Why Do the Rubber of Binoculars Get Sticky? Fixes & Prevention Tips

By Richard

Seeing the rubber of binoculars getting sticky is painful and you start getting the feeling that you will have to spend the money as the stickiness will destroy the binoculars. Have you ever thought about why the rubber got stickiness and how you can keep the stickiness away?

The issue is common among the old binoculars that have spent their time in prime time. We have seen many people asking this question that their old binoculars got sticky even though they did extreme care. What is the solution?

Binoculars become sticky when the outer rubber gets some dirt, debris, or fat and these contaminants remain there for an extended duration. However, the issue can be solved by rubbing alcohol on the rubber which will remove all the stickiness.

In this blog post, we will drill down and tell you exactly why the rubber binoculars get sticky and what steps you can take to solve this problem. So, stay connected with us so that you don’t miss any of the information.

Related Article: How Do Binoculars Work?

What causes the rubber to get sticky on binoculars?

Why Do the Rubber of Binoculars Get Sticky

Before knowing how you can remove the rubber from getting sticky, it is important to know the root causes which are actually causing the problem. Knowing those factors which are contributing to the stickiness of rubber will help you take proper measures to avoid the problem next time. Below are the cause;

  • The most prominent reason which causes the rubber of binoculars to get sticky is the use of binoculars in the rain. Your hands get dirty and you cannot keep them dry when you use binos in rain. When you hold binoculars with wet hands, the moisture goes inside the rubber and causes it to peel off slightly. The dirt then goes inside those places where it peeled off. This dust remains there for a few days and causes the stickiness of binoculars.
  • The extreme usage of binoculars also causes stickiness. Imagine yourself using binoculars for 10 to 12 hours a day on a regular basis and not cleaning them properly. If they are in use continuously, then you won’t have time to dry and clean them, which in the long run causes the rubber to peel off and get sticky.
  • Those people who love safari or go into the jungle to watch the natural beauty do not know that tree sap is going to be causing problems. While touching bushes and trees, the tree sap comes on your hands and when you use binoculars with those hands, the tree sap goes on the binoculars and stays there for a long time and causing stickiness.
  • It is usual practice for all of us to use lotion or something like that on our skin to keep it moisturized in winter. But the small quality of lotion remains on the hands and later on, makes contact with the binoculars and contributes towards the stickiness of the rubber of the binoculars.
  • The rubber itself is a sticky substance. For making the cover of binoculars, this rubber goes through a heating process which is also known as vulcanization. As a result of the heat, the rubber gets stretchy. But with time, the stretchiness reduces and stickiness increases as the rubber itself is a sticky material. Vulcanization effects last for only years and the stickiness of rubber returns.

Also Read: Where are Swarovski Binoculars Made?

How do you clean sticky binoculars?

There are many ways and it depends on the severity of the stickiness which method you need. If the stickiness is not very severe then you can simply use any towel to wipe the stickiness and the issue will be resolved. But if you feel the stickiness is too much then don’t use a towel to wipe.

Use the alcohol product for removing the stickiness. You should soak a microfiber cloth with alcohol and then gently rub the affected place with this alcohol. Don’t go with a harsh approach; instead gently rubbing will do the perfect job.

If the gentle rubbing is not working perfectly, then we suggest you take a truth brush and remove the stickiness. Keep in mind that the usage of alcohol products is important no matter whether you clean them with a microfibre cloth or toothbrush.

If you don’t drink alcohol, then you can go with mild hot water and wipe all the stickiness. Keep in mind that clean water should not go inside the binoculars and create more problems. This instruction or method is good if you’re a DIY kind of person. 

For perfect results, we suggest you go to any professional and get the stickiness removed. If you feel the sickness is due to the peeling of rubber, then we suggest you get your old rubber removed and replace it with another new rubber. This should only be done by an expert.

How to prevent my binoculars from getting sticky?

The first and most important step that you should take is to clean the binoculars more often. Especially, when they are not in use, then clean them before placing them in their box. If you’re going out then use a carrying case to keep them away from the dirt. At the end of the day, when you’ve used binoculars, then clean them to ensure that they don’t get any sort of stickiness.

In old binoculars, rubber usually gets peeled off. You should keep checking the condition of the rubber. If you see peeling rubber, immediately change the rubber so that the dirt or debris does go to the peeled place and contaminate the binoculars. Don’t change the rubber by yourself and send your binoculars to a professional for rubber replacement.

Also Read: Can You Use Binoculars with Glasses?

Final Word

Stickiness on the rubber is common in binoculars and you should not panic after seeing it. There are simple steps that can help you get out of this problem. However, you should take care of your binoculars to avoid the problem as the preventive measures can keep your binoculars from getting sticky. We have given complete details about how to remove the stickiness from the rubber of binoculars. Hopefully, this guide will add value.