How To Clean Binoculars Inside And Outside: Step By Step

Cleaning binoculars is important for keeping your lenses clean and keeping the binoculars functioning correctly. If the lenses are oily or dirty, they will not be able to transmit light as well as they should. Additionally, lots of us don’t know how to clean binoculars properly. As a result, we tempered with binoculars by rubbing against the lens roughly with an abrasive cloth or using the wrong cleaning product, which can cause permanent damage to the lens coating.

Lens coating is very vital to binoculars’ performance. The lens coating filters out the light and ensures a sharp image for birding, stargazing, hunting, and even wildlife spotting. So, if you are a hunter, keep in mind to clean your hunting binoculars after every use to ensure the best possible optics.

So how do you clean binoculars the right way? This guide will teach you how to clean binoculars inside and outside the lens. It is best to clean binoculars whenever they feel smudgy or gunky. Worst case scenario is if you let binoculars get dirty and the lenses become foggy and dirty, or fingerprints marks and water spots start to turn up.

Few pieces of Advice: Things You Should Avoid While Cleaning Binoculars:

  • Do not clean binocular lenses too often; only clean binocular lenses when they become dirtier. Because lens coating is sensitive to the cleaning solution, over-cleaning can damage the lens coating.
  • Do not clean binoculars with the handkerchief, the hem of your tee shirt, paper towel, toilet paper, even with facial tissue. These materials have filaments/fibers that can damage glasses and destroy the lens coatings, resulting in poor light transmission.
  • Do not use canned air cleaners, which are often used for computers. These cleaners can contain petroleum distillates and fluorocarbons, damaging binocular lenses.
  • Be gentle when cleaning binocular’s lenses; do not rub for an extended period.
  • Do not breathe on lenses or put your face close to optical surfaces because the increased moisture doesn’t let the small debris fly off the lenses.
  • Do not clean binoculars with the window or eyeglass cleaners or Windex. These cleaners are harsh and can damage the coating on lenses.
  • Do not use clean solutions containing ammonia, chlorine, or other corrosive chemicals. These substances can corrode binocular lens coatings and distort images.

To Clean Binocular lenses, First, Determine What Type Of Cleaning Solution and Tool Necessary.

Before cleaning the binocular lenses in the best way possible, it is good to check which cleaning solution and process are recommended by the manufacturer in their user guide. Many binoculars have different lens coatings with varying reactions to cleaning solutions, so you must use the proper cleaning solution and method. For example the best binoculars under $200 may allow such chemical ingredients to clean the lens while the best rangefinder binoculars may not allow. So It varies in terms of price and brand and how the optics are designed or coated.

So first, check the bino manual thoroughly to see what cleaning solution is recommended and safe for the lenses. And make sure to read and follow all other safety precautions before beginning the cleaning process.

However, If there are no specific cleaning instructions, you can choose any lens cleaning solution designed for lens cleaning.

Things You Need To Have For Cleaning Your Binoculars

These are things you will need to clean binoculars with:

  • Lint Free lens tissue or microfiber cloths
  • lens cleaning solution (designed explicitly for optics lenses)
  • binocular lens brush
  • Lens Blower

Now Lets’s dive into How To Clean binocular Lenses Professionally Without Damaging the Lens Coating:

How To Clean Binoculars Professionally

Remove The visible Dust And Dirt First.

The first I recommend is to remove any visible dust and dirt. This can be done with a lens cleaning brush or pen and a Lens blower. Lens brushes/pens have bristles usually have small, soft points that catch most of the dust and dirt particles and help to loosen them.

Lens Pen For Cleaning Binoculars

If you clean the magnification lens, hold it vertically and brush the bristles to loose dust and dirt. If cleaning the objective lenses, keep the objective lens upside down, do the same thing, and brush the lens from front to back. Be sure to clean both lenses. Instead of using a lens pen, you can also use a soft camel hair brush, a type of paintbrush with soft bristles made from natural hairs taken from squirrels.

lens cleaning blower for binoculars

Once the visible dust and dirt are removed or loosened, use a lens blower to the lens in a series of short bursts to blow off any loose dirt and debris. If you are confident to use canned air, be careful not to go too near the lens, as this could cause problems with the optics. However, I personally do not recommend using these canned air or air dusters.

Removing Any Other Residual Debris And Apply Cleaning Solution:

After using the lens pen and lens blower to remove any visible dust and dirt, you can now proceed to remove any other residual debris. To do this:

  1. Use a cotton swab soaked in the cleaning solution.
  2. Gently go around the entire lens surface using circular motions.
  3. Do not over-pump the cleaner directly, as this could cause internal damage if your binocular is not waterproof.

After cleaning the lens, you should store it in a dry and clean place.

Use Lint-Free Lens tissue or Microfiber Lens Cloth


The next step is to use a Lint-Free Lens tissue or clean microfiber cloth. These special clothes can be purchased at most stores that sell optics or online retailers. Place the microfiber cloth over the lens and gently wipe in a circular motion to clean the lens. It will help to wipe away any residual smudges. Be sure to stay away from the old or used microfiber cloths as these can contain dirt and small particles that could damage the lens.

How To Clean Binoculars Body Professionally

Cleaning the lens is an important thing, but have you ever thought about how much dirt, grime, grease, and other small particles accumulate in the binocular body from your sticky fingers, hand contact, rain, and dirt particles from the ground?

Luckily cleaning the binocular’s exterior body is not difficult at all but requires some simple steps. Follow these simple instructions to clean your binoculars body professionally:

  1. Remove eyecups to clean dust from the threads.
  2. Blow all dust off the binocular body with a lens blower or canned air.
  3. If your binoculars come with waterproof, you can run the bino under warm water and clean dirt, grime, and particles from the binocular body.
  4. Wipe binocular body to clean with a damp cloth or lens cleaning solution.
  5. Dry binocular body

how to clean binoculars that are sticky

Since the rubber coatings of the binoculars body are not genuine rubber, that’s why after using binoculars for some time, the rubber coating of the body becomes sticky. There are a few ways to clean binoculars that are sticky. The easiest way is to use rubbing alcohol and a paper towel. You will need to wear gloves because this is going to get messy. If you rub the binoculars with the alcohol and paper towel, the coating will come off, and you will be left with the bare plastic. And that’s the best practice of cleaning the binoculars that are sticky.

How To Clean The Inside Of Your Binoculars

If you ask me how you clean the inside of a binocular lens, the best answer is don’t learn it. Because binoculars can easily be damaged if you take them apart and clean the inside, the inside of the binoculars should only be cleaned by a professional! Trying to disassemble binoculars can ruin the alignment of the lenses and prisms. Also, break the waterproofing and rain guard seals. As you may see, some binoculars come with argon or nitrogen-purged gas helps to prevent condensation on the inside of lenses. So if you open the bino, the fog proofing system may not work afterward.

Clean Binoculars inside and disassemble binoculars

Finally, and most importantly, you will void the warranty. Binoculars should only be handled by someone who knows how to do it correctly.

But if you have to clean inside the glasses, here’s how:

  1. Unscrew the lens caps. By doing that, you can see the focus mechanism.
  2. Next, remove the eyepiece.
  3. Then you’ll see a cover plate. Removing that plate will reveal the prisms
  4. Next, remove the bottom plate to get the inside look of the objective lens.
  5. Now clean inside each lens using the lens-specific cleaning products/solution and cloth.
  6. Once you’re done, put everything back together in the reverse order and screw on the lens cap!
  7. You can then clean inside each lens separately. There are usually screws at the

However, if you messed up while disassembling the binoculars or cleaning inside, the following first step would be to stop there and call the binoculars service center in the first place. If they don’t come up with a solution, take the binoculars to a professional optics store, and they’ll fix and clean everything for you.

Preventative Care for binoculars

  1. Never keep your binoculars uncapped. This will allow moisture to build up and damage the lenses.
  2. Avoid moisture build-up inside the binoculars by keeping a sachet of silica gel inside the case to absorb any residual moisture.
  3. Always store your binoculars capped in a dry place. Humidity can cause the optics to degrade, making it harder for you to see clearly through the eyepieces.
  4. Avoid getting binocular lenses wet, as water will damage lens coating and affect performance.
  5. Use binoculars case and lens caps whenever the bino is not in use.
  6. Try to avoid your bino’s lenses contacting excess pollen, fingerprints, eyelash grease, cosmetics, and dew.
  7. Keep binoculars away from direct sunlight, as it can also damage lenses.


Can you clean binoculars with rubbing alcohol?

No, rubbing alcohol is not recommended for cleaning binocular lenses as it leaves a sticky residue that can damage the binoculars. Instead, 99% Isopropyl Alcohol diluted with distilled water at a ratio of 50/50 is the best cleaning solution for binocular lenses. The main difference between rubbing alcohol and isopropyl alcohol is that rubbing alcohol also contains other content, such as water. On the other hand, isopropyl alcohol has a musty, sharp odor. So when it comes to cleaning binoculars, choose a lens cleaner with 99% isopropyl alcohol over rubbing alcohol.


If it’s cleaning, it needs special attention as lens coating has a finite lifetime depending on the binocular usage. So in simple words, cleaning is important for optics, and proper maintenance eliminates any chance of problems down the road with your binoculars, lenses, or coating.

You can ensure optimum performance and protection for your investment by cleaning your binoculars with the right cleaning kit. This will make sure there is no dirt or dust build-up on the lenses, which will help to produce crisp, sharp images. In addition, a clean lens will eliminate lens glare, making it easier to see the object you’re viewing. Cleaning binoculars professionally will keep them working smoothly for years to come.

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