Last Updated on September 29, 2020
Spotting scopes are built for the ruggedness of outdoor use, but that doesn’t mean you want to let them get wrecked by dirt. Particulates are everywhere, and if you’re outdoors, they’re going to settle on your scope’s lenses and start scattering light, making your glassing a bit fuzzy. Your spotting scope can have a long life if you know how to care for it properly. Read on to learn the best way to keep your scope in top condition.
What is the right way to clean your spotting scope? Below are 5 steps to follow to ensure your scope is clean and free of damage when you’re done with it.
Don’t use your mouth to blow dirt from your lens, or you’ll trap dust in the fine moisture from your breath. It’s also best to avoid compressed air, since it contains chemicals that could erode your lens coatings. Instead, use a squeeze blower and a soft brush to remove all the dust particles before you start washing your lenses.
There are several great telescope cleaning kits available online (like this one from Altura) that contain a camel hair brush, a blower, and a lens-safe cleaning solution..
Don’t try using window or eyeglass cleaner for this step; they’re too harsh for the lens coating. Instead, use a cotton swab and your lens-safe cleaning solution, making a smooth, circular motion until you’ve covered the entire lens surface.
It’s a good idea to keep a separate cloth just for lens cleaning, so it doesn’t pick up dirt from other parts of your spotting scope. When you’re done cleaning, store it in a plastic bag to keep it dust-free for later. Never use fibrous materials like facial tissue or paper towel, as you’ll leave a trail of fibers that will end up gouging the glass.
Use your blower to free dust from the finer crevices in your device, then use a clean, wet cloth to wipe the surface down. Take care not to smudge your clean lenses during this step.
Cap that lens, and if you have a carrying case, make sure you keep it stowed safely inside in a dry, clean place.
|Read the owner's manual||Use your fingers to wipe the lenses|
|Use a blower or fine brush to clear loose debris||Use a cloth not suited for the task|
|Use a cotton swab and lens cleaner||Use your breath to moisten the lenses|
|Rub in a circular motion||Clean too often|
|Cap the lenses when dry||Take the scope apart to clean it|
If you feel that the inside of your scope needs a deeper cleaning, contact the manufacturer and ask for cleaning recommendations. Having a professional perform this step is crucial to protecting the life of your scope. Remember, if you treat your spotting scope with care, it’ll serve you well for many long years.
Our other cleaning guides:
Header image credit: ESOlex, Shutterstock
Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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