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Microfiber cleaning cloths are true technological wonders. Made from two different materials (polyester and polyamide) spun together, the cloths have microscopic loops and bristles that scrub dirt safely from the most fragile surfaces. Then, instead of the crud scratching and smearing a glass surface, it’s channeled away through the tiny grooves formed in the weave. For cleaning scopes and binoculars, nothing works better, or easier, and it’s smart to carry one or more in your pack. When you’re ready to buy, here are three things to think about when it’s time to get a clearer view of things.

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Microfiber cloths and towels come in a huge range of sizes, and for hunting optics, you don’t want a cloth designed for buffing your truck to a shine. Small 6×6-inch cloths have plenty of cleaning power for even the largest spotting scopes, but they’re still small enough to reach into the hard-to-reach areas around lens hoods and eyepieces to clean surfaces from edge to edge.

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Microfiber optic cloths are thinner than many other cleaning cloths, so don’t be turned off if you use a rather thin cloth. Thicker fabrics are better for absorbing water if you’re out in the rain or humid conditions, but you’ll always want a thin cloth handy. They don’t absorb as much water and can leave your lens more smudge-free than a thicker cloth.

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Some optic cloths are pre-moistened with a quick-drying chemical that will clean the dirtiest lenses. But even the best ones can tend to leave behind streaks and smudges. Use pre-moistened cloths to clean very dirty lenses after you blow away all sand and grit. Then polish with a microfiber cloth.

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