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Oct 09, 2023 | 05:56 pm 260 0

How to properly clean weapons and optics

How to properly clean weapons and optics

Everyone wants their guns and optics to perform their tasks well for as long as possible. However, this will only be available if proper care is taken and the operating rules are followed. Any inaccuracies will cause a variety of problems that will have a negative impact on each device. Our short guide will teach you what you need to do to avoid various troubles.

Why clean your weapons and optics?

Many owners of weapons and various optical devices (day or night) believe these devices should work properly without human intervention. Because of this, they forget about the need for regular cleaning. This leads to various negative consequences, which result in the breakdown of individual structural elements or the entire device.

Reasons to clean regularly:

  1. Maintain optimal performance. Fine dirt will accumulate on its external parts if the optics are not cleaned. Because of it, glare and other distortions will appear, impairing visibility and not allowing the device's full potential to be revealed. Much the same happens with weapons owners who need to remember to clean them. It loses its performance, leading to an increase in the number of inaccurate shots and premature failure of certain parts.
  2. Increased service life. Any rifle is always expensive. The same applies to various optics. In this regard, the owner of such devices needs to extend their service life as much as possible. This can only be achieved through proper care. Regularly using various cleaning methods will allow you to maintain the structure in perfect condition, thereby minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns.
  3. Obtaining maximum profit upon resale. Every year, manufacturers release new types of optics and weapons. Before purchasing them, most people try to resell existing devices, thereby reducing their financial costs for purchasing new products. If you regularly take care of your weapons and optics, they will remain in good condition for a long time. This will make it possible to sell them at the best possible price.
  4. No visibility problems. This reason applies to night and day optics. Without regular cleaning, dust and other contaminants (fingerprints and traces of evaporated moisture) accumulate on the devices' lenses. They significantly impair visibility, and the user cannot get a high-quality picture.
  5. Minimize operational disruptions. Accumulations of dirt and dust often cause malfunctions in the operation of weapons and day and night optics. Their appearance can only be avoided with proper care. It will prevent dirt from accumulating on the surface of the most critical structural elements, minimizing the risk of various failures.

Main causes of pollution

The procedure for cleaning weapons and used optics makes it possible to eliminate accumulated contaminants. The latter arises due to the constant exposure of both devices to the environment. Added to these is the human factor, which often causes dirt and dust to appear. Before you start cleaning, you need to understand the cause of the contamination. This will make it possible to take measures that will help reduce the intensity of pollution accumulation in the future.

Main reasons:

  1. Human physiology. No matter how hard the owner of a weapon and optics tries, natural processes will not stop occurring in his body. Their consequence will be moisture ingress (due to sweating) onto various parts of the structure, falling hair, and skin particles. All this will gradually accumulate until it develops into severe contamination that interferes with the normal functioning of the weapon or optics. It is impossible to change human physiology, so the only way out of the situation is to clean all structural elements exposed to such effects.
  2. Environmental influence. Developing many options for using weapons and various optics in enclosed spaces is challenging. In this regard, they are most often used on the street. Very often, this becomes a problem since, due to environmental influences, contamination appears on the surfaces of device parts. They can be small grains of sand, microscopic drops of water, or traces of exposure to tiny insects. A negative effect is also possible due to temperature changes leading to condensation. As with human physiology, environmental influences cannot be prevented. Therefore, regular cleaning will help to avoid problems with optics and weapons.
  3. Errors during storage and transportation. Even in a spotless room, there will always be dust. It will accumulate on weapons and optics that need to be stored properly. Something similar will happen to devices during transportation. The problem can be eliminated only by using special vacuum packaging. They are expensive and uncomfortable, so most people prefer them to regular cleaning. It should become a mandatory procedure, regardless of the frequency of use of weapons or optics.

Cleaning weapons and optics

The process of cleaning weapons and optics is simple enough. However, it must be carried out strictly with the established rules. Only in this case will it be possible to complete the work as efficiently as possible and avoid making many serious mistakes.

Required items

Cleaning optics and weapons can only be done with unique products and devices. All of them will help you perform the prescribed actions efficiently and achieve perfect cleanliness of both devices. The list of necessary items is individual for each specific situation. Moreover, most of it will be identical for 99 cases out of 100.

List of necessary items for cleaning weapons:

  • special solvent;
  • weapon lubricant corresponding to the type of weapon;
  • cotton swabs, disks, or swabs;
  • a piece of dry cloth;
  • rods for cleaning the barrel;
  • cleaning brush;
  • toothbrush;
  • gloves.

List of necessary items for cleaning optics:

  • unique solution for cleaning lenses;
  • microfiber cloth;
  • blower;
  • brush or sponge for cleaning lenses;
  • a piece of soft fabric;
  • gloves.


You can clean your guns and optics in a variety of ways. Most are very similar, so only the most popular option should be considered. Then, everyone can change the standard procedure and adapt the proposed method to their case. Cleaning processes for optics and firearms are very different, so it is necessary to consider each separately.

Step-by-step process for cleaning weapons:

  1. The first step in the gun cleaning process is always to disassemble it. It is carried out only after repeated checks for the safety of such work (lack of an attached magazine, cartridge in the chamber, etc.). Disassembly should be done with gloves. This will eliminate the possibility of various small particles on the skin getting on the weapon parts and protect your hands from the harmful effects of the cleaning products used. During disassembly, it is important to remember or somehow record the location of each structural element. This will simplify the assembly process once all procedures are completed.
  2. After disassembly, you need to start cleaning the barrel. This is most often the most contaminated part of the weapon. To carry out the work, you need to use a special solvent. It is applied to a barrel cleaning rod used as a brush. Cleaning should be done as efficiently as possible. Repeating all the steps performed 3-5 times is better to ensure the barrel is perfectly clean.
  3. Having completed all previous steps, you can begin cleaning other structural elements. First, it is recommended to use a dry cloth, which will wipe off most of the dirt and dust from the surface. It would be best if you also used cotton pads or swabs. You can use a toothbrush, cotton swabs, or a special cleaning brush for more secluded areas.
  4. Always finish cleaning your weapon by applying fresh lubricant to the various parts. This is simple, so even beginners will be OK with this work. The presence of oil will make it possible to reduce friction, thereby preventing premature wear of some parts.
  5. Once the weapon is lubricated, it can be assembled. This must be done carefully so as not to damage various structural elements and not to apply a new layer of dirt to the weapon. After putting all the parts together, making a test shot (without using cartridges) is recommended. If everything works perfectly, then you can breathe a sigh of relief. If there is any problem, you must re-disassemble and reassemble the weapon or entrust this work to a professional.

Step-by-step process for cleaning day and night optics:

  1. It is recommended to start the cleaning procedure for existing optics with superficial dust removal. The easiest way to do this is with a unique blower. This device will direct powerful air currents to the desired place and blow away accumulated small dust particles. If you skip this step and immediately start cleaning with a rag, you may damage the surface of some parts (for example, lenses). In this case, the remaining dust will become an abrasive that will scratch expensive structural elements.
  2. Next comes the brush or sponge to clean the lenses. This unique product is often sold together with night and day optics. With its help, it is possible to remove contaminants that a blower could not cope with. Despite the softness of the brushes and sponges, all movements should be performed as carefully as possible. Otherwise, it will not be possible to avoid the appearance of scratches and other defects. It is better to do all work while wearing gloves, which will help prevent the formation of new contaminants (for example, fingerprints) on different optic surfaces.
  3. After completing the preliminary cleaning, you can begin the central part of the work. You will need a microfiber cloth and a unique solution for cleaning optical lenses at this stage. A few drops of this product will be enough to carry out the procedure. If you use an excessive amount of solution, then traces of it will remain on the surface. In addition, it is always important to remember that you must use a product suitable for cleaning lenses. Otherwise, there is a possibility of damaging an expensive part.
  4. After cleaning the lenses, you must leave the optics alone for 5-10 minutes. During this time, all moisture remaining on the surface will naturally evaporate, and the device owner will be able to assess the quality of the work performed visually.
  5. Having cleaned the lenses, we can consider that the job is 75% done. The remaining 25% comes from cleaning the surface of the optical device. This should be done using a soft cloth that will not damage the case. The intensity of all actions performed should be low. This is the only way to complete the task efficiently and avoid unpleasant accidents.

Preventing contamination

It is impossible to eliminate the possibility of contamination. However, you can minimize the risk of their occurrence. This can be achieved with the help of simple preventive procedures. They must be carried out regularly, regardless of the activity of using weapons or optics.

Preventive measures:

  1. Use of protective covers. All lenses and optics visible to the user must be protected with unique covers. They are included with the device and are ideal for a particular model. With the help of such bodies, it will be possible to protect the lenses from mechanical damage and the ingress of excessive dust. Their regular use will reduce the frequency of cleaning procedures and extend the life of the device.
  2. Use of protective covers. If the covers protect only the optical lenses, then the covers protect the entire device from dirt and dust. In most cases, they are made of dense materials that do not allow water to pass through and prevent dust from penetrating the surface of the optics. There are challenging and soft cases. The first ones are intended for storage and transportation, and the second ones are for protection where the device is used. Both options should be available to every optics owner. This way, in almost any situation, he will be able to protect the device from any negative influences and from the settling of dirt and dust.
  3. Regular hand washing. Wash your hands thoroughly before touching the optics. This simple action will make it possible to eliminate grease and other contaminants that may transfer to the device you are using. If you wash your hands regularly, you must clean much less often.
  4. Handle with care. To avoid damaging any device, it must be handled carefully. This rule applies to different types of optics. If you do not touch the lenses with your fingers, do not handle the device with dirty hands, or use objects that can scratch the surface (for example, rings with precious stones), there will be no problems with caring for the optics. In this case, it will be enough only to clean the device and monitor its condition periodically.
  5. Proper storage. To prevent dust and moisture from accumulating on the surface of the optics, they must be stored in suitable places. These are shelves or drawers of cabinets located in regularly cleaned rooms with low air humidity and minimal temperature changes. As additional protection, you can use hermetically sealed bags, reducing the likelihood of rapid optics contamination to almost zero.

Useful tips

Proper care of your firearms and optics is the key to prolonged, practical use. In this matter, it is essential to use all available information, including specialist recommendations. They will help beginners correct many mistakes and professionals - improve the quality of their work.

Useful tips:

  1. Only microfiber cloth may be used to clean the optics. Any other products (for example, ordinary napkins, toilet paper, paper towels, etc.) have a rougher structure, which will increase the risk of scratches, and a lot of lint will appear on the surface of lenses and other parts. Such devices cannot be used even when no microfiber is nearby. Having learned this rule, optics owners will never forget many device problems.
  2. If a cleaning agent is used to clean weapons or optics, it should not be directly applied to the surface of the parts. The only correct solution in this situation would be to spray such a substance onto the rag or napkin you are using. By ignoring this advice, owners of weapons and optics run the risk of damage to parts resulting from the excessive aggressiveness of some products (for example, rubber seals, lenses, and other non-metallic structural elements can be damaged).
  3. Even in cases where there is not enough time to clean weapons and optics, you need to do the job as efficiently as possible. This means that dust and dirt must be removed from all, even the most secluded places, before assembling the devices. If you do not do this, then in a few days, you will need to do the work again. It is advisable to use cotton swabs and other available devices to clean hard-to-reach corners and crevices.
  4. Nobody knows what surprises nature has in store for us. Therefore, carrying cleaning items and equipment with you everywhere is recommended. In this case, even the occasional appearance of dirt on the weapon or optics will be pleasing. If you have everything you need to do the work, you can even clean in the field and return to completing your assigned tasks.
  5. Very often, when cleaning optics, its owners need to remember the existence of the battery compartment. It also accumulates a lot of dirt, which can cause the batteries to malfunction. Therefore, it is recommended to constantly clean the location of batteries or accumulators, no matter how dirty they are. It is also essential to ensure that the compartment is completely dry. Even a minimal amount of moisture will lead to premature failure of any batteries.
  6. In every matter, you need to know when to stop. The process of cleaning weapons or optics is no exception. Therefore, it is recommended to be generous and polish every structural detail only after it shines. Excessive impact will only speed up the output and construction of various structural elements.
  7. The frequency of cleaning optics is selected individually for each specific case. When actively using this device, you must perform the prescribed procedures at least once every 2-3 months. If the optics are used little, one course every 5-6 months will be enough. With weapons, things are different. Its experts recommend cleaning after each use.

Cleaning weapons and optics should be a mandatory procedure. Maintaining devices in working order and preventing problems will make it possible. If you avoid severe mistakes while performing such work, the weapons and optical instruments will work properly and will not disappoint you at the most crucial moment.

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