There is a need to learn how to clean gun scope lenses. Using your shirttail to wipe off the lens of your rifle scope is not cleaning the scope lens. This cleaning practice will not only affect your vision, but it can also damage your lenses.
You should also avoid using home cleaning detergents as the solution for cleaning your gun scope lenses. Instead, get recommendable scope lens cleaning detergents; you can consult your scope lens manufacturer on this.
A dirty scope lens or one which has some scratches will negatively affect your shooting accuracy. So, how can you ensure your scope lens is spotlessly clean and free from damages? Read on to learn more on how to clean gun scope lens.
Why Should You Observe Proper Scope Lens Cleaning Procedures?
Scope lenses are made from different ratings of glass based on the superiority of the scope. This notwithstanding, glass can easily scratch when rubbed with an abrasive.
For example, if you wipe your scope lens with your cloth that has collected silica from your environment, there is a likelihood that it will leave some fine scratches on the lens. Scratches on a lens can lead to blurred or cloudy visuals, which can impair your shooting accuracy.
Using unrecommended liquid cleaner on your gun scope lens can breach the seal, which can void the warranty of your scope.
Once the warranty is void, you will have to high costs of repairing the scope. It is something that you would not wish to occur. Therefore, this awareness is emphasizing the need to follow the proper cleaning procedure of your scope lens.
Cleaning Materials You Will Need
There are different cleaning materials that you can use to clean a scope lens. In most cases, newly bought rifle scopes come with cleaning kits for easy cleaning of the scope lens. However, for extensive cleaning of your scope lens, you may need additional cleaning equipment. They include;
- A blower bulb or canned air:
Either of them will help you remove dust from your lens. A blower bulb is ideal, but most rifle owners prefer using canned air. However, if you have to go for the canned air, you must ensure it will not leave stains on your lens. You should also ensure the canned air is the recommended one by your riflescope manufacturer.
- Camel hair brushes:
These are the recommendable brushes that you can use to clean scope lenses of any brand. They’re cheap to buy and easy to maintain.
- Quality lens tissue: Most riflescope vendors include a lens tissue on every purchase of a scope. However, this tissue wears out after frequent use, hence the need to buy quality lens tissue to clean the lens. Do not interchange the lens tissue with toilet paper or a common facial tissue. Such tissues have minor amounts of silica, which can leave scratches on your scope lens.
- Micro-fiber cloth: Micro-fiber cloths are the best for quick and easy cleaning of any scope lens. Few riflescope sellers include this type of cloth in the scope cleaning kit when you buy the scope. A microfiber cloth can get rid of even the smallest dust particle on your scope lens. Hard paper or cloths can leave scratches on your lens, do not use them to wipe your scope lens.
- Lens cleaning fluid: A suitable optic cleaning fluid contains 100% alcohol. However, one with a 90% rate is also recommendable. Avoid lens cleaning solutions with 70% alcohol content, and this is because the other 30% is water which can leave marks on your lens. When looking for an optic cleaning fluid, you should stick to what your riflescope brand recommends.
Most of these scope lens cleaning materials are portable. You can carry them whenever you’re out on a shooting mission to clean the lens whenever you want to use it or after every use.
How to Clean Gun Scope Lens
Step#1: Inspect the riflescope lenses
You need to know the extent of dirt on your riflescope lenses before you start cleaning them. Inspecting the lenses makes it easy to understand the dirt and materials you will require to remove the dirt.
At this step, check out the objective and ocular lenses if they allow them to air dry before taking any cleaning procedure. It also applies to cases where the lenses have specs of mud, allow them to air-dry first. Then, once it’s dry, you can use the recommendable canned air to get rid of it.
Step#2: Removal of dust and any other debris on the lenses
The camel’s brush and the micro-fiber cloth can help you remove dust and any other debris off the lenses with ease.
To get rid of the dust, gently move your soft brush from one side of the lens to the other to a point where there is no more dust on the lens. However, there are instances where micro-dirt becomes stubborn. You can use air blasters or an air blower to remove the tinny dirt.
Step#3: Removal of fingerprint and oil stains or any other chronic stain
Fingerprints and smudges of oil on your riflescope lens can lead to blurred vision on your target. Low-quality lens cleaning solutions will not remove these stains from your lenses, and this is why you should consider using the recommendable optic cleaning fluid by the scope manufacturer.
You will need to use lens tissue and with the recommendable cleaning solution. Apply the solution on the lens tissue and not on the lenses directly; gently apply gentle pressure as you clean the lens in a round motion. Start the cleaning of each lens from the middle, progressively going outwards.
If you were not successfully eliminating the dried specs of mud in step#1, use a microfiber to peak up the left dirt. If the specs are still stuck on the lens, dampen your camel hair’s brush with your optic cleaning fluid and gently work on the mud stains until they dissolve and you have removed them from the lens. Avoid pouring the lens cleaning solution onto the lenses directly because the solution can wick around the edges of the mounts of your lenses; this is not good for your scope.
Do not rub the mud stains or any dirt directly on the lens, as this can leave scratch marks on your lenses.
After every use of the camel hairbrush, you either discard it or clean it before storing it. When storing it, it’s advisable to lock it in a zip lock bag.
What You Ought Not To Do With Your Riflescope Lens
- Never use hard paper: When you use any regular paper to clean your scope lenses, you’re likely to damage the lenses; this will degrade their quality and negatively affect your shooting. Only use lens tissue or microfiber cloth.
- Rule out the use of a stiff brush or toothbrush when cleaning the scope lenses. Such brushes can scratch the lenses.
- You must not open the lenses: Opening the scope lens will create a weak point for your scope to allow in dust, leading to more complications. If there is any need for internal cleaning, return the scope to the manufacturer for the cleaning. Avoid opening it by yourself.
Secrets Of Cleaning A Gun Scope Like A Pro
- None of your fingers should come into contact with the screen during the cleaning procedure. This practice will ensure there are no fingerprints or oil marks left on the screen.
- Do not blow air from your mouth to clean the lenses. Doing so may splash some saliva on the surfaces of the lenses. Instead of blowing your mouth, consider air blasters.
- Avoid using household cleaning detergent or any other not recommendable chemicals in cleaning your scope lenses. This is because the chemicals can damage the coatings of the lenses.
- Do not use water to clean your scope lenses regardless of how clean the water is. The use of water can lead to image distortion.
- Whenever the scope is not in use, cover the lenses with the cap.
- Regular cleaning of your scope lens after every use will save you time on your following cleaning schedule.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How frequently should I clean my riflescope lens?
You should consider cleaning your riflescope lens after every use. If there are oil stains, dried mud specs, or big water spots, a deep cleaning exercise is essential. However, if you’re looking to get rid of dust, a simple air blower or a soft brush is enough.
- How do you clean stains from a scope lens?
You will need alcohol or acetone and a cotton swab. Dab the cotton swab in the alcohol or acetone and carefully wipe out the staining. Remember, too much acetone or alcohol on your lens can damage it, and you will end up losing the warranty of your scope.
Cleaning gun scope lens is typically overlooked; it shouldn’t be so. For your riflescope to be fit and usable, you should start cleaning after every use.
With the detailed procedure above, cleaning should not be a complicated process. Only use the recommended cleaning materials for the best results. If the scope is not in use, always cover it with its cap.