Previous studies have shown that molecular contamination outgassed from nonmetallic materials tends toward deposition on optical surfaces as droplets instead of nearly uniform thin films. Failure to consider the sources and effects of these droplets in an optical instrument omits large throughput losses due to scattering. This paper demonstrates that a simple treatment of optical system surfaces using vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) radiation reduces the formation of molecular contaminant droplets. VUV radiation exposure of a nominally clean silicon surface using a deuterium lamp suffices to remove hydrocarbon and carbonyl species that allow wetting of the surface by the contaminant. The throughput losses of the contamination due to droplet scattering can be reduced significantly.