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How to Clean Your Birding Binoculars

Whenever you use binoculars for bird watching in the field or in your backyard, they can get unclean. Dust builds up on the lenses, and an unintentional touch will transfer grease and oil on the glass. Fog or rain can leave water droplets on the binoculars, as well as a light breeze can bring dirt, dust and other particles into contact with your birdwatching binocular.

Keeping your binoculars clean helps them last longer, and doing it properly ensures you have clear images. So what is the best way to clean your binoculars, what should you avoid doing?

What To Avoid?

You should avoid breath and rub when cleaning your birding binocular lens. Because it can create micro scratch in your lens surface. You can not see this scratch, but it can scatter light. So over time your binocular become misted up.

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How to Clean Your Birding Binoculars Lens

Before starting to clean your birding binocular, check manual from the manufacturer, and follow their recommendation for cleaning to avoid damage.

  1. Remove the dust and debris or other small particles from the binocular's lenses. Do not breath and rub it. Use a lens cleaning pen or brush with very fine hair. This will allow you to remove dust with the smallest pressure to the surface lens to prevent scratch or mark in the lens coating.
  2. Moisten a Q-tip with water or lens cleaning solution and float off any remaining dust. Or if your binocular is waterproof, you can actually run it under the tap (but don't squirt it hard). DO NOT use fluid designed for cleaning eyeglasses or windows, as it may attack the coatings.
  3. Use a soft lent-free cloth or even better a high-quality microfiber cloth to very gently rub the lenses. Do not use paper towels or facial tissue, as these are too rough. They often include wood fiber that will scratch your lenses or the coatings on the lenses.

How to Clean The body of a pair of binoculars

It's important to clean the body of your birding binocular too. Use the right solution to keep the rubber coating from damage.

  1. Clean off the barrels, focus wheels, eyepiece rims and other parts of the binoculars with a wet fabric, but try to not touching the lenses.
  2. Use a blower to remove dust and particles from around the focus wheel and other gaps, but use little puffs of air. A continual blast can produce wetness that will harm binoculars.
  3. Wipe off all part of birding binocular with a microfiber cloth. Try not to touch or wipe the lens. Hold the binoculars upside down so that any dirt falls away from the lens surfaces.
  4. If you still have marks or dirt on the outer metal, rubber, or plastic of the body, you can use a soft cloth with warm water or a mild cleaner. But you must be very careful and make sure you don’t use this on the lenses.

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

Don’t! Remember many new binoculars, especially the more expensive pairs are filled with nitrogen that keep the optics from fogging up, which will be lost if you open them. If your binocular fogging and misted up read how to keep your birding binocular from fogging up.

Opening up your binoculars will also probably destroy any waterproof seals and you could also easily make them completely unusable by moving the alignment of the lenses or prism.

If you think the inside of your binoculars needs to be cleaned, it is best to contact the manufacturer or an authorized dealer for binocular repair.

Understanding the how to clean binoculars appropriately can help your binocular last longer so you never miss out while birdwatching.