Using telescopes are super fun. You can get really close with nature with a telescope.
However, this fun time can be easily ruined by dirt or fungus.
Now dirt can build up even if you use your telescope regularly. It’s possible for dirt to get inside your telescope. And by any chance, if you leave your telescope for a few months, then you might even find the fungus in your telescope along with dirt.
Now, you might think of using soaps and everything to clean up your telescope lens. Well, actually that’s the perfect way of ruining a laptop.
Now how to clean a telescope lens without ruining it?
Well, you can at first remove the dust with something and then apply lens cleaning fluid on it. But there’s more to it. And here we have discussed everything about telescope lens cleaning.
So, let’s get started with the details-
Don’t try to clean up your telescope mirrors if there’s dust on those. There are some tasks which should be better left for experts and professionals.
And telescope mirror cleaning is something like that.
The general purpose of DIY lens cleaning is to reduce the cleaning cost. Obviously, only mirror cleaning cost would be less than Lens + mirror cleaning cost.
So, leave those mirrors alone.
Best Way to Clean Telescope Lenses
There is no difference between cleaning refractor telescope lenses and reflector telescope lenses.
However, the cleaning lens depends upon contaminants. Different types of contaminants require different solutions.
Most common contaminants are dust, dew, bug, sap, droppings, oil, pollen, etc. These different contaminants require different kinds of cleaners and solvents while cleaning.
So, let’s go through the steps-
Step 1: Blow; Actually, Don’t Blow
The less you have to touch the lens surface, the better it is. So, at first try air cleaning.
Obviously, there is a lot of loose dust on your lens. Moreover, with strong air blows, you can even remove some of the sticky ones too.
But there’s a catch-
Literally blowing will damage your lens. By literally we mean using your mouth for blowing air to move the dust off.
Here’s the thing-
Your breath has a lot of water in it. And spitting on your telescope lens will bring in some real damage for it.
But if you really want to use your mouth, then there’s a way too.
You have to suck out all that dust from the telescope lenses. For this, you can cover up the end of your telescope. Cover up above the lens by using your fingers. After doing that, start sucking form one side.
However, there are better ways to do that if you move away from the idea of using your lungs for cleaning lenses.
You can get mechanical air blowers with any optical cleaning kit. Use these blower bulbs or something like that to blow off loose dust from your lens.
Step 2: Use a Brush
If you see the dust on the lens after the first step, then it’s time to step up.
Get a soft camel-hair brush at first. Next, use the air blower from the first step on the brush. This will move away from any pre-built dust from the brush.
Now, use your brush to gently flick off those culprits (dust) from your precious lens. Apply super gentle and light brush strokes starting from the center of the lens. Slowly go towards the outside while stroking.
After this step, we hope that your lens will become dust-free.
Step 3: Use a Microfiber Cloth
Many people avoid this step after failing in the 2nd step. But we would suggest you go through this step too.
To be honest, with every extra step, your lens becomes more exposed to damage and all.
So, when the brush failed at removing all the dust from the lens, it’s time to introduce the microfiber cloth.
However, this is just not any microfiber cloth. Only use the microfiber cloth that comes with the optical cleaning kit.
By the way, make sure that your microfiber cloth is dry and clean before using it on your lens.
After getting the cloth, use gently to rub the surface of the lens. However, if you see a spot that’s not going away, don’t start rubbing roughly. Remember that you’re cleaning a telescope lens. Not a plate.
If any stubborn spot doesn’t go away with this rubbing, it’s time to step up.
Step 4: Use Lens Cleaning Fluid
This is the ultimate solution. Although lens cleaning fluids are designed for cleaning lenses, you should try your best to avoid it.
But whatever cannot be removed by mechanical efforts, needs chemical interventions.
Get some PEC pads and Lens cleaning tissues. Also, your microfiber cloth from step 3 is also required for this job.
Next, examine the lens and try to figure out what’s soiling it. Now prepare your weapons.
At first ball up a lens cleaning tissue. Next, wrap that ball with a PEC pad. Meanwhile, ready that microfiber cloth to do some buffing.
Before jumping straight into the rubbing, wear latex gloves.
Now, it’s time to use the fluids.
If your spot is due to oily residues, then use ROR on the pad. Use Purosol for removing pollen, insect droppings and sap. Or you could use Zeiss. This is a general-purpose solvent.
But whatever you do, don’t pour solvents directly onto the lens. Always use the cleaning ball.
Now, once you got some fluid on the cleaning ball, start wiping the lens from the center to the edge. Use circular motions on stubborn spots.
Once you’re done with the cleaning reinstall the lens on the telescope. And you’ll be ready to use the telescope for planet viewing.
These 4 steps are actually our solution to your question- how to clean a telescope lens.
We believe now you’ll be able to clean your lenses without damaging those. However, we believe it’s better to keep the telescope covered rather than cleaning it up later on.
Please see these links for some additional tips: