How to Clean Rifle Scope Lens? (5 Easy Steps)

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One thing that I always notice among my fellow hunters is that they look frustrated by the smudges on the lenses of the scope. I know it is literally frustrating, but many people don’t clean the lens because they fear that clean lenses might affect the performance of their scopes.

Look, cleaning is totally fine – no matter if it is related to the interior or just the lenses. Rest assured that if you clean your scopes, you actually increase the lifespan of your tools. Uncleaned products don’t last long. 

Due to a lack of knowledge, many shooters, and hunters clean lenses by wiping them with their shirts. It is literally bad practice. In this guide, I will go into depth and give you a step-by-step guide about how you can clean the lens of scopes. Let’s go.

Related Article: How to Restore Old Binoculars?

Why Cleaning Your Rifle Scope Lens is Important?

Before I go into the details and give you an easy-to-follow cleaning process, I would like to mention some basic information so that you don’t underestimate the importance of cleaning.

Keeping a rifle scope clean is essential for maintaining its accuracy and longevity. When the lenses of the scope are dirty, chances are high that you’ll see blurry images that will definitely affect your shot.

The lens of a rifle scope is the most critical component that needs to be cleaned regularly. Dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate on the lens over time, which can affect the clarity and sharpness of the image.

When you are out in the field, your rifle scope is exposed to various elements such as rain, dust, and dirt. So, when you don’t clean them, then these elements can damage the lens coating, leading to scratches and other damages that can affect the performance of the scope.

You should also keep in mind that a dirty lens can also affect the light transmission of the scope. 

How do uncleaned lenses affect visual quality? A clean lens will allow maximum light to pass through, providing a clear and bright image. On the other hand, a dirty lens will reduce the amount of light that enters the scope, resulting in a dim and blurry image.

I hope that now you’ve got a lot of basic information. So, it is time to go into more detail and discuss the exact cleaning method that works well in cleaning the scopes’ lenses.

Also Read: Does Zooming in a Scope Affect Accuracy?

Materials Needed

When it comes to cleaning a rifle scope lens, there are a few materials that are essential for getting the job done right. If you don’t have the below-mentioned tools, I highly recommend you to arrange them as it would be really hard to clean the lenses without them.

  • Soft Cloths
  • Cleaning Solution
  • Q-tips
  • Lens Brush
  • Lens Pen

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Rifle Scope Lens

The wait is over, and we have finally reached the point where we will discuss the exact steps that you’ll need to remove all the dust, debris, and other smudges that usually disturb the visual quality of the scopes.

Step 1: Unmount the Scope

If your scope is mounted on the rifle scope, then I highly recommend you unmount it. There are a few people who might be lazy and start cleaning the lens of the scope while it is mounted on the rifle. This is the wrong practice: and I don’t recommend you to do this.

First of all, unmount the scope before cleaning it so that no part of the lens remains uncleaned. Moreover, when the scope is on the rifle, the cleaning solution might go to the rifle and cause some sort of trouble. It is ideal to unmount the scope before cleaning.

Step 2: Remove Dust and Debris

Before applying any cleaning solution to the lens, it is important to remove any dust, dirt, or debris that may be on the surface.  There are multiple ways that you can use to remove dust and debris.

You will have to analyze the intensity of the dirt. If the scope has been stored in a dirty place, then it will have more dust and debris. To clean such a scope, I recommend you to use a lens brush as it will clean the whole dust.

On the other hand, if the dust is not very severe then you can go on by using a soft-bristled brush or a compressed air blower to gently remove any loose particles. Be sure to remove any debris from the eyepiece and objective lens as well.

Step 3: Apply Lens Cleaning Solution

Once the dust and debris have been removed, then I recommend you gently wipe the lens in a circular motion by using a cleaning solution. Make sure to use a soft microfiber cloth to avoid any scratches on the lens of the scopes.

Keep in mind that a harsh approach while cleaning the lenses of scope will do nothing better.  Be careful not to apply too much pressure. If there are some hard-to-clean spots on the body of the scope, then use a lens pen that will help you remove all the hard-to-remove spots.

Step 4: Clean Thoroughly

Keep in mind that dust not only remains on the lenses, but it also tries to get capture on sealing present near the lens of the scope. It is very important to remove this dust as well to ensure that your scope works fine and its performance doesn’t get affected.

There will be some positions where dust will be present but your cleaning cloth won’t have reach. To remove such stranded particles, I highly recommend you use Q-tips as they will reach all the portions and remove all the dust, debris, and stranded particles.

Step 5: Wipe the Lens with a Microfiber Cloth

After applying the cleaning solution and cleaning the lens thoroughly, I suggest you use a clean and dry microfiber cloth to gently wipe the lens in a circular motion and ensure that all the moisture is always removed from the lenses.

You should make sure that you clean all the remaining cleaning solution so that it doesn’t go inside the scopes and cause the fogginess of the scopes. Avoid using paper towels or other abrasive materials that can scratch the lens.

Also Read: How to Disassemble a Rifle Scope?

How to Maintain Rifle Scope?

The scopes that are well maintained last for years. On the other hand, those scopes that are used harshly and not cleaned properly usually cause problems for the owner. In the section below, I am going to mention some maintenance tips that will surely help you increase the lifespan and performance of your scopes. 

  • You should always avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the lens coating or leave a residue. Instead, opt for a lens cleaning solution that is specifically designed for rifle scopes. 
  • Never use clothes that are very harsh. The reason is that when you use harsh cloth for cleaning, it puts scratches on the lenses of scopes.
  • You should always clean your scopes at least twice a month. This cleaning will keep your scopes away from dust, and debris and increase their performance.
  • Proper storage of the rifle scope can also help keep the lens clean and free from damage. When not in use, the scope should be stored in a dry, cool place, preferably in a padded case. Avoid leaving the scope in direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, as this can cause damage to the lens coating.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to clean a rifle scope lens?

The best way to clean a rifle scope lens is to use a lens-cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth. Remove all the loose dirt or debris with a soft brush. Then, apply a small amount of cleaning solution to the cloth and gently wipe the lens in a circular motion.

Can I use Windex to clean rifle scope lenses?

No, it is not recommended to use Windex or any other household cleaning products such as Windex to clean a rifle scope lens. 

Why is my rifle scope lens foggy on the inside?

If your rifle scope lens is foggy on the inside, it can be due to moisture that has gotten inside the lens. This usually happens when the scope is exposed to extreme temperature changes or if it is not properly sealed. Foggy lenses can also be caused by a damaged lens coating or other internal damage. If your scope is foggy on the inside, it is best to have it inspected and repaired by a professional.

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