How to Clean a Rifle Scope in 4 Simple Steps

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Not everyone who owns or operates a rifle knows how to clean a rifle scope. While cleaning your scope is vital, doing it wrong may damage your scope.

To clean a rifle scope, you must first target the dirty spots. Also, using the right tools is important to the process if you want to end up with a spotless scope.

Below, we show you how to clean a rifle scope in four simple steps. We also give you the dos and don’ts of cleaning the main tube and lens. 

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Dust the Rifle Scope

After you gather your cleaning tools, the next step is to dust the main tube or body of the rifle scope. The dust on the rifle scope often settles on the lens, making them unclear. It is necessary to clean them then. 

You can use a compressed air duster, a blower, or a soft-thistle brush. 

  • To do this, gently turn the rifle scope vertically and then dust. The vertical position will allow the dust particles to fall off without settling on the lens. Ensure you apply caution when dusting to avoid damage to the main tube or optics. 
  • After dusting the first time, look at specific corners of the scope where there is still dust. Direct the brush or air duster to those regions to clean it well. 
  • Alternatively, you can use cotton swabs. Roll the swab gently in the dusty corners to remove dust!

Step 2: Wipe the Rifle Scope

If you still notice dirt on the scope’s body, you’ll need to take the cleaning process further. Wipe the body of the rifle scope using liquid and a soft towel or microfiber cloth. Avoid using your clothes or any random piece of clothing. Also, use clean water as this is the safest liquid for cleaning.

  • First, wet a portion of the cloth, then use it to wipe down the main tube of the rifle scope. Wipe the scope in the same direction as when dusting—downward. When wiping, focus on the external parts of the scope with ridges. If a stain is very stubborn, this process should easily take it off.
  • Also, do not apply force when wiping the scope; wipe it gently. As you can imagine, the external parts are also delicate, so avoid damaging any section.

Step 3: Clean the Lens

After cleaning the main tube, you should clean the lens. 

The liquid to use for this is water. Alternatively, you can use general glass cleaner or isopropyl alcohol. However, you should utterly avoid using uncertified cleaning solutions. Don’t create one in your home; water and isopropyl alcohol will do the job.

  • To clean the lens, first wet a microfiber cloth or cotton swab. We do not recommend soaking the cloth entirely in the liquid. The rifle lens is a very sensitive part of the scope, so too much may damage the lens.  So, stay as close to the closest minimal range as possible. Also, do not apply the liquid to the lens directly; always use a cloth.
  • Next, wipe the lenses in a circular motion from the inner to the outer diameter. When you finish, your lens should be very clean. 
  • To ensure that you achieve the desired result, test the scope to see how clear the lenses are. Also, look at the main tube to ensure no dirt or stain remains on the rifle scope.

Step 4: Allow the Lens to Dry

After following all the steps outlined in this article, allow the lens to dry. If you use alcohol to clean, then it should dry up quickly. When the lens is dry, cover it. Most times, dust builds up when the rifle lens is constantly left open. 

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to clean a rifle scope is part of owning a rifle. This is because a spotless lens gives you clear vision and enhances precision. The steps we outline in this article are practical and easy to follow; ensure you follow them through. That way, you’ll get the best results without any risk of damage.

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