DIY Guide: How To Fix Binoculars That Got Wet

A pair of binoculars is an invaluable piece of equipment for many groups of people. Hunters, birdwatchers, stargazers, law enforcement officials, and hikers are among the many people who regularly use a pair of binoculars. However, to get the best service from them, binoculars need to be well looked after and always kept in good working condition.

The only way to fix binoculars that got wet is to dry them out by placing them in a warm, dry area and leaving them alone for a few days. Place them in a bag with uncooked white rice or silica gel to speed up the process. Moisture inside the binoculars will evaporate so that they can be used again.

Sometimes our binoculars get damaged and need to be repaired. Taking a pair of binoculars to specialized repairers can be expensive. Why not take a short course in DIY on how to look after and make minor repairs to your binoculars yourself before taking them to a professional? There are many online courses available to assist you in looking after your binoculars correctly, especially if they have somehow got wet and are now foggy and misty because of the moisture.

How To Fix Binoculars That Got Wet
How To Fix Binoculars That Got Wet

Why Do My Binoculars Fog Up?

Most binoculars are well made and come with a waterproof and fog-proof tag. Unfortunately, when exposed to extreme humidity and temperature changes, the lenses tend to fog up because of condensation that forms on the surface of the lenses, reducing your visibility.

Fog is formed when water droplets get suspended on the lens surface of the binoculars. Unless the pair of binoculars are visibly broken, they should dry out and be okay for you to use again.

How To Dry Out Your Binoculars

You left your favorite pair of binoculars outside overnight. Unfortunately, it rained during the night, and now your binoculars lenses are all fogged up, and you cannot see through them! Do you throw them away and buy another pair, or can you dry them to use again?

While you might not want to dry out or salvage a really old pair of binoculars, especially if the lenses are cracked, you should at least try to dry out the moisture inside to see if they can be used again. 

Fogging can occur internally or externally on a pair of binoculars. External fogging on the outer lens of the binocular is easy to sort out by using a soft cloth to wipe the lens – make sure there is no dirt on the lens, or you might scratch it and cause further problems.

Internal fogging is a bit more challenging to sort out as condensation accumulates inside the binoculars and cannot be wiped away. However, there are ways that you can dry out your binoculars to use again.

Follow our steps on how to dry out your favorite pair of binoculars after they have got wet:

1. Place The Binoculars In A Warm, Dry Place

Remove the binoculars from the wet area they were in and move them to a warm and dry, preferably, indoors area. Place them on a dry surface and leave them alone for a few days to dry out completely. Don’t be in a rush to use them.

 The design of a pair of binoculars allows for air to penetrate in and out, so if there is any moisture anywhere inside the binoculars, it should evaporate when exposed to a warm airflow.

2. Use A Desiccant To Absorb The Moisture

Using a desiccant to absorb moisture is a well-used and tested method to dry out many devices, including binoculars. Place the binoculars in a plastic bag (a zip lock bag will work well), add the desiccant and seal the bag. Leave for 24 hours or more. Then, check to see if the moisture has dried up. If not, leave the binoculars in the desiccant for another 24 hours. The desiccant should absorb all the moisture from your binoculars.

Great desiccants to use to dry out your binoculars are:

  • uncooked white rice
  • silica-gel bags

How To Prevent Moisture From Forming In Your Binoculars

Prevention is always better than cure, so keeping your binoculars dry and away from moisture should guarantee that your binoculars are always fog-proof and ready to use when you need them.

Follow these steps to prevent your binoculars from getting wet and fogging up:

  • Use anti-fog products. There are many sprays, creams, wipes, and gels available to use on binocular lenses. Make sure that you use a product recommended by the manufacturer of your binoculars.
  • Clean the lenses often. Clean the lenses as often as you can using a soft cleaning cloth so as not to scratch the lenses. Wipe away any mist as soon as it forms on the lenses to prevent moisture from penetrating through to the inside lenses.
  • Keep your binoculars in a dry place. Always store your binoculars in a dry place when not using them. An airtight bag with a silica gel pack is a good idea. If you do use them often, hang them up in a dry, warm area in your house. If you are using them outside on cold days, keep them in a dry case when not looking through them to minimize exposure to fog. Always wipe any moisture off the binoculars with a soft, dry cloth.

How To Clean A Pair Of Binoculars

You should clean your binoculars often to ensure that they are in good working order all the time. By cleaning your binoculars often, you will be able to sort out minor problems before they escalate into more significant issues. Lenses need special care and attention because they are coated with a reflective layer, so make sure that you clean them using the correct lens cleaning products.

Knowing how to clean your binoculars to keep them in good working order is as important as knowing how to use them. Cleaning your binoculars correctly will ensure that they will be well maintained and give you good service for the extent of their life span.

It will also ensure clear visibility through the lenses for your viewing pleasure. It is very frustrating to pick up a pair of binoculars to look at something only to find out that your vision is restricted due to dirty lenses.

How to clean your binoculars in 4 easy steps:

  1. Clean all metal parts by wiping off the dirt using a clean, dry cloth. Then, hold the binoculars upside down to allow the dirt to fall away from the surface of the lenses.
  2. Use a lens cleaning tissue or a soft camel-hair brush to wipe away dirt particles from the lenses. Be careful not to scratch the lenses.
  3. Drop lens cleaner onto a lens cleaning tissue and, using a circular motion, gently wipe all lens surfaces.
  4. Hold the pair of binoculars up to the light to check for dirt in the objective lenses. Never open the binoculars to remove the lenses, instead take the binoculars to a professional for cleaning.


A pair of binoculars can only be used effectively if you can see through the lenses clearly. If they are fogged up or misty, you won’t be able to use the binoculars for a few days until the condensation has dried up.

By following a few simple rules, you can prevent moisture from getting into the binoculars and fogging up the lenses. In addition, always keeping your binoculars in good condition allows you to use them when you need them and for the purposes that you bought them for.

Gabriel Mihalcea

Passionate about binoculars, photography and blogging with years experience behind, I love to split my time and observe the beauty of this world with different eyes.

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