

By following proper cleaning techniques you can get the most out of your investment. When looking to ensure clear, long-lasting images, learning how to clean binoculars goes a long way.

How To Clean The Exterior Of Binoculars

It’s not just the lens that needs cleaning however it is important to also clean the body correctly. Using the wrong tools and solution would end up damaging the rubber coating. Cleaning the exterior is the easiest part of the cleaning process, but should be done routinely to keep the binoculars in an ideal condition. The following steps would tell how to clean binoculars outside.


There are creases or crevices that have an accumulation of dust or sand using a can of compressed air to blow that dust.

Dry cloth

Using a dry microfiber cloth, gently wipe off all parts of the binocular including the barrels, focusing mechanism, and the eyepieces. Hold the binoculars upside down so that any dirt falls away from the lens surfaces.

Dampened Cloth

Sticky marks or dirt on the outer metal, rubber, or plastic of the body could be removed using a damp cloth but be very careful not to touch the lenses.

How To Clean The Binoculars From Inside


It’s not advised to opener dismantle the binoculars to clean it from inside, only the manufacturer should be contacted. Otherwise, binoculars will be vulnerable to scratches, bacteria, and dirt. At times the lenses get cloudy and foggy from inside so you want to learn how to clean binoculars inside. 

Leave binoculars at the dry place:

The moisture found inside the lenses will gradually disappear as soon as the lenses get accustomed to the outside temperature. To completely get rid of the internal condensation, place the binoculars in a dry place for at least 12 hours, to avoid the formation of mold and fungus inside the lenses.

Contact manufacturer:

Waterproof binoculars do not get foggy due to the type of construction used. But if it happens then contact the manufacturer as soon as possible to get binoculars repaired.

Do it yourself:

If it’s necessary to clean the interior, use a lens-specific cleaning solution and cloth to ensure no damage occurs. Start by unscrewing the cap, removing the eyepieces, and taking off the cover plate to expose the prisms. Remove the bottom plate to clean the inside of the objective lenses. AGAIN, don’t do it yourself. Dismantling binoculars can ruin the optical alignment and should only be trusted by a professional.

How To Clean Sticky Rubber On Binoculars


With time the rubber on binoculars may become sticky due to general use. However, this material can be easily cleaned. Gently use a cleaning solution or water and rub the damaged area with a little cloth or cotton pad until clean.


How To Clean Binoculars Lenses


Well, we understand lenses can get dirty due to outdoor usage. But you have to be very careful with lens cleaning and maintenance. The lens is the most sensitive part of the binoculars. This step by step guide helps you to clean off any dirt, grease, or fingerprints:

Don’t throw away the Manual:

Consider reading the manual that comes with the binocular package. The manufacturer usually mentions if there are any tools, solutions or chemicals to be avoided on the lens surface. Many binoculars have different lens coatings with varying reactions to cleaning solutions. Binoculars are not a small investment and using the wrong chemical can damage the lenses beyond repair and cost the user a new set.

Blow the Air:

Hold the binoculars upside down, use a lens cleaning pen’s bristles to loosen the dirt, then use some canned air to carefully blow off the loosened dirt. Do not get furious with the canned air, short bursts of air at a good distance are enough. Pressured air can damage the lens. Avoid breathing onto the lens as this can create water spots that will be difficult to clean when dry.

Use Cleansing Solution:

Using a cotton swab or a microfibre cloth with a cleansing solution, gently wipe away any remaining dirt. Do not directly pour the solution onto the surface of the lens, you really don’t want the liquid to into the internal parts and cause damage. But if you have got high-quality waterproof binoculars then gently run a light stream of water over the lenses to remove excess grime. and then wait until it completely dries, before you store it.

Use Lens Pen Pad or Lens Cloth:

By now all dirt has removed, so use the lens pen pad or lens cloth to wipe away any remaining smudges. Apply very little pressure and work in a circular motion to consistently clean the lenses. Lens cloth should be neat and clean. Discard if it gets extremely dirty.


Binoculars Cleaning Kit


Perfect binoculars cleaning kit should consist of:

  • Lens Pen/Soft hair-bristle brush: This is for whisking away dust, bread crumbs, sand, Cheeto bits, and any other abrasive particles that might damage lens coatings or lens surfaces. It is a little retractable brush that is used to get the dust off lenses. It is used by simply brushing the surface of the lenses with it. It clears almost all dust and debris off the lens surfaces.
  • Soft cleaning cloth: Specifically designed cloth for cleaning coated glass surface like a microfiber cloth. 
  • Lens cleaning fluid: The fluid should also be designed for use on coated lens surfaces.
  • Squeeze Ball or Air Blaster: This air pump enables you to remove debris and dust from the lenses.


Do's & Dont's - How to Clean and Store Binoculars


  • Following tools should never be used to clean binoculars inside out:
      • Clothing items
      • Toilet paper
      • Paper towel
      • Windex
      • Other household cleaners
      • Dish soap 
      • Detergent
  • Don’t over-clean, as you don’t want to damage the lens coatings.
  • To reduce the chances of smudges avoid touching the lenses especially with dirty fingers.
  • To keep lenses protected against damage, when not in use the lens caps should be on at all times. Most manufacturers call this thing a “rain guard.”
  • For heavy binoculars consider buying a shoulder harness instead of dangling binoculars. This will avoid more dirt and dust accumulating on the lenses.
  • When not in use, store the binoculars in a clean, dry bag to protect against dust in the car or house.
  • Do not wipe your binoculars lenses with your teeshirt because it will scratch the lenses. Thereby spoiling your binoculars.
  • All the paper products contain wood fibers that will scratch your coatings.
  • Tissues and paper towels may also contain lanolin which will make a terrible mess on your lenses.
  • Windex, Glass Plus, and other household cleaners contain ammonia which will absolutely dissolve your coatings.  AVOID using detergent on lenses.
  • Clean your lenses only with the soft cloth that came with your binoculars or with a good lens cleaning cloth.
  • Only use lens cleaners that are isopropyl alcohol-based. Make sure the label says that the product is safe for coated lenses.
  • Don’t leave your binoculars on the car seat while you are driving. If it hit something you won’t be able to see the quality images and have to bear the damage.
  • If you have Porro prism binoculars, set the focus on infinity for travel or storage.
  • If your binoculars have solid twist-up eyecups, keep them retracted when storing or traveling with your binoculars.
  • Never look directly at the Sun with the naked eye or with this optic. Permanent and irreversible eye damage may result.
  • Never use your optic to project an image of the Sun onto any surface. Internal heat build-up can damage the optic and any accessories attached to it.
  • Never leave your optic unsupervised.


How To Clean Binoculars - FAQ

What if there is moisture, dust or dirt inside binoculars, how do I take my binoculars apart to clean them?

Don’t do this! Most of the new binoculars, especially the more expensive pairs are filled with nitrogen that keeps the optics from fogging up, which will be lost if you open them.

Can you use glasses cleaner on binoculars?

Avoid using window or glass cleaner on the binoculars because these products often include chemicals that can damage the integrity of the lenses. Before applying any sort of cleaning solution to the lenses, it's crucial to consult the manufacturer's recommendations to avoid damage.

Can I reuse microfibre to clean binoculars?

Going from cool temperature to hot and sunny weather will create condensation on the glasses. You can wipe the condensation found on the outside of your lenses with a microfiber cloth. Once the microfiber cloth gets dirty, don’t try to wash it or reuse it, just throw it away.

How do you clean fingerprints off binoculars?

The quickest and safest way to remove fingerprints and smudges from your binocular lenses is with a microfiber cloth.

Can you use rubbing alcohol on binoculars?

Yes. To clean up the rubber armoring use a little bit of rubbing alcohol on a little cloth or cotton pad. It takes the dirt right off. Just make sure not to get any rubbing alcohol on the lenses. The biggest mistake people make is cleaning their binoculars too often.

How do you get the moisture out of a binocular lens?

The best way to remove internal condensation is to store the binoculars in a tight bag with a few pouches of silica gel (desiccant) in a place with low humidity for a couple of days.

Why has the rubber on my binoculars gone sticky?

It is common for the binoculars to get sticky after they've been heavily used in certain places or weather conditions and this can be easily removed by wiping it with normal wipes. If this doesn't work, try to use some alcohol-based products.



For enthusiasts, learning how to clean binoculars is crucial to keep enjoying the surrounding environment. Maintaining clear optics can be completed in a few simple steps, but bear in my not to over-clean the lenses and use the correct steps and materials to ensure future damage does not continue and the users can get back to watching birds, enjoying natural landscapes, and more with a crystal-clear image.

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