How to Clean Rifle Scope Lens – Step-by-Step Guide, Tips & More

Rifles are best operated when they are in good condition. 

Just like rifles, their scopes perform best when they are being continuously maintained and cleaned. Rifle Scope lens needs to be handled with care so cleaning it can be troublesome at first. 

Here is a way you can clean your lenses with ease.

Quick Summary

By the end of this guide, we will go through:

  • Cleaning your rifle scope lens with ease 
  • Tips on how to keep your scopes in good shape 
  • Other helpful advice

Let’s take a look at it.

How to Clean Rifle Scope Lens?

Sports optics are made of different types of materials. However, they can easily get scratched if you use abrasive material. 

As discussed above, rifle scope lenses work best when they are being properly maintained.

You do not need to continuously clean your scopes. Too much cleaning can damage the seals around the lens.

Therefore, preventive maintenance is recommended. However, we strongly suggest that you only clean the lens when you have a problem with visibility. 

This is due to the sturdy body that scopes now come with. 

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

Step # 1 – Wipe the Body of Your Scope 

The lens body is made of high-grade plastics or metals these days. They are made to withstand a variety of different conditions. However, you still have to be careful when handling them. 

The first thing you need to do before handling the lens is to wipe the body of the scope. The majority of stains are present on the body as this is the exposed part. You can use a cloth or a brush to clean the body. 

You can use a soft lens brush and a microfibre cloth for this purpose. 

Step # 2 – Remove the Dust 

First, you remove the dust and the large particles that are on the lens. These can be easily cleaned using a cloth. We recommend that you use a microfiber cloth. This will help prevent abrasion and scratches. 

When using a microfibre cloth, be sure to wipe the lens in a circular motion. In this way, you can easily remove the dust particles. For additional cleaning, you can also use compressed air.

Step # 3 – Clean the Finger Spots and Watermarks 

After you have removed the dust and the heavy particles that are present on the lens, move on to cleaning watermarks and other spots. We suggest that you use a manufacturer-recommended cleaning solution or an isopropyl alcohol wipe. 

Both of these are very effective as they can evaporate quickly and leave fewer marks. When cleaning the lens follow these steps: 

  • Spray the liquid onto a cloth. Never spray the liquid directly to the lens. Make sure that the cloth is dampened and not soaked in the liquid. Too much liquid can damage the seals. 
  • Then, gently rub the cloth or the lens paper onto the lens from one side to the other. Don’t put additional weight on the lens. The idea here is to allow the weight of the cloth to settle on the lens. We recommend that you discard the used cloth and use a new one after every pass. 
  • Afterward, allow the alcohol to dry. Do not wipe the lens dry as you run the risk of damaging the lens. 

Note: If you want to gain information on How to Dial in a Scope click HERE.

Step # 4 – Clean the Mud and other Hard Stains 

This step is not necessary for most circumstances. But, every once in a while you might have to remove hard-to-remove stains

When cleaning hard stains like mud, you will have to use an artists’ brush. We recommend using a camel-hair brush. 

In order to clean the stains:

  • Soak the brush in the liquid solution. 
  • Rub the brush on the stains until they have been dissolved. 
  • Remove the small particles on the lens by following step 3 again. 

By following the above-mentioned steps, you can easily clean your rifle scope lens.   

Helpful Advice to Keep Your Lens Safe

clean a rifle scope

As discussed earlier, lens cleaning doesn’t need to be done repeatedly. You should only clean your lens when it is absolutely necessary. 

Here are a few additional tips that you can use to keep your scopes clean. 

Note: If you want to gain information about Who Makes Redfield Scopes? click HERE.

Use a Lens Cap

A lens cap is a cover that protects your scope from debris or unnecessary exposure. We recommend that you always keep the lens cap attached when not using the lens. This will save you from unnecessary damage. 

We also suggest that you keep the lens cap on when you are moving in and out of your hunting spots. This is when most of the dust is likely to get on the lens. 

Utilize a Lens Pen

A lens pen is a specialized tool for cleaning lenses. It is mostly used by photographers and hunters as it does the job without using any liquids. It is a dual-ended tool. One end of the pen is a brush and the other end is a pad with a carbon cleaning compound

You can use the bristles to brush off any debris and use the pad to clean any smudges that are present on the lens. It is also easy to carry, so you can use it on the go.

Use a Q-tip

Q tips can be used in a variety of ways. You can use them to clean the hard-to-reach areas of the scope. You can also wrap your microfibre cloth around the Q-tip and then use it to clean the lens assembly.  

Moreover, Q-tips are also soft and don’t pose the risk of damaging the lens. 

Note: If you want to know How to Paint a Rifle Scope click HERE.

Clean your Battery Compartment

Some scopes are battery-powered. Just like other electronic items, it is important to keep the scope in good condition. Moisture can easily get into the battery bay and rust both the battery and the joints. Battery acid is another thing to look out for

Periodically take out the battery from the bay and look for any signs of damage. We recommend that you keep additional batteries with you to avoid old batteries from damaging your scopes. 

Wrapping things up…

Rifle Scope lenses can be tricky to clean due to their inherent design. You have to care about a variety of things and any sort of carelessness can easily damage the lens. 

However, by following the above guide step by step, you can easily clean your scope lens.   

With this, we reach the end of our article on “How to clean a rifle scope”. We hope that you find the article helpful. 

Do reach out to us and let us know of your experiences. 

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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