How to Clean the Inside of a Rifle Scope – Complete Guide, Helpful Advice & More

Rifle Scope is an essential tool for ranged shooting, which is why its maintenance is necessary for optimum shooting. 

Cleaning the insides of scopes is not an easy task and you have to be careful of causing any damage. The optics are delicate and require attention. 

Here is a way that can help you clean the inside of your riflescope. 

Quick Summary

By the end of this guide, we will go through

  • Cleaning the insides of your rifle scope lens with ease 
  • Things you should be aware of when cleaning the scope 

Let’s take a look at it.

How to clean the inside of a rifle scope?

As discussed earlier,  rifle scopes are a popular tool for many shooters. They come in a variety of sizes and may have fixed or variable zoom

As such, they need to be properly maintained. You cannot clean the insides of a scope yourself as they come filled with inert gases such as Nitrogen. If you suspect that your lens is damaged from inside, you need to return it to the manufacturer. 

You can, however, clean some components of your scope. 

When should I clean my scope?

While scopes do not need to be cleaned extensively or very regularly, it is recommended that you clean your scope when 

  • The image is foggy or cloudy 
  • There are smudges on the lens 
  • You need to repeatedly adjust the focus 

If you notice any of these signs, clean your scope as soon as possible to avoid any serious damage.  

Step # 1 – Cleaning the body of the scope

The body of the scope is made of tough materials to protect it from the elements. This part of the scope can easily be stained. You can clean the body of the scope using a cloth. We recommend that you use a microfiber cloth.

To clean dust, just simply wipe the body using a cloth or a camelhair brush. Getting rid of grease stains can be a challenge. To clean grease stains or smudges, apply a small amount of liquid soap on the cloth or a cotton swab and apply it to the greasy area

Why is it important to clear away dust?

Dust and debris are abrasive. It is important to clean them as they can scratch the surface of your scope as well as the lens. You can prevent dust from gathering on the lens by using a lens cap when not using the scope.

Note: If you want to know a complete guide about scopes click HERE.

Step # 2 – Getting rid of the dust on the lens

Dust and other particles on the lens can scratch it and hamper your visibility. Therefore, you must remove it before a lot of it accumulates. You can avoid this by covering your optics with a lens cap

We recommend using a microfibre cloth or a camel hair brush for cleaning the dust on the lens. You can also use a Q tip to remove the debris around corners and other hard-to-reach areas

You can also use compressed air to do the job quickly.  

We recommend that you discard or rewash the cloth after making each pass. Do this to avoid dust from scratching the lens when making each pass. 

Step # 3 – Making the lens scope free of smudges

Smudges and other stains such as watermarks can make your vision cloudy and hamper your accuracy when using the 

Start by applying an isopropyl alcohol solution or a recommended rifle scope cleaner on the cloth. Then, rub it on the lens in a circular motion. After that, allow the solution to dry by itself. 

Do not dry the solution by rubbing it. 

Note: If you want to know Who Makes UTG Scopes click HERE.

Step # 4 – Cleaning the turret

You can clean the turret using a Q tip or a microfibre cloth. Start by unscrewing the turret and then cleaning away the rust.

We recommend that you first clean the lens and then move on to the turret if you are using a microfibre cloth. This is because the turret has oils and dirt, which can easily damage your lens.  

Step # 5 – Dealing with Hard and Mud stains 

If you go on hunting around muddy areas such as swamps, you’ll get hard to remove stains on your scope. These cannot be removed simply by wiping the scope and the lens. 

To remove these, you have to use an alcohol solution and a brush. 

Start by soaking the bristles in the solution. Then rub the bristles on the stain until it dissolves. Afterward, allow the solution to dry. 

If there are any marks left, repeat step 3.

Once you have followed these steps thoroughly, your riflescope will be clean and stain-free. 

Note: If you want to know How to Dial in a Scope click HERE.

The do’s and don’ts of cleaning  

clean  rifle scope

When you clean your optics, you have to be careful of some factors. These can hamper the performance of the scope if taken lightly. 

When cleaning your rifle scope:

  • Don’t spray the alcohol or cleaning solution directly onto the lens. Doing so can damage the lens seals and leak away the gas filled in the lens. 
  • Always go for a microfibre cloth for cleaning. Paper towels and tissues aren’t meant to wipe off dirt particles and dust and can scratch the surface.
  • Always keep the lens cap on the lens when you are not using the scope. This will protect your lens from the elements and ultimately keep it cleaner. 
  • Always clean your equipment in a well-ventilated area. Cleaning solutions contain toxic chemicals and we recommend that you seek medical help if you inhale them. 
  • It is always suggested that you don’t overdo your tasks. You should stop the cleaning when you can see a clear image through your scope. Otherwise, you risk scratching your scope because of the dust.   
  • Look for any signs of damage and rust in the battery compartment. It can ruin your electronic scopes and force you to get a new one.

Note: If you want to gain information on How Much is a Night Vision Scope click HERE.

Wrapping things up 

Cleaning the inside of your rifle scope sounds like a task for professionals at first. You have to keep many things in check. But by following the above steps, we assure you that you can easily perform the job. 

With this, we conclude our article on “How to clean the inside of a rifle scope

Do comment and let us know of your experience.

If you want to know more information about scopes click HERE.


  • John Moses

    John is the Editor in Chief here at The Outdoor Stores. His area of expertise ensures that there is no one better to suggest which rifles are most suitable for your hunting experience. He is also available for you to contact him personally to discuss the types of animals you want to hunt and the terrain you will be hunting on. Feel free to read his posts for expert opinion on Rifles, Scopes, Rangefinders, Bonoculars and Monoculars.

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