How to clean sticky binoculars: 3 easy + quick steps

When you own and use a pair of binoculars for a long time, they become more prone to normal wear and tear, but they can also occasionally become sticky, which makes them unpleasant or difficult to use. We’ll walk you through some of the likely causes of sticky binoculars as well as how to clean sticky binoculars in the future.

The positions on the binoculars are easy to be sticky

These two things may be connected in some way, and this generally occurs with older binoculars where layers of fat and filth can deposit on the binoculars’ armor if the rubber is deteriorating over time or if the sticky rubber coating binoculars used during manufacturing is inexpensive.


Eyecups are crucial to preventing outside light interference. There are soft rubber eye cups as well as duroplastic eyecups. The benefit of the tougher, twist-up eye cups is that they are durable and frequently feature a variety of varied closing capabilities. Eyepieces made of rubber are gentler and detachable if preferred. Keep in mind, though, that they can eventually dry up and become brittle.

Manufacturers of binoculars occasionally opt not to spend money on the curing spray needed to repair the rubber after production. Binoculars with a sticky rubber covering are consequently more susceptible to damage from the environment and regular wear and tear.

Binoculars armor

In this situation, it is typical for fat and other layers of grime to be coated over time to the binoculars’ armor, making them sticky.

How to clean sticky binoculars
How to clean sticky binoculars?

Why do binoculars get sticky?

In specific circumstances or weather

Heavy use can make the sticky rubber coating binoculars. The armoring on the binoculars may become sticky over time due to rain and may eventually become worn down, leaving residue on your hands after use.

When using binoculars while camping or trekking in the woods, you may touch bushes or tree sap that can transfer onto the sticky rubber-coating binoculars, making them sticky and leaving a residue on your hands each time you touch them. Make sure to keep your hands as clean as possible before using your binoculars because you can be spreading materials onto them. 

Chemicals such as bug spray and sunscreen

They could be one of the sources of this problem. When using binoculars outside in the heat or if you move about a lot, the sweat from your palms can get transferred to the rubber of the binoculars and start to make it sticky. When the right circumstances exist, the rubber covering on binoculars can return to its initial state.

Vulcanization of rubber

Sticky rubber coating binoculars by nature, but it undergoes a process called vulcanization that includes heating the rubber with other chemicals to change it from sticky to stretchy, making it the perfect material for binocular covers. High heat or intense UV exposure may cause the rubber on your binoculars to degrade and become sticky, returning it to its original state. Manufacturers of binoculars occasionally don’t want to spend money on the curing spray needed to set the rubber after production. As a result, the sticky rubber coating binoculars are more susceptible to deterioration due to the environment and general wear and tear.

Improper storage

It is common that fat and other layers of dirt to be applied to the binoculars’ armor in time which can make them sticky.  If binoculars are not covered properly in a protective bag or case, it can damage the outside armor.

How to clean sticky binoculars? 

Regardless of what has caused the sticky rubber coating binoculars armoring to degrade, there are several things you may do to get it back to its smooth, non-sticky texture.

1/ Wiping them down with regular wipes

Wiping to remove the sticky substance from the surface is one of the simplest ways to address stickiness. If this doesn’t seem to get everything off, consider using some stronger alcohol-based wipes to return the surface to normal. To get to the sticky things in the binoculars’ hard-to-reach crevices, you might want to use a toothbrush or a q-tip.

However, most individuals find that rubbing alcohol-dampened paper towels are best to scrub the rubber surface of the binoculars until all sticky residue is gone. To protect your hands from the alcohol’s scent and because the process can be pretty messy, we advise wearing some sticky rubber coating binoculars gloves.

2/ Removing the sticky surface from the rubber with water, mild dish soap, and a cloth

To prevent further damage, try to avoid using excessively harsh products. To prevent damaging the parts on your binoculars, try to be cautious with the amount of water you use.

3/ Take more drastic measures if binoculars begin to peel off

You’ll need to take more drastic measures to restore their new-looking appearance and to avoid damaging them, you could do this yourself or take them to a professional shop. We advise taking them to a camera or an optics store, they will be able to fix your binoculars as best they can by using the necessary supplies and tools, or if they are beyond repair, they will be able to suggest that you just buy a new set.

How to prevent binoculars from getting sticky?

– To avoid mildew, make sure your binoculars are kept in a dry, clean, and well-ventilated space. Consumers who are not experts shouldn’t try to take the binoculars apart for cleaning.

– When not in use, binoculars should be stored in a cylinder and box rucksack or with a lens hood and lens cap. Use a professional mirror cloth (or professional lens paper) to gently wipe away stains on the lens to avoid scratching the mirror. You may also wash the hearing ball to remove mesh dust.

– Despite the fact that certain binoculars are waterproof, you should keep them out of the rain and water. Avoid looking straight at the sun and other bright lights (see the sun when the target is fitted with two standard two-cylinder solar filters)

– Avoid blowing into the lens with your lips out of concern that saliva can corrode it. Also, avoid touching the lens with your fingers to avoid getting fingerprints on the tube prism.

– To prevent scorching, don’t place the binoculars in the sun. Binoculars shouldn’t be stored in enclosed cars in the sun or next to fires.