How To Clean Your Rifle Scope By Gary Garnett


Mar 6, 2008
They don’t often get much thought, but Rifle Scopes are really highly sophisticated pieces of equipment. Using high definition multi-coated lenses modern Rifle Scopes can deliver extraordinary sharpness and detail.

However peak performance is only available when scopes are kept clean. Dirty or smudged lenses can reduce sharpness and detail, especially in early morning or late afternoon when light levels are low.
During mid day periods detail can be lost by light striking dust or dirt particles on the front lens anytime the scope is pointed in a direction where the sun might strike the font lens.

Proper cleaning not only adds to the scope’s life, but it helps prevent damage to expensive multi-coated lenses, (multi-coating is the purple, green or orange color often seen when looking at optics). A properly cleaned rifle scope is the best way to take advantage of the brightness and clarity the scope is capable of delivering when it’s needed the most.

The following steps are recommended for cleaning a Rifle Scope.
This is a thread for discussion of the article, How To Clean Your Rifle Scope, By Gary Garnett. Here you can ask questions or make comments about the article.


Jul 15, 2009
Thanks for an informative article.
I appreciate the hands on testimonial.
I'll be picking up an outdoorsmans cleaning kit right away.

My scopes get a LOT of weather and pine woods action.
I use scope covers and the rain guard covers to insure that I don't get any balsam sap on my lenses.
Of course I wind up with the crud all over my covers...
My rangefinding binos get pretty dirty too.

Although I have never used anything other than eyeglass cleaners on my optics I do not understand what the concern is regarding household cleaners like Windex.
I assume it's about the alcohol?

Can someone offer a reality check on "lens pens" and the "scope dope" products?
I use a Leupold lens pen to remove dust particles but I don't trust the scope dope.
My concern is that it will trap particles and scratch my lenses.


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