Cleaning binoculars is much like cleaning any other fine instrument. It starts with basic advice: handle with care. Be aware of what you are using to lean the lenses-cleaning agents can corrode and scratch a lens as easily as a physical object can scratch them. It is best to handle with care, store them and protect them properly to minimise the need for cleaning at all.
Binoculars shouldn’t be exposed to dirt and grime in the first place. Accidents happen, of course, and they can be dropped or splattered if you take them out in the field. Don’t put them on the table where you have messy food and drink. Don’t leave them where they can fall into a messy situation.
Many binocular lenses have an anti-reflective coating on them. Some coatings are applied in layers when the binocular lenses are manufactured. High-quality binoculars tend to have more elaborate coatings on them. Cleaning your binoculars the wrong way can destroy this coating and cause damage to your lenses. It has the same effect as cleaning your eye glasses with a scratchy cloth.
Three words apply to cleaning your binoculars: gentle, gentle and gentle. Be gentle with your hands. Don’t scrub hard, ever. Use very gentle material-brand new cotton balls or swabs-make sure they are not imitation cotton as they material may contain unidentified fibers than are abrasive. Use very gentle cleaning solutions.
Never use glass cleaners or household chemicals to clean binoculars, not even the barrels or casings should be cleaned with these as the residue to make contact with the lenses. Even one drop of harsh chemical on lens can ruin it-the lens coating will immediately start to degrade as the integrity of the coating breaks down continuously once pierced by the chemical.
Optical cleaning solution should be the only cleaning agent used to clean binocular lenses. The proper type of cleaner will be specified in the owner’s manual for your binoculars. If any part of the cleaning process is not clearly specified in your manual, contact the manufacturer before attempting to clean. The answer can probably found on the manufacturer’s website.
Don’t assume that instructions from a different manufacturer of binoculars will work for your binoculars. While binoculars are all of a similar design, the coatings for the lenses on yours may be different than the coating of another. All manufacturers have patented processes. Improper cleaning can void the warranty on your binoculars’ lenses.
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