How To Clean Binoculars

A decent pair of binoculars is never the cheapest of investments so there’s no good reason to treat them like they are easily dispensable (yes, even those small hunting binoculars you keep in your truck!). The best way to look after your pair of binoculars is to keep them clean, which is a necessity that not only keeps them safe but also makes your experience with them even better. 

In this post, we will guide you through the process of cleaning your binoculars and what you need to do it.

How To Deep Clean Binoculars With Cloudy Lenses 

If you use your binoculars frequently then you will soon start to notice your lenses becoming cloudy and making your view blurred, which is a big inconvenience but it is not an uncommon problem. In fact, no matter what brand or type of binoculars you purchase, foggy lenses are unavoidable. 

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that if you wipe your lens then you will be doing more damage than good due to any dust that may have accumulated there. So before you are able to deep clean your lenses, you need to deal with the dust. This is simply done by blowing on your lenses to deal with any larger bits of dust and then use a soft paintbrush to sweep away the remaining specs. 

Keep in mind that if you use a brush with harder bristles you run the risk of scratching your lenses. 

If you still find that your lenses are cloudy then use a microfiber cloth to rub your lens. Make sure this cloth is the kind designed for binocular and camera lenses and not phones as they are generally higher quality and will not cause more damage. 

One thing you must not do when trying to rid your binoculars of clouding issues is to use a wet cloth. By doing this you will only smear more dust and debris onto your lenses which may cause more expensive problems such as scratches. A wet cloth will also only make dust stick to the lenses which completely defeats the purpose of cleaning them. 

How To Clean Old Binoculars 

Some people are lucky enough to have binoculars that are more antiques and closer to expedition style items rather than an ultra-modern pair. While this is impressive, especially so if you are still able to use them and do so regularly, you need to learn how to clean them properly to keep out fungus and keep the lenses free of fog. 

The chances are that if you are picking up a pair of old binoculars for the first time in a while then they will be covered in dust which will affect the quality of the lenses. Much like with new binoculars, the easiest way to get rid of this dust is to use a soft brush or lens cloth. 

However, the biggest worry and toughest cleaning problem with older binoculars is the build up of fungus. But don’t worry, much like cloudy lenses, a fungus build up is just as easy to fix. 

The easiest way to get rid of fungus is to treat is as you would a fungus infection on a human. Seeing as it is the same kind of fungus that would grow in both of these situations, you are able to get rid of the build up in your binoculars by using any type of athlete’s foot cream. 

Simply apply it using a soft brush over the infected area and leave to sit overnight. As long as you use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe off the cream in the morning, then you can be assured that you will never have to deal with fungus in your old binoculars ever again. 

How To Clean Binoculars Inside (What Do You Need?)

Sometimes, your lenses may be cloudy because of internal problems rather than external issues like dust. This will mean that you need to deep clean the inside of your binoculars which will be a little bit more complicated compared to getting rid of some dust. Do not worry though, we will tell you exactly what you need to do to clean the inside of your binoculars properly as well as what you may need to do a good job of this task. 

One key thing to note is that most internal lens fogging is caused by water getting into your binoculars so the first thing you should do after opening up your lens is to gently wipe the inside down with a dry cloth. This will get rid of any moisture that has built up as well as allow your binoculars to remain free of internal water damage which will dirty your binoculars.

Next, you have the chance to use a lens solution to ensure that your lenses and the internal parts of your binoculars remain cleaner for longer. There are many different types of lens solutions you can buy but be careful which one you invest in as the more chemicals that are included in the mixture, the higher the risk of ruining the clarity of your lenses. 

You can either apply this solution by using a small spray bottle with a soft spray option or by taking a soft bristled paintbrush and using it to apply the solution. Either way, make sure to once again wipe the solution off with a soft microfibre lens cloth. 

Do not immediately close the lens back up. Put your binoculars and detached lens in a dry place so that they can properly dry out and get rid of any left over moisture that your dry cloth could not reach. By doing this you will also be preventing the immediate build up of moisture once your lenses are put back as the internal spaces will be completely dried out. 

As soon as the internal areas of your binoculars are dry, take a brush or another dry cloth and deal with any dust that may have settled while you left your pair to dry out properly. This will allow you to keep the internal parts of your binoculars as clean as possible. All that is left to do is put back together the lenses and you are done. 

The best way to prevent your hard work from being ruined straight away is to try and keep your binoculars dry both when you are using them and when you are not. A simple way to do this is to store them in a plastic bag or only plan to use them on a dry day. This may be an issue for those of you who use binoculars daily so just make sure to dry them out properly once you have used them on a wet day. 


To summarise, all you will need in order to clean inside a pair of binoculars is: 

  • A dry microfiber cloth / lens cloth 
  • Lense solution 
  • Soft bristled brush 
  • Spray bottle

Cheeky Bonus: How To Lubricate Binoculars 

In order to maintain your binoculars, you have to make sure to lubricate the central hinge connecting the two sides together every so often. If you do not then you will find that adjusting your lenses and comfortably using your binoculars will become tricky. 

The best kind of lubricant to use to avoid stiff hinges is marine grease which is cheap enough to buy and highly effective. Just take a small brush and apply some to the hinges and you will be sure to have the best maintained binoculars you possibly can.