Why binoculars get sticky and what can you do?

why binoculars get sticky

Owning and using a pair of binoculars for a while, in time this can get sticky and/or the armour starts to peel off. What can you do if this happens to your binoculars?

In general, it is a good practice to clean your binoculars with rubbing alcohol in order to remove the impurities and layers of different fat and dirt which can cause your binoculars to be sticky. Furthermore, if the binoculars rubber is peeling off, it’s time to create a new custom type of armour and replace the old one, if possible.

Those two can be related somehow and in general, this happens to the old binoculars where layers of fat and dirt can deposit to the binoculars armour if the rubber is degrading in time or this is just a cheap rubber from manufacture.

Table Of Contents

In this topic, I want to largely talk about those two problems which can be often met in binoculars and to explore your options and what can you do in these cases.

My binoculars are getting sticky. What should I do?

Although there are a few options your binoculars may tend to get sticky, let’s explore a bit some of them, shall we?

My binoculars are getting sticky after I used them.

It is common for the binoculars to get sticky after they’ve been heavily used in certain places or weather conditions and this can be easily removed by wiping it with normal wipes. If this doesn’t work, try to use some alcohol-based products.

Bug spray or other products which are often used around your household where you store your binoculars may have an impact and deposit on the rubber armour which can make your binoculars to become sticky.

There can be one million and one reasons why your binoculars can get sticky after a while and the solution to this problem is usually giving them a good wipe.

The binoculars are sticky after they were stored for a long period of time

In this case, it is common that fat and other layers of dirt to be applied to the binoculars armour in time which can make them be sticky. A good practice is to use alcohol-based products or any other products good to remove fat from the armour, and to use swabs to get into places around binoculars.

Your binoculars glass may be covered in fat as well in this case, if this was not covered. And even if it was, a small amount of fat may be present. Using a cleaning spray for screens it is a good practice and a swap to get to the places where using a cloth may not be accessible.

But beware in this situation when you clean your binocular lenses if the binoculars are not “waterproof” to avoid any humid to get inside the binoculars.

If fat deposited inside the binoculars, I would recommend you to send them to a specialized shop and let them deal with it.

The binoculars armour is sticky and peeling off. What to do?

In the case the binoculars armour is peeling off this means is time for you to change it. Are you a DYI person, are you able to do it by yourself?

In time, when the binoculars are either stored or used for a very long period, the body armour is degrading and this may start to peel off. I am having a guess that the binoculars are not under warranty anymore in this case, unless is include a lifetime warranty as some manufacturers may offer for their products.

What should you do? The first thing you can do is to completely remove the rubber armour covering the binoculars. There are a few tutorials around the internet which can cover the basics of how to remove the binoculars armour, although this is not the hard part but to replace it with something new.

Not all the binoculars may have a rubber amour and not all the binoculars may easily allow you to remove this. Have an idea of your binoculars type if this allows for the rubber armour to be replaced or the whole binocular is covered in the rubber.

When to appeal to professional shops to fix this.

Whenever the body armour is sticky and this doesn’t seem to worth with any alcohol and non-alcohol products (although I doubt this) or the armour is just simply coming off, if this worth the price is time for you to send the binoculars to some professionals and let them deal with it.

Some very old binoculars are made with other materials than rubber armour such as hard plastic and this I would not recommend replacing it unless is really necessary. In general, rubber is the one tend to get sticky. I find to be a bit ineffective for the plastic to be removed and replaced in this case.


Fat from hands may be deposited in time on the binocular armour, storing in inadequate places or heavily using the binoculars, for them to get sticky is a common issue and you should not panic. But is time for you to do something.

Although the binoculars performance should not be affected by this, it is a good practice for you to take care of the binoculars if you want to have them for a very long period of time.

Nowadays, the manufacturers are producing binoculars and trying to cover all the issues possible for these to last for a long period of times, one reason they may offer you a lifetime warranty.

Although it is a simple way to clean your binoculars, do not disassemble them unless you know what you are doing. Try to use different products or just simple water spray to clean the outside of the binoculars and every corner and angle with a swab.

Why mould is formed inside the binoculars?

If you store your binoculars in humid places or use them under different weather conditions and temperatures while your binoculars are not waterproof, weatherproof or fog-proof, condensation may happen inside the binoculars and in time, mould and fungus to grow and affect the performance and quality of the binoculars.

Should I disassemble the binoculars if fat is getting inside?

Unless you know what you are doing I would recommend you not to do by yourself, but is it all possible to save some bucks and do it by yourself, with care!

If you have any more questions please do not hesitate to put into the comment section below and I will try to add them up into the Q&A section of this post. For now, I can say goodbye and maintain your binoculars. Please check our complete binoculars buying guide if you are interested. Take care!

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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