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How To Clean Your Glasses

By Gregory Miller
23 August 2017

Whether you wear your eyeglasses to help you see better or just to look more stylish, cleaning them on a daily basis will keep them looking new and will prevent your lenses from unnecessary scratching. Keep in mind, simply wiping your glasses down with your shirt tail does not constitute as a proper cleaning. In fact, that may make matters worse. Learn how to properly clean your glasses while eliminating the risk of scratching the lenses or damaging the frames

Wash and dry your hands

Before you begin, it’s essential that your hands are clean. Wash your hands so that any dirt, lotion, or grime won’t somehow find their way onto your lenses during the cleaning process. While washing, use dishwashing liquid or lotion-free soap (anything that won’t leave residue on your hands) and then use a lint-free towel to dry your hands.

Rinse your glasses

Rinse your glasses

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Run your glasses under a stream of lukewarm water. This process will remove any impurities (such as dust and debris). Rinsing your glasses in lukewarm water will also help you avoid scratching your lenses while you’re cleaning them. Be mindful that you should avoid rinsing your glasses in hot water. You may end up damaging the lens coating.

Apply a small portion of lotion-free dishwashing soap to each lens

Dishwashing soap is typically very concentrated, so you will only want to apply just a small amount to each lens. If you’re uneasy about applying soap directly onto the lens, you can smear a small amount onto your fingertips and rub each side of the lens very gently. Remember, only use brands that don’t use hand moisturizers or lotions to avoid smearing your lenses while cleaning.

Rub every part of the frame for a few moments

Now, it’s finally time to begin cleaning your glasses. Many people believe that cleaning their glasses involves simply wiping their lenses and not paying attention to the frame. That is not the case. Ensure that you clean every part. That includes the frames, lenses, and the ends of the temples that rest behind the ears and the nose pads. Also, don’t forget to wipe the area where the lens connects to the frame. Dust, skin oils and debris often accumulate in this area.

Rinse both sides of the lens and frame

Make sure that you remove all traces of soap from the lens and frame. If not, it may smear when you go to dry them, and that would defeat the whole purpose of cleaning them in the first place. Afterwards, gently shake the glasses to get rid of most of the water from the lenses. Look over your glasses and ensure that they are clean.

Dry the lenses with a lint-free towel

Dry the lenses with a lint-free towel

Image Source: Pixabay

Find a clean dish towel to dry your glasses. Take care to avoid dish towels that have been freshly laundered with a dryer sheet or fabric softener as these items can smear the lenses. In most cases, cotton towels used to wipe down quality glassware are perfectly fine. Of course, double check that the towel is clean. Any debris or dirt of any kind that is trapped within the fibers of the cloth can damage your lenses. Your lenses can also be smeared by lotion, skin oil, and cooking oil amongst other substances that you might find within the fabric of a towel.

Inspect the lenses for a final time

At this point, your glasses should be clean. Inspect them one last time. If smudges or streaks remain, wipe your glasses down with a microfiber cloth. Microfiber cloths are lint free and can be found at most photography and optical shops.

This guide presumes that you have all of the necessary supplies needed to clean your eyeglasses properly. If not, you can always use pre-moistened, individually packaged cleaning wipes. These are disposable and are specially formulated for cleaning eyeglass lenses.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of properly cleaning your glasses, find out what not to use when cleaning your glasses.

What not to use when cleaning your glasses

What not to use when cleaning your glasses

Image Source: Pixabay

Never use the end of your shirt or any other type of cloth (that we haven’t already talked about) to clean your glasses. This is especially the case when the lenses are dry. You may end scratching your lenses.

Never use saliva to clean your lenses. This one is self-explanatory, or at least it should be.

Never spray household glass or surface cleaners on your glasses in an attempt to clean them. These products were made to fight tough grease stains and other harsh substances. They weren’t made to clean glasses and can damage the anti-reflective coating that you can find on many prescription lenses.

Never use toilet paper, napkins, tissues, or paper towels to clean your glasses. They’re typically too coarse or too fragile to do the job properly. You’ll either end up scratching your lenses or leaving behind a trail of lint.

What to do if you scratch your glasses

What to do if you scratch your glasses

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Thus far, this guide has done its best to prevent you from scratching your glasses during the cleaning process. However, if you end up scratching your glasses anyway, or if they were scratched sometime in the past, there’s no way to undo the damage.

There are products out there that are designed to make scratches look less visible to the human eye, but make no mistake. The scratches are still there. Besides, most of these products/solutions are made of waxy substances that wear off quite easily. Also, results may vary depending on the severity and location of the scratch. It doesn’t help that many of these products tend to smear lenses that have anti-reflective coating.

Scratches can be a nuisance. Not only do they interfere with your vision, but they can also affect the impact resistance of your lenses. To utilize your glasses to their maximum potential, it’s best to replace your lenses outright if they have significant damage. 

Ultimately, the battle against scratching your lenses starts the moment you purchase your glasses. When making your choice, choose a lens that has a durable scratch-resistant coating. You should also ask your optician if your newly purchased glasses have an anti-scratch warranty. This is especially true if you’ve had issues with scratch lenses in the past.

When is it time to have your glasses cleaned by a professional?

Have your glasses cleaned by a professional

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There comes a time where you’ve done all that you can for your glasses, yet nothing seems to help. For instance, if your lenses are in good shape, but the nose pads and other components that make up the frame never seem to keep clean, then it’s time to see an eye care professional.

Sometimes you have to take advanced measures to keep your glasses clean. An eye care professional may have to use an ultrasonic cleaning device for a thorough cleaning or replaceyellowing nose pads. These are both doable at home, but its best left to the professionals unless you know exactly what you're doing.

Protective Storage Cases

Storing your eyeglasses in a safe location is one of the best ways to avoid unnecessary scratching. You want to keep your glassesin a safe location at all times, even at bedtime. Your case, just like your glasses, should be kept clean. That way when you store away your glasses for the night you won’t have to clean them all over again due to dust or lint that was stored in the case. Remember, always store your glasses in a case, and never place them where the lenses touch the surface of a table. If you don’t happen to have a case on hand, the best alternative is to place your glasses upside down with the temples open. Ensure that your glasses are stored in a location where children or pets can’t reach them.

Glasses have a lifespan

Inevitably your glasses will accumulate scratches over time due to normal use. Lenses can be scratch resistant, not scratch proof.

When you’re shopping for glasses, inquire about anti-scratch warranties. This is particularly the case for children or for those who wear glasses in an environment where there is a lot of dust.

In the end, it isn’t terribly difficult to keep your glasses looking new. Clean your glasses with the right materials, place them in a clean and sturdy case and make sure that they're backed by an anti-scratch warranty. Follow the above steps, and you can keep your glasses clean and scratch free for a long time to come.