A good scope is an essential part of every shotgun that delivers accurate, high-contrast images in all lighting conditions and presents high-quality color reproduction. Since the scope with the rifle accompanies its owner — a hunter, tourist, fisherman, soldier — everywhere, often together with its owner, it gets into various troubles.
The scope may end up in the water, fall into mud or sand, or find itself in a snowdrift. While the best modern rifle scopes with dust/water-sealed housing and reliable mechanics perform excellently even in extreme conditions, you should take care of lenses not to damage the optics. After all, if you scratch the lenses or ruin the antireflection coating, the image quality will inevitably fall, and the money spent on the purchase of this device will be wasted. Therefore, you need to know how to clean scope lenses to avoid buying new ones.
Scope lenses cleaning
The scope’s optical performance is also significantly impaired when fingerprints, dried splashes of water, dirt, and grease remain on the lenses. Fine dust can also create scratches — this defect is irreparable.
Therefore, it is crucial to keep the scope lenses perfect and choose the proper optics cleaning methods and cleaning agents. Remember, many household solvents will leave streaks and pesky stains on your lenses.
So how do you clean a scope properly? There are several generally accepted rules:
- First, be aware that if the optics are clean, they should not be cleaned. Any cleaning runs the risk of damaging the glass or antireflection coating.
- Secondly, you should take care to prevent possible contamination. Lenses must be covered with protective caps to prevent dust, rain from settling on them and avoid adverse environmental influences.
Soft Brush/Air Blaster
Dust is dangerous because it can scratch the lens surface. Therefore, never wipe dusty lenses with a cloth or chamois leather. Dust must be blown off:
- To do this, you can use compressed air cartridges or special devices that supply air. Such devices are used to remove dust from the computer keyboard.
- If you don’t have a spray can, you can use soft brushes to blow away dust. You should better do it very carefully: if a particle of dust adheres to the brush, it can damage the optics.
- If dust and dry dirt particles are still visible on the lenses after doing this, try to wipe them off with a soft cloth.
Lens Cleaning Solution + Lens Tissue
After removing dust, wipe the lenses with a clean, lint-free cloth soaked in a special cleaning liquid:
- The liquid dissolves organic matter without damaging the solvent-sensitive antireflection coating.
- The mild detergent in this liquid acts as an emulsifier. It reduces the water’s surface tension, so contaminants are sucked into the cleaning solution.
- Such cleaning scope lenses make it possible to rid the optics of greasy stains, dried splashes of water, and other contaminants. The impregnated nonwovens can be used instead of lint-free fabrics.
Napkins made of high-quality materials often come with optical instruments. However, care must be taken to ensure that they are designed specifically for processing glass lenses. To clean the lenses, start from the center, making gentle circular motions and gradually moving towards the frame. This will help prevent smudges and streaks. Do not rub the lens surface vigorously with a cloth. Otherwise, there is a chance of scratching and removing the anti-reflective coating.
As strong as the temptation is, never use the floor of a shirt to wipe the lenses. Never use paper towels, kitchen tablecloths, or handkerchiefs. The material from which they are made can be tough enough to leave scratches.
Using a special solution
Never use ethyl alcohol to clean the optics. It dries rather slowly, and whitish stains remain on the surface of the lenses. Instead of ethanol, you can use a solution consisting of 60% acetone or diethyl ether and 40% methyl alcohol.
Currently, there are many products for the care of optics. Prominent manufacturers of optical devices, as a rule, make special kits for cleaning optics and recommend using them with their devices. Everything you need is already included in such kits. Such a set is incredibly convenient in the field, so firms often offer firms that manufacture sights for hunters.
Lenses are the essential part of any optics. High-end lenses are not cheap, so it makes sense to take care of them if you want your scope to last a long time. Any optical instrument — cheap or expensive — deserves careful maintenance.
You should know how to clean the scope lens to keep them in perfect condition. Do not try to do this with anything other than special cleaners and wipes, or you risk scratching them. Properly tight-fitting quality covers will keep your lenses clean and protected from moisture, dust, and snow.