Last night, my younger brother opened one of his drawers to get his favorite pair of binoculars. As of now, its spring season which brings amazing weather for hiking. We are planning to spend some quality time in the beautiful weather. But he has noticed the binoculars don’t work properly. There is a blur and haziness in the images. Besides, the focus doesn’t work perfectly. He was so disappointed as it was kept inside the drawer safely. Then I explained to him what happened with his favorite binoculars. Well, what is the reason then? The reason is, that it was an affordable binocular and some extra care was required to keep it workable. After this incident, I think it’s my responsibility to reveal the facts on how to take care of affordable binoculars.
How to take care of affordable binoculars?
Have any ideas or even think about it? Well, many of us generally skip this part to take care of our binoculars. If you use an affordable binocular, then it requires proper care and maintenance mostly. But the fact is, many of us don’t know the steps, as well think keeping it in a locked drawer is safe as my younger brother did. Affordable binoculars have some limitations and they are not designed as high-end pairs, so they don’t have the built-in capability to withstand outside barriers. But if you want to use affordable binoculars that run like brand new for a long period, you have to do some extra steps to take care of them.
What are the steps then? Well, there are no specific steps. I am going to discuss some steps, tips, and tricks here. You need to do them based on the binoculars type, condition of use, incident, and purposes.
The first and foremost part of taking care of a binocular whether it is affordable or expensive is proper cleaning. You should clean them regularly. There are some techniques and steps for binocular cleaning such as-
Wipe the metal and rubber parts
It’s common to get the metal parts dirty after a long hiking, wildlife viewing, birding, or other outdoor activities. You need to wipe the metal parts using clean tissue or a soft camel brush. Don’t use direct water to wipe or wash them. For the rubber part, you can use wet tissues to get off the dirt easily. Then use a dry tissue or soft towel to wipe the rubber armor and dry them in normal airflow.
Clean the lens
You should use a soft brush to clean the lens. We recommend using camel brushes which are appropriate to dislodge the small sand particles and grit. During cleaning, hold the binoculars upside down. As a result, the dirt, and sand particles fall away from the lens of the binocular. Then use a soft brush to clean the rest of the dirt on the lens surface. If something oily is found on the lens, use a folded tissue to soak the oil. Similarly, if there are some spots or fingerprints on the lens of the binocular, use a few drops of binocular lens cleaner on the lens. Then gently wipe the lens using a soft tissue. You should clean your binoculars after every use to keep them up to date.
Clean the internal part
To clean the dirt of internal parts, never attempt to open the binoculars. This may cause an imbalance in the alignment of the internal parts. Most of the affordable binoculars under $100, don’t provide a warranty or customer service. So if you think dirt goes inside, take the pair to the professionals.
Clean the harness and neck strap
The harness and neck straps are getting dirtier easily. You should detach them, and use a soft cleaner or soap to wash them properly. Don’t pull, rub or scrub the neck strap or harness. If they get dirt heavily, keep them in warm and soapy water for 10-15 minutes. As they are mostly rubber-made, don’t soak them in warm water overnight. That may cause them to lose their elasticity. Then wash with plain water and dry them out properly for further use.
Protecting is another crucial part to keep your binocular performance top-notch for years to years. For example,
When you hike, birding, or watch wildlife or sports, hang it on your neck. Make sure the neck strap is durable and secure enough. When you use a tripod, make sure the tripod and binocular mount securely as well as tripod has been placed on a flat surface. Make sure it stands with proper stability. Similarly, when you walk, jump or get into a boat, keep the pair in the carrying box. If you don’t have a box, make sure they are protected inside your jacket or suitcase.
While driving a car, don’t keep the binoculars on the seat loosely. Keep it in the car’s secure compartments. Otherwise, it may fall down and break. Direct sunlight may damage the lens coating binoculars lens coating. When it is raining, keep the binoculars inside the waterproof carrying bag. Make sure the bag has the capacity to withstand water leakage.
If anyhow the binoculars fall into the water, there are 3 ways to remove the water. You should rescue the binoculars immediately. Firstly, wipe the binoculars, body parts, and lens properly. They dry out the water naturally by keeping it in a warm place. A warm environment absorbs the water and moisture from the inside of the binocular and makes it workable again. If you want rapid results, keep the binocular pair in an uncooked rice bag. Rice will soak the water from binoculars within 24 hours. Finally, you can use Silica Gel Desiccant if the previous 2 techniques fail. Keep binoculars in an airtight silica gel desiccant box. The desiccant pulls out the water effectively. It will work fast if you keep the box in a warm place. But make sure it’s not placed directly in your kitchen or fireplace.
This part is neglected by many of us. After cleaning and protecting the binoculars, many of us keep them inside the open space of our house. That may cause dirt and moisture inside the binoculars. Some of you keep it inside a drawer. That will produce fungus on the lens due to the darkness and moisture. But for proper storing, you should keep it inside the carrying bag. Then keep it in a dry place where there is a moderate amount of light and airflow.
Affordable binoculars are very handy and compact to use for hiking, birding, wildlife viewing, sports, and so on. Though they have some limitations, if you follow the above terms you can use one binocular for a long period. The lifespan, as well as the performance both, depend on your care and protection ability of the binoculars.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you don’t have to face any problems while cleaning and taking care of your favorite binocular pair. Keep your binoculars safe, clean, as well as protected to make them workable for years to years.