Cleaning Your Birding Binoculars
Birding is an incredibly rewarding pastime and something that can be an ongoing source of pleasure outdoors.
The right birding equipment and accessories will add value to your experience, and having gone to the extent of purchasing your equipment, the last thing you want to do is have it fail you because it was not maintained well.
Furthermore, identifying the subtle aspect of birding, such as behaviors, markings, and colors rely heavily on clear view through the lens.
Having knowledge of how to clean both the outer components of your binoculars, such as dust from around the focus wheel, and also the lenses of your binoculars quickly, efficiently, and optimally can ensure that you never miss the bird plus add life to your equipment.
Why Fuss About Cleaning Binoculars?
It goes without saying that clean lenses offer the best birding experience. It really does not take too much at all for a tiny scratch to occur on a lens, due to grit that is rubbed. Your safest option is to remove grit carefully and regularly. Miniature scratches can scatter light and impede viewing. A multitude of seemingly minor lens blemishes can combine to totally degrade your viewing experience.
Similarly, it is important that you maintain the non-lens components of your binoculars, the focus wheel for example. In general, the outer casings and components of your birding binoculars will not require too much ongoing maintenance, but it really does not take too much effort to give your binoculars a quick once-over at the completion of each bird watching outing.
Birding Binocular Cleaning Basics:
Be certain to read your equipment manufacturer’s guidelines and specific cleaning recommendations.
In the event that cleaning guidelines are not available, perhaps due to a misplaced manual, cleaning is simply a matter of gentle contact and delicate care.
In order to clean the outer casing and body of your binoculars, wipe the barrels, focus wheels, the rims of the eyepiece and any other components with a damp cloth. Be sure to avoid contact with the lenses. Alternatively, you may use compressed air, however, ensure that prolonged air blasting is not performed as this can result in a moisture build up.
The lens of your binoculars is where the focus of your maintenance and cleaning efforts should lie.
Here are some guidelines:
- Loose dust can be brisked away with gentle brushing, which can be performed with either a special lens brush or even just a soft paint brush. Make sure that the brush is clean!
- Small puffs of air can produce a similar result and will also ensure that mouth residue is not left on the lens. This can actually add to the problem.
- Always avoid rubbing the lens surface where possible, however, a wet cotton swab is a useful tool for the cleaning task. Avoid using chemicals or eyeglass cleaning agents, as these can harm the lens. Optics cleaning solution is a superior alternative to water.
Quick Tips to Limit Binocular Cleaning:
- Invest in eyepiece and lens caps.
- Transport and store your binoculars in a protective case
- Do not apply sun lotion, insect repellent or other sprays near to your binoculars
- Avoid cleaning for the sake of cleaning. Limit cleaning to times when it is absolutely needed.