Just like most devices, you will need to clean your pair of binoculars after using them for some time. There are guidelines to get this done without damaging the delicate lenses or the coating on their surfaces. To enjoy the perfect views your binoculars offer for a very long time; we’ve compiled the steps to follow when cleaning your device.
1. Keep the binocular lenses clean at all times
Try blowing gently on each lens, without spitting, to remove debris and dust. Alternatively, use an optical cleaning pencil with a soft natural fiber brush at one end and a cleaning tip on the other side to clean the crevices. Most camera shops sell such lens pencils as well as fabrics and cleaning fluids suitable for this purpose.
Gently brush the lens with a sheet of lens paper: Using a clean lens paper, moistened with a little lens cleaning fluid, wipe the lens in a circular motion. The key is to go smoothly, because scrubbing too hard will remove the protective coating.
Using a third sheet of lens paper, wipe the lenses to dry the excess moisture. Then repeat with the other lens. Never use any random cloth or a handkerchief for this purpose, as the fibers may scratch the coating of the lenses. Furthermore, resist the temptation to use a commercial glass cleaner on your lenses. Ammonia found in most of these glass cleaners will corrode the coating.
2. To clean the exterior of the binoculars
Dip a soft cloth in water, squeeze the excess and then wipe the binocular gently. Lubricate rubber eyecups and focus buttons with a rubber or vinyl protective product.
3. Clean a telescope
It is better to do less than too much. The telescope optics should be cleaned less than twice a year because its reflective coating is easy to damage. Gently remove the mirror from the tube, then use a camel hair brush – sold at most camera shops – to remove dust and dirt from the surface.
Moisten a lens paper with lens cleaning liquid (or make it yourself using 3 parts of alcoholic isopropyl alcohol and 2 parts of distilled water). Wipe the mirror, eyepiece and lenses from the center to the outer edge, applying minimal pressure. The telescope optics are even more delicate than binocular lenses and should not be rubbed in circular movements.
If the lens collects the dew on the outside, avoid wiping it. Let it dry in the air, then clean with distilled water and lens paper. (Distilled water leaves no stains).
4. To protect your telescope
Always use protective caps. Keep your telescope inside between uses to prevent rust formation. Most telescopes have an aluminum coating that can last up to 10 years if properly maintained.
Before storing your telescope, wipe the exterior with a soft cleaning cloth to dry it.
Whatever you do, avoid using your saliva to polish the lenses of your digital camera binoculars and rub them with the pan of your shirt. These two actions could irreversibly damage the delicate lenses.