How to Clean Binoculars inside – Guide on Cleaning Lens, Exterior & Body

By Richard

Due to over usage of binoculars in muddy areas or outdoor environments,  they get dirty. This dirtiness reduces the age of these optical instruments. But if someone keeps them away from dirt and debris, these binoculars can be loyal friends for years. In this article, we will discuss how to clean binoculars inside, and outside and keep their lenses protected from the outdoor environment.

Here is the short answer to how to clean binoculars. We will explain every step in detail to give you the best information about cleaning the binoculars.

By using a lens pen, canned air, cleaning cotton or microfiber cloth, and lens cleaning solution, the lenses of binoculars can be cleaned. Dismantling of binoculars is important if the interior of binoculars needs to be poured. Wiping with a soft damp cloth, the exterior and the body of binoculars can be cleaned. Never rub your binoculars with a dry cloth or t-shirt to clean them as it can put scratches on your optics.

Even if you’re optics got wet, you can fix them easily. You won’t be able to acquire a sharper view if you don’t dry your damp binoculars; instead, you’ll receive a blurry image. Here is another brief answer to the query of how to get the water out of binoculars.

Fixing wet binoculars takes at least one day. Take your binoculars and place them in a warm place for drying. Add the white rice on binoculars to increase the drying process. You can also silica gel with white rice which will ease the drying process. Rice being water absorbent takes up all the moisture and dries the binoculars. 

If you still have questions in your mind about the cleaning process, worry not! In this article, we will explain all the steps that must be followed during the cleansing process. Let’s not wait further and dive deeper to know more about how to clean binoculars

Related article: Vortex Crossfire VS Diamondback Binoculars – Which is the best?

How to clean the lens of binoculars?

It will not be wrong to say that binoculars have importance due to the performance of their lens. If lenses are not clean or look smudgy, the image they will provide will also look unclear which ruins the purpose of using binoculars. Following stuff must be used to clean the lenses of binoculars;

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Lens pen or canned air
  • Lens cleaning solution like water

How to clean lenses step by step guide:

We will explain the whole process of cleaning binoculars in five steps. Each of these steps is very important. Even if you are a newbie you can follow these practical steps to get the work done. You don’t need to visit any optics expert

STEP 1 – Read the user manual:

Every binocular comes with some user guide or manual so that the user can understand everything about the binoculars. The user manual tells what kind of chemical is helpful for that specific binoculars. Choosing the right chemical for the cleaning process is important as the wrong chemical selection can destroy the coating of the lens.  Not only that, the user’s guide also provides information about the concentration of the chemical that is required to clean the binoculars

STEP 2 – Remove the stranded dust particles:

The most important step is to remove the stranded dust particles with the help of a lens pen. The lens pen will loosen the dust and debris. Once, the dust is loosened the canned air blow is used to remove those loosen dusty particles. The short burst of air on the dust will remove the particle but if you use those blows too close to the end it can frost up the lenses which is not acceptable. Make sure to use burst by keeping some distance between lenses and canned air burst.

STEP 3 – Use a microfiber cloth to gently remove the remaining dust:

The microfiber cloth consists of many small fibers which are perfect to clean the lens as they don’t give microscopic scratches to the lens. Use the microfiber cloth gently, not too harshly. The reckless and harsh use of these fiber cloths can be dreadful for lenses.

STEP 4 – Use of cleaning solution

 Many kinds of cleansing solutions are available in the market that is helpful in removing dust particles. We have those solutions that contain a minimized amount of chemicals as these chemicals have a bad impact on the coating of lenses. 

Use cotton to apply a cleaning solution to the lens. Make sure not to put the solution directly on the lens as it can go inside of the binoculars and affect the performance. Always use cotton soaked with a solution to remove the dust residue

STEP 5 – Use small, camel haired brushes

These brushes have very silky hairs that don’t put any negative impact on the lens but remove all the dust particles that don’t come out with a pen lens, canned air, or cleansing solution. Extensive or extreme use of these brushes can also put scratches on the lens so be gentle when using these brushes.

How to clean exterior of binoculars – Clean the body

Probably the most affected part from the extreme weather conditions, dust, sticky hands, and other abuse is the body of binoculars.  But luckily the exterior of binoculars is made of strong rubber armor material which is very much capable of bearing all that abuse.

A strong body doesn’t mean that we should not keep the body clean. A cleaner body increases the lifespan of binoculars. Especially if you are going to use your binoculars in deserts or windy areas where your binoculars will be in contact with sand and dust you must clean the exterior of the binoculars. If you don’t pay heed, the dust will go inside and destroy the lenses and interior of the binoculars

Use a cleaning solution to keep your exterior clean. Make sure to use cotton swag or soft cloth to apply the solution. Apply the solution gently to avoid any microscopic scratches. If you use cotton soaked with a cleansing solution harshly it will put scratches that won’t be noticeable immediately but will be visible after some days of usage.

How to clean eyecups of binoculars:

Eyecups are not very sensitive and act as protection. Cleaning them is not as important as cleaning the lenses is. But still, it is recommended to clean them to maintain the beauty of your binoculars. As said earlier, the eyecups are robust enough to bear the pressure so you can use the same cleaning solution and use it as long as your eyecups are not clean.

How to clean binoculars inside?

Cleaning the interior of binoculars is crucial and many people do know how to clean binoculars inside. To be honest, cleaning the interior is the most complex part and needs a lot of attention and knowledge to do that. 

We always lay stress on keeping your binoculars clean so that your pair of binoculars don’t need interior cleaning as it requires the dismantling of the binoculars

Disadvantages of dismantling binoculars:

Following are the disadvantages that you will face if you do dismantling of your binoculars

  • After dismantling your binoculars you won’t be able to claim a warranty
  • The optical alignment will be affected, resulting in a blurry image
  • It will be easier for the bacteria, fungus and other dust particles will penetrate into your binoculars once they are dismantled

Should you clean your binoculars inside on your own?

The answer to this question is a big NO as it is a very technical process and only experts and highly professionals should clean the binoculars inside. Cleaning the binoculars inside requires dismantling the part of the binoculars.  It will be ideal if you visit the manufacturer for cleaning the interior of your binoculars. If manufacturers dismantle the binocular it won’t void you from the warranty. 

How to disassemble binoculars:

But if you are still willing to clean your binoculars on your own then start dismantling and cleaning following ways;

  • Unscrew the part step by step
  • First of all, remove the cap to get the focus system and clean it
  • Remove the eyepiece and clean them
  • Remove the cover plates to get access to the prism and clean them
  • After cleaning the prism, remove the bottom plate and clean the interior of the objective lens

After you’ve finished cleaning, make sure you put the little screws back where you took them out. Again saying, make sure to use preventive measures so that the dust doesn’t go inside and you don’t dismantle them to clean.

A video that explains how to clean binoculars:

How to Clean Binoculars From Fungus?

Before knowing how to clean binoculars from fungus, it is important to know the reasons and causes of fungus spots. When binoculars get fog, mist, and dirt and remain uncleaned for months, they get the layer of fungus. This is why we laid stress on cleaning fog, mist, and dirt from the binoculars. But if your binoculars are affected by fungus then worry not! We are going to explain how to clean binoculars from fungus. 

Two methods are mainly used to clean binoculars from fungus spots. These are mentioned below;

  • Removal of fungus by using dishwashing soap and vinegar
  • Removal of fungus by using athlete’s foot cream

1- Removal of fungus by using dishwashing soap and vinegar

This is probably the cheapest method to remove the fungus as dishwashing soap and vinegar are easily available. Follow the following steps to use dishwashing soap and vinegar on the lenses

  1. First of all, remove and dismantle the lenses of binoculars. The binoculars using the modern build technique are easy to dismantle. 
  2. The second step is to locate the fungus. For this purpose, the light must be put from behind to see the fungus spots. With the light from the back side of lenses, it gets easier to locate or spot the fungus
  3. Put the dismantled lenses on the paper and put dishwashing liquid on the lenses. This will weaken the fungus. After some time, the fungus layer will start peeling off.
  4. After sometimes, put vinegar on them to remove the fungus completely

2- Removal of fungus by using athlete’s foot cream

If the condition worsens up and the dishwashing soap fails to put any positive impact then athlete’s foot cream is the best option to remove the fungus. Actually, this cream is useful for athletes who keep wearing shoes for a long period of time. Due to wearing shoes for a long duration, fungi attack the feet. This cream is applied to the feet to kill the fungi. 

  • Apply the cream to the lenses of binoculars where the fungus has attacked.
  • The cream can be applied with the fingers
  • After applying the cream, leave it there a night
  • The cream will kill all the fungus and will never let it grow again.

How to Get Moisture and Water out of Binoculars?

Removing water and moisture from binoculars is not as tough as one may think. It’s just about the immediate application of a proper method to remove the water which is present inside or outside the binoculars.

One important point that I would like to mention is that if your binoculars are wet outside and you’re certain that moisture has not gone inside then don’t simply wipe and use them again. The moisture remains on the body and goes inside if not dried. So it is very important to dry them even if the water has touched the outer body.

Here are two methods that will help your set of binoculars get rid of water and moisture that goes inside them

Method 1 – Keep your pair of binoculars out and  Dry them out naturally

Fixing binoculars that got wet does not require any costly process or expensive equipment to remove water. You can remove moisture in your home with proper guidelines. 

First of all, check if your binoculars are wet inside or outside. In both cases, drying them is mandatory. Keep them under the hot sun or any warm area which can dry up the moisture and water from them.

Keeping binoculars in a hot environment near to the furnace can also speed up the process of their drying. Don’t be aggressive in this process and keep some distance between your binoculars and furnace. The very hot environment can damage the plastic body of the binoculars. 

After drying them, test and check how the image is now. If you’re getting a clear image then your binoculars are fine and you can store them away.

But in case, they are still foggy and you are unable to see the image clearly then your binoculars are not 100% fine and you need to follow up the second method to get them dried completely. In most cases, Drying them naturally is not going to remove all the moisture. 

Method 2 – Use a Desiccant To Absorb the remaining moisture

Using desiccant is the ultimate method for removing moisture out of binoculars. Their many types of desiccants are available in the market. The good thing about them is that they are not too expensive.

Desiccant is a hygroscopic material that helps the binoculars, scopes, and other electronics to keep their dryness state. Some desiccants that we recommend you to use are listed below;

  • White rice
  • Silica gel bags or pouches
  • Activated aluminaCalcium chloride or Alumina

White rice is one of the best and low-cost water absorbents that you should look to use when removing water out of binoculars.  

Take an airtight container and place your pair of binoculars in it. Put desiccant, preferably white rice. It will absorb all the moisture from the environment and speed up the drying process. Let your binoculars and rice be there for at least two to three days.

After two to three days, open the airtight container and take your binoculars out of it and check if they are clear and brighter or not. In 97% of cases, all the moisture goes away. If you’re unlucky and binoculars have still some moisture left, repeat the second method again to dry them 100%

Once your optics are completely dry, you can store them for future use.

How does moisture affect the binoculars?

The most dangerous side effect of moisture getting into binoculars is the lens getting damaged. Moisture goes inside and starts fogging up the internal structure of binoculars which results in a reduction in the lifespan of your binoculars. 

Keep in mind that many components work together in binoculars to give you a clear and magnified image of the targeted object. Most of the parts are made of metal glass. Moisture gets inside the binoculars and stays on the metallic pieces for a long time, causing them to rust.

The rust within the binoculars directly or indirectly affects the performance of binoculars. The condensation of water on lens and glass parts reduces their longevity. 

It also put a damaging effect on the prisms used in binoculars. Fogging up the prism causes low light transmission and gives a darker image. The coating on the lens gets affected if the moisture stays there for a long period of time. 

Destruction of coating prevents binoculars from giving brighter images in low light conditions as the coating affects the light capturing ability of binoculars. All in all, if the optics go into the water and remain unchecked for an extended period of time, they will be totally damaged. You’ll have to shell out more cash for a new set of binoculars.

How to prevent moisture from forming in your binoculars?

It is always said that prevention is better than treatment. Knowing how to remove moisture out of binoculars is useful. However, knowing how to prevent moisture from forming in binoculars is inevitable and will save you the trouble of having to remove the water.

Keep Cleaning

Regular cleaning is mandatory for an extended lifespan. You will be disappointed by the endurance of your binoculars no matter how costly they are if you do not clean them properly. Gentle cleaning of the lens and glass part keeps binoculars safe from fog and humidity. 

Use anti-fog products to keep your binoculars safe from moisture

Using an anti-fog product is very helpful in keeping your binoculars away from fogging up. Their many types of anti-products are available in the markets. Some of them are quite costly because they are useful for a long time. Others are less expensive and are effective for a shorter duration. 

The anti-fog products are available in the form of sprays, creams, powders, and wipes. Simply apply them to the lenses and keep them secure from outside moisture and humidity. 

How To Keep Fog out of Binoculars?

Binoculars are one of those optical instruments that don’t stay in a safe place. These optics go through different extreme weather conditions to help users see magnified images for the purpose of hunting, birding, and other activities. The fog and mist can go inside the binoculars and make the image unclear, resulting in the rusting of lenses.

If your binoculars get affected by fog, remove the lenses and keep them in an open area for drying purposes. Before putting them in under the sun to dry make sure to wipe the fog on the lenses with the aid of a fiber cloth which is very soft and doesn’t put any scratches.

Don’t try to dry them with artificial bursts of air. If you do that it might affect the coating of lenses.  Keep the lenses in an open area in gentle air to dry them. Once the lens gets dried you can use them again as all the misty will disappear. But your binoculars mistakenly fall into the water, then dismantle the binoculars and dry each and every part of your binoculars.

How to take care of binoculars?

Binoculars are very costly optical instruments and we can’t afford to see the destruction of binoculars due to not having the knowledge of how to take care of them. People look to find how to clean binoculars but don’t worry about how to keep the binoculars safe. If they take care of binoculars they won’t need to find ways to clean the binoculars. You must follow the following tips to keep your optics safe from all the outdoor harassment.

Know what is harmful:

If you don’t know what affects the binoculars, you won’t be able to take care or maintain your binoculars. You must read the user manual to understand what must be avoided to increase the longevity of your optics. If the user guide is not available due to any reason then call the manufacturer to get in-depth knowledge about the preventive measures. Moreover, the following factors must be avoided for every optical equipment

  • Debris
  • Moisture
  • Fog and mist
  • Sand particles

After reading the user manual, you will be able to know all those factors that must be avoided to increase the performance and longevity of binoculars.

Use neck strap:

A neck strap is very important as it helps in keeping the binocular close to you. Without using a neck strap, your binoculars may fall and get broken or scratched. If binoculars fall, chances are higher that the dust particles will go inside them. So make sure to use a neck strap when going out for outdoor adventures.

Use lubricants for knob and lenses:

The knob and lenses if exposed to air and fog start getting rusty. Many lubricants are available in the market, especially in optical stores that help to avoid rust and keep the knob and lenses robust. If you use lubricants then contaminants like mist won’t put any impact on binoculars.

Don’t use breathe and cloth to clean binoculars:

It has been observed that people use their breath to moisten the lenses and clean them with cloth like a t-shirt or handkerchief. It is bad practice to clean the lenses of binoculars. The breath can affect the lenses making the image blurry. The cloth used will put scratches on the lens. These scratches may not be visible at the moment but will be visible over time which will affect your binocular performance.

Conclusion:

No doubt that a nice pair of binoculars are very important for outdoor activities. But if you’re unable to see through them then there is no use for them. In order to save your time and money, your knowledge of how to get the moisture out of binoculars must be very strong

Binoculars are expensive optical instruments that can boost your outdoor experience. We can’t afford to waste money by not taking care of our binoculars. It is relatively easier to follow preventive measures than to find a way to remove the dust particles. Make sure to keep your binoculars safe by maintaining a distance between binoculars and dust and other contaminants. If your binoculars mistakenly fall or make contact with dirt particles remove them to increase the life of your binoculars