How To Properly Clean Rifle Scope Lenses

The coatings on rifle scope lenses often play a critical role in the image quality you see through the scope. When you’re cleaning your the lens yourself, make sure you follow manufacturer guidelines to a “T” to avoid ruining your optics system.

It is important to avoid improper cleaning to avoid damages to the lenses. You must also ensure that you’re keeping the lenses clean by avoiding rubbing your fingers against them. Avoid the use of a regular home cleaning solutions to clean scope lenses, the cleaning solution you choose must be recommended by the manufacturer of the scope.

How do I clean my rifle scope lens without messing it up?

Keep in mind that the exterior lenses do the job of gathering light unto the shooter’s eye while eliminating as many distortions as possible, but it can be sensitive to cleaning solutions, hence you must exercise caution.  It is equally important to check all manufacturer recommendations especially those regarding the cleaning and maintenance of a rifle lenses, before you commence cleaning. Not all rifle lenses require  the same cleaning method, some are more sensitive than the old traditional old rifles, therefore, their instructional manuals must be followed.

It’s critical that you follow manufacturers instructions when cleaning your scope, or you run the risk of ruining your scope warranty.

What will I need to clean a rifle scope lens?

  • A soft brush or air blaster
  • Recommended lens cleaning solution

A note on using the right type of lens cleaning solution. I like what the Patriotic Hunter says about this. If you’re going to use a lens cleaner, use whatever your rifle scope brand recommends. There’s probably not a whole lot of difference, but why risk it?

  • Lens tissue
  • Micro-fiber cloth
  • Recommended canned air

Step by step guide to cleaning a rifle scope lens

First, Inspect the rifle scope lenses

When it comes to cleaning lenses, perhaps the first step you must take is to inspect the extent of dirt on them. You need to inspect both the objective and ocular lenses and if they are wet, simply allow them to air dry. Even if the lenses have collected specks of mud, you should allow the lenses to air-dry before taking further steps. Once the mud specks have air-dried, simply make use of canned air to remove it.

If the canned air is not efficient in eliminating the mud specks, make use of microfiber cloth to pick up the mud items but do not rub the surfaces of the lenses.

Second, use your soft brush and Air blaster to clean the lenses

Just in case the air blaster and microfiber cloth did a partial job in eliminating dirt and debris, you should consider using air blaster with a soft brush. You need to keep in mind that it is normal for dusts to appear on lenses, no matter how careful and protective you are. With the use of a soft brush and air blaster, there is no risk whatsoever that your scope lenses will become damaged. Never make use of compressed air, if you don’t have air blaster available, you can allow the little dust to remain for a while, since such dirt will not affect image quality on the scopes.

First of all, you need to use the soft brush to eliminate the bigger dirt. Once this step is completed, you should wait for about a minute before using the air blaster to eliminate the micro-dirt.

Third, apply recommended lens cleaning solution with lens tissue

You may not have to use the lens cleaning solution with lens tissues unless there are smudges of oil and fingerprints on your scope lenses. Avoid low quality lenses cleaning solution that can damage the effective functioning of your lenses. To clean your scope lenses with the solution and lens tissue, simply apply the air blaster first to remove excess dirt, then apply the recommended cleaning solution on the lens tissue (Do not apply the solution directly on the lenses).

Clean the lenses in circular motion and apply a very gentle pressure. You may want to start the cleaning from the center of each lens and gradually move outward. A circular and outward cleaning is more efficient, ensuring that you do not miss out any dirt behind.

Remember, if there are smudges, no saliva. Use the proper cleaner.

How do you clear smudges from rifle scope lenses?

The best way to do this is by using acetone or alcohol on a cotton swab. You will not need a ton, just a dab. Remember, you can always add more, but you can’t always go back. Too much and you run the risk of messing up the warranty of your scope. If you’re one of us who likes to have a top of the line optics system, there’s no sense risking it.

Again, just dab your cotton swab in the acetone or alcohol and gently wipe away the smudging.

To wrap it up, cleaning your scope lens like a pro is actually pretty easy

When it comes to cleaning scope lenses, you need to avoid touching the screen with your fingers to avoid leaving oil and fingerprints. You need to avoid the use of compressed air, and make sure you don’t blow air with your lungs to clean lenses because your saliva may accidentally come in contact with the surface of the lenses. Avoid the use of household cleaners and acetone in cleaning the lenses, however, you can make use of air blaster instead of blowing with your mouth. Make sure you cover the lenses with the cap, whenever you are not using the scope.

Try as much as possible to avoid the use of chemicals such as Isopropyl alcohol or vinegar of any type because they can easily damage the coating on the lenses. Water may look so clean but it can also distort the image quality of the lenses later on, hence it must be avoided. Most cameras do come with their puffer brushes, you should consider using such brushes instead of getting a new brush. The use of a micro-fiber cloth, especially the ones that come with the rifle, should deliver a crystal clear, non-streak lenses.

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