How To Clean Your Spotting Scope

No matter what you use your spotting scope for, it is inevitable that you will eventually need to clean its lenses.

Although it might seem easy, cleaning a scope’s lenses is a task that can easily be screwed up if you attempt it before you are aware of the proper cleaning technique.

You must use proper technique if you want to ensure your spotting scope’s lenses have long lifespans, because cleaning without proper technique can cause scratches, marks, eroded coatings, and multiple other bad outcomes for the lenses.

I’ll stop rambling now and get to the point. Here’s how to clean your scope’s lenses without buying any materials or kits:

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How To Clean Your Scope’s Lenses (Without a Kit)

Step #1: Blow

Ever heard the saying less is more? It applies to cleaning your spotting scope’s lenses, too!

The less scrubbing you can manage to do, the better.

To reduce the amount of scrubbing necessary, the first step you should take is to blow off the lenses. You can do this with your breath (which is fine), or if you have a bottle of canned-air you could use it instead.

Tip: Make sure that your scope is facing downwards when you blow off the lens to confirm that as much debris falls off as possible.

Step #2: Brush

If the debris persists after the first step, your next bet is to brush the lens with a gentle, fine-haired brush. Also, just like last time, tilt the spotting scope down while you brush.

As long as you use common sense when picking a brush you won’t harm the coating.

Step #3: Moisten

After brushing, moisten the lens. You can either do this with your own breath (which works perfectly fine) or with official lens-cleaning liquids. It’s your choice, as it isn’t all that important.

IMPORTANT: Do not use any sort of glass-cleaning solution or household solution to clean the lenses. Those products will corrode the lenses’ coating until the scope is unusable.

After you have moistened the lens, move on to the next step.

Step #4: Dry

For this step you will need a soft lent-free cloth or a micro-fiber cloth. These usually come with your spotting scope, but if not you can probably find one around your house.

Once you have the cloth, take it and gently rub it on the lens.  You always want to avoid using abrasives such as your shirt, a wash cloth, or anything else like that to dry the lenses.

Storage: Make sure you store the cloth in a safe place where it will not collect dust, like a plastic bag. Dust can be bad for the lenses.

Step #5: Repeat

After you have completed this process you should no longer have any leftover debris on the lenses. If, by any chance, you are still left with debris, simply repeat these steps and it will go away.


If you follow these steps, your spotting scope will last a long time and you won’t mess up your lenses during the cleaning process.

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