The Ultimate Guide on Cleaning Your Rifle Scope

August 4, 2020


The Ultimate Guide on Cleaning Your Rifle Scope - August 4, 2020

Why Clean a Rifle Scope?

When you are using a scope, let's be honest you are gonna be outside and the outside world is full of grit, grime, dust, mud and strange little fibers. There's a lot of stuff out there and it's going to get on your scope. Most scopes are built to withstand the outside world pretty well, unfortunately, spending so much time cleaning the gun that we tend to forget about the scope. If you spend any time outdoors you know how important it is to be able to see things clearly. 

The best way to clean your rifle scope properly

It's not a secret that if a cleaning process is not done right you can damage your rifle. When it comes to cleaning guns one of our opinions is that you need to use gun products. We are big believers than it is better to use products that were specifically designed for firearms. If your previous cleaning tools were usually limited to toilet paper and paintbrushes you've searched for yourself it will not have a very good effect. Remember: a rifle is a machine and it is needed to be properly lubricated and cared for. So, what can we as civilian shooters can do when we have high-dollar optics?
The first thing you'll need is a kit which is a really important and awesome device. You'll also need a cleaning cloth, slid cleaning pin with a dusting brush (microfiber pen), and a cleaning spray. 

Now, let's go through the process.

Most people don't take the scope off when they clean a rifle. It's just too darn much trouble to have re zero it every time. If you are going to leave the scope on when you're cleaning your rifle put the flip covers on. The cleaning brushes pop off a tiny bit of mist when they come out of the bore and that mist is not friendly for your lenses. It can even leave a greasy film behind that you also have to clean off. 

But if it has been a rainy nasty range trip and the optic is actually wet, make sure the caps are open when you store it, and that way you can give the lenses time to dry out. The retaining rings might have a tendency to rust if you trap moisture in and keep these caps closed. So, leave them open, let the rifle get some air, and let those lenses dry out before you put it away.


Dust can cut down the clarity, light transmission, and even the field of view. A little dirt and dust on your lens aren't going to do any physical damage and you can generally let it sit there until it becomes noticeable. Then you try to clean lenses improperly and the dirt becomes a dangerous weapon.  Step one, point the optical surface down and blow, just remember not to spray it and the dust will have a good chance to fall right off. We recommend that you start cleaning your rifle from the top because if there is any dust at the bottom, it's going to blow it up against the lenses. Get off the bulk with the blower and

remove the little pieces that might have stuck with a brush. It’s also vital to avoid spraying the cleaner directly onto the lens.Nevertheless, you have a strong, high-quality glass, do not press hard on it!


If you've ever cleaned a camera lens, this process is going to seem mighty familiar. You might even have one of those nifty lens cleaning brush pens lying around. The paintbrush is good for getting into nooks and crannies on your turrets and anywhere that dust has a tendency to cake up on the outside of the optic but make sure it is well marked and that is never ever used on the lenses of your scope.  

By the way, our preference for general cleaning of the lenses themselves is a lens pen that you can get at any supply store. The key thing here is that the bristle brush is really nice. Flip it a couple of times before you use it to knock anything off. Knockout with light strokes anything that's hanging out in there. Go from the center outward because the glass in the center of your optic is usually the most important. This method is a little more forgiving than dusting side to side all the way down. That will do 90% of your lens cleaning. It's a good idea to get some of that dust out of the side of the glass. Don't try to force it. Remember, we don't want to scratch anything! If you are having trouble with lint bristles you can retract the bristles part away to shorten them up. 

Microfiber Cloth and Smudge Removal

Now we can deal with lovely fingerprints and mascara marks. When you buy a scope there's going to be a little microfiber cloth included in the packaging most times. It's the same when you buy a camera, lens or eyeglasses. Microfiber cloth is built for this kind of work. Check to make sure your cloth hasn't got wet, hasn't touched solvents, and isn't covered in dirt. If you are trying to get into any tough to reach crevices and can't quite fit you can wrap your cloth around the q-tip and use that to help the rich.  The other reason we recommend the lens pens is because on the opposite side you have this nifty little microfiber cloth that has a cleaning compound embedded in it. If you have already had such a pen, make sure you've knocked all the grit out, take the microfiber pad and try to eliminate minor smudges and fingerprints blotches from the lens. Be very careful and gentle! Use it with a little pressure because you can possibly scratch the lense. 
 Why don't we recommend doing it with a piece of cloth? When the idea to take a t-shirt and wipe a lens with it comes to your mind, imagine how much it was picking up grit, sweat, salts. Stop yourself from digging it into your scope. 
Once you've finished that, take a look and see what the stuff you have on your lenses. If it is just water spots, you can probably go grab some distilled water, take a cotton ball and get most of those spots off it. If you have fingerprints on your lenses alcohol and water may not be the better option, it's time to step up to a bit higher level solvent and use a gun cleaning oil.
If you want to get absolutely everything off those lenses the first thing you're gonna do is to take some acetone on a cotton swab then go around the outside edge of the lens where the lens meets the metal housing. Take a couple of passes until you get that clean. Afterward, take the cotton ball and some acetone and repeat the circular movements getting the water or oil spots off the middle. As you are trying to pick it up and get it off but not to grind it in, so be careful. 

Cleaning the Scope body

In honesty, cleaning the outside of the body isn't going to improve the performance. However, it's definitely good to clean any grime o ff the turrets just to keep your scope in a good condition.

We have two pieces of advice for you here:
1. Don't use anything that has cleaning solvents because such liquid can leak at the joints and start to break down your o-rings. 
2. Don't use the same brush on the turrets that you'd use on the lens. The lens takes priority! On the turrets, we're going to go about the things the same way worked on the lenses. Brush first, brush gently and try to make sure that you are brushing away from many openings.

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