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Clean Your Thermal Scope Without The Scratches

vidarr inc guide to maintaining your thermal scope

Ensuring the optical clarity of your thermal scope lens is crucial for optimal performance during your missions especially those long, hunting trips. Contaminants like fingerprints, water, dirt, and dust can degrade your scope’s effectiveness, potentially compromising your success when it’s time to be on time and on target in the field. So ViDARR put together a detailed guide on how we effectively clean and maintain our thermal scopes to keep us On time, On Target. 

Secure Storage and Handling 

Always store your thermal scope in a case designed for protection which is typically a fabric case with foam padding or a hard case with a soft lining. This simple precaution can extend the life of your thermal significantly and maintain its resale value. Say for later down the line, if you ever consider letting it go or upgrading. Include silica gel packs to absorb moisture is also a big thing to consider. As for the lens themselves, make sure the lens covers are diligently on and secure to protect the lens. This could be mainly from scratches from environmental debris while moving around in the case if it not fitted and designed to fit perfectly. It is recommended to remove the batteries in your thermal device if you plan to store it for long periods of time. 

thermal scope safe case
thermal scope safe case

Safe Cleaning Practices 

Regardless of the tool, gentle handling is imperative to avoid damage. Avoid using coarse materials like the casual breath onto your glasses using one’s sweaty old shirt to that let’s grease and other contaminants get all over your nice lens.. Or even worse, using all your strength to wipe your goggles with cheap coarse paper towels which might do your piece of equipment dirty by scratching the lens. Instead, use compressed air for blowing away loose dust and a soft, specialized lens-specific cleaning solutions to avoid damaging the coatings, a clean brush for stubborn dirt, and make sure to brush in one direction so whatever your “brushing off” actually comes off and get moved along the surface of your lens. So if we were to give you a one, two, three on how to properly clean your Thermal, although each and every piece of equipment differs in somewhat way here it is:  

  1. Start by cleaning the exterior and lens of your Thermal by using a can of compressed air to ensure any dust or small debris aren’t going to affect your lens when brushing.  
  2. Go over the exterior using a soft brush to ensure there’s nothing  
  3. Now it’s time to get to the lens.  

-Lighter cleaning: Start by using a Lens pen as mentioned more below if it’s more of a easier and quick clean when you’re out on the go. 

– Deeper cleaning: Make sure you have the right cleaning solution and apply it onto a cotton ball or lens tissue specifically designed for lenses. Make sure to also have Q tips on standby for those harder to reach places. 

  1. Dispose of cotton balls and leftover material from cleaning, *Never Reuse.  
  2. Let your Thermal air dry, *Never Rub with a towel, even microfiber which most people think would be fine will surely ruin all the hard work you just put in and scratch your lens. 
thermal scope lens pen
cotton swab q tips

Cleaning Using the Right Solution 

Choose a lens cleaner specifically formulated for optics to dissolve residues without damaging the lens coating. Apply it using a lint-free cloth, starting from the center in gentle, circular motions toward the edges.*NO Water: Water is not recommended for greasy marks.. Seek a designated cleaning solution like something along the lines of an Edmund Lens Cleaner for example which is good for both Glass and Plastic Optics.  

What to Avoid: Chemicals and Substances 

Steer clear of using ethyl alcohol which can leave streaks and other harmful chemicals. A mixture of 60% acetone or diethyl ether with 40% methyl alcohol can be effective for tough stains but use cautiously.*AVOID Frequent Cleaning: Clean the lens as needed when visibility is impacted, but avoid over-cleaning to prevent wear. 

thermal scope cleaning materials

Recommended Cleaning Tools 

A Lens Pen is highly recommended for its dual functionality since it has a retractable brush plus a microfiber tip pre-treated with cleaning fluid! We’re actually working with LensPen right now to create our own pen with our logo on it which will be available shortly on our website! 

Recommended Tool’s & Their Purposes 

Cleaning Product Description Benefit 
Pick-Up Tools Tools used for holding optics securely during cleaning. Prevents slippage and damage during handling. 
Tweezers Precision tool for handling delicate optics. Enables precise positioning without direct hand contact. 
Gloves Protective barrier worn during the cleaning process. Protects optics from oils and moisture on hands. 
Compressed Air Canned air used to blow dust off optical surfaces. Removes dust and debris without touching the surface, preserving the coating. 
Cotton-Tipped Swabs Soft, absorbent tips used for detailed cleaning. Allows for targeted cleaning of small, hard-to-reach areas without scratching. 
Lens Tissue Soft paper specifically designed for cleaning optical surfaces. Provides a scratch-free method for wiping away dirt and smudges. 
Lens Cleaners  Solutions formulated specifically for optical cleaning. Like Edmund Lens Cleaner for example  Safely removes residues and smudges without harming lens coatings. 
Reagent-Grade Isopropyl Alcohol High-purity alcohol used for cleaning. Effectively cleans without leaving residue, ideal for stubborn organic stains. 
Reagent-Grade Acetone Solvent used for removing stubborn residues. Quickly dissolves tough stains without damaging most optical coatings. 
De-Ionized Water Water that has had all of its mineral ions removed. Cleans without leaving deposits or streaks, ideal for final rinsing. 
Thermal Scope Cleaning Materials

Conclusion Importance of Lens Maintenance  

Your thermal scope is an essential tool in the field, to find the best bang for your buck check out some more on our website:


By following the outlined cleaning practices throughout this article, may ensure that your scope remains in it’s top condition, providing clear and effective vision during your mission endeavors. Regardless of the tool, gentle handling is imperative to avoid damage. Remember, clear vision is critical in the wild, and maintaining your scope’s lens can significantly enhance your performance on the field.

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