How to Clean & Protect Your Binoculars
|Whether you’re an avid bird watcher, backpacker or hunter, your binoculars probably get used quite frequently and require cleaning and care to preserve the integrity of the lenses and ensure their delivery of crisp, clear images for year after year of productive use.
Every time you use your binoculars, be it in your own backyard or out in the field, there is the potential for them to get dirty from dust, precipitation, oils from your hands and other contaminates. Just as images you see in your mirror or on your car windows can be distorted by dirt and water stains, binocular lenses will not produce the desired detail and color when they are dirty. The smallest scratch, caused by sand or other accumulated contaminates, can fracture light as it enters the optics, distorting or blurring images.
While you can’t prevent your binoculars from ever getting dirty, keeping them clean will go a long way in extending their usefulness. Remember to always consult your manufacturer’s guidelines for the proper way to clean and care for your binoculars.
Typically, you can use a damp cloth to wipe off the barrels, rims and focus wheels. A can of compressed air will clear dust in tight spaces. Be sure to only use short bursts of air to avoid damaging your binoculars.
It shouldn't take much to clean the outside of your binoculars as they are made pretty sturdily, but you’ll want to take extra care when cleaning the lenses. Use a lens brush to carefully brush away loose debris. Holding the binoculars upside down will help dirt fall away from the lenses. Don’t breath on your lenses as you would your glasses, it will only make them dirtier. Using water or an optics solution, dampen a cotton swab and gently remove the remaining dust but take care not to press it into the lens. Use a microfiber or lens cleaning cloth to wipe the lenses gently in a circular motion to remove smudges.
Additional tips for protecting your binoculars from dirt and debris include: using lens caps to protect optics when the binoculars aren’t in use; storing binoculars in a soft, clean case; taking precautions not to apply sunscreen or insect spray near your binoculars; and using only clean tools designed for optics.
Use EyeShields to help cut down on dust and debris being blown into the binocular eyepieces. They conform to the shape of your head, sealing out weather elements. Eyeshields are a convenient way to add extra protection and clarity of your lenses.