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cleaning the outside of binoculars

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#1 suep

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 06:37 PM

I have recently moved and when I unpacked my binoculars, the outside was real sticky. When I touched it, black came off on my hands. Anyone have any suggestions on how to clean the outside? I have tried soap and water, alcohol, goo gone, clorox wipes, and finger nail polish remover. The inside case is not sticky so I don't know what is making the binoculars sticky. I live in Texas so it could be heat.
Sue

#2 hallelujah

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 11:36 PM

Try some WD-40 on a small area, using a piece of polyester cloth. Spray the WD-40 on the cloth.

#3 edwincjones

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 06:42 PM

people clean the outside of their binoculars


:question:

#4 hallelujah

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 08:16 PM

only when it's covered with blackstrap molasses :lol:

#5 ronharper

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 11:47 PM

Sue,
Are you still there? I must say that is about saddest, and most perplexing, little post number one that I have seen in the three years I've been here on CN binos.

Nobody is much help (thanks Hallelujah for taking a stab at it) because this is truly weird.

Tell us what kind of material the outside of your binocular is. Does it seem to be a layer of rubber, a leatherette, or what? And how long were they stored, and do you think the temperature got up to like sitting on the dashboard too hot to touch hot?

The fact that nothing seems to clean off the exterior suggests that the exterior layer has completely disintegrated, and may have to be removed altogether and restored, if the binocular is worth that kind of expensive labor. Repair is not cost effective except in binoculars worth upwards of about $500. You may just have to write it off, discard it and get another if it was not really good to start with. Moreover, a really good binocular would probably not have done this in the first place!

If it comes to that, take heart. Helping you select a new bino is one thing, believe you me, that we are really good at!
Ron

#6 edwincjones

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 05:09 AM

it has been hot in Arkansas recently, hotter in Texas, so the heat may have melted the covering.
Does this affect the image quality?
Dos it make any difference in use?

edj

I once had a friend who was really into trucks. He defined a "real truck" as one that showed use with scratches, dents, dirt; and a show truck as one that was spotless, shinny, never used. Maybe now you have a "real" binocular with character.



#7 edwincjones

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 06:02 AM

Sue,

welcome to Cloudy Nights

edj

#8 ronharper

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 09:53 AM

Sue,
Bike repair shops have long rolls of "handlebar tape" that stretches as you put it on, and it grips largely from its tendency to contract. It's nice and grippy to touch. Just a (trashy, huh?) thought.
Ron

#9 Robert A.

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 06:21 PM

This reminds me of the problem that was noted on the rubber of older Fujinon mariner binoculars. If they are left in the windshield to get extremely hot, they will begin to break down and the rubber will get sticky. There is no way to stop the process. In that case, the covering would have to be replaced.

#10 suep

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 10:41 PM

Thanks for the help. I will give it a try.

#11 suep

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 10:47 PM

Yes, I'm still here. I'm not sure what kind of material the outside is made of. Maybe leatherette? The binoculars were stored in a camera bag in a box for about a month. The storage facility was suppose to be climate controlled, but one never knows about that. They were on the moving truck for about 4 hours in 90 degree heat though. The binoculars were not real expensive, but they were good. They are not worth restoring for $500. I'll keep trying. Thanks.

#12 Robert A.

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 03:01 AM

Thank you Bill Cook for describing that work you did on the fujinon binocular covering! It was an interesting story.

#13 rookie

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 05:17 PM

Hi Sue, Welcome to Cloudy Nights!
It sounds like you have rubber-coated binoculars and the rubber has deteriorated from the heat. It's like a rubber band that's old. It breaks or gets sticky too. I've looked through my books here on "How to Clean Anything". Guess what? Rubber is not listed. The only thing I can think of is Armorall? However, it's probably better at preventing problems. You could try a spot and see if it dries and seals the material. If that does not work, I would throw them away. That stuff can't be good on your skin. The deterioration will get worse.

Has anyone ever tried to remove the rubber housing on binoculars? :question:






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