The Best Way to Clean Your Eyeglasses

Article Image Best Way to Clean Your Glasses

How best to clean your eyeglasses?

For those who wear eyeglasses, a dirty spot or smudge means distorted vision until the spot or smudge is cleaned away. Many times, eyeglass wearers are tempted to just remove their glasses and wipe away the smudge using the end of their shirt, but that is not a good idea. The reason that is not a good idea is your shirt most likely contains dust particles that can scratch your lenses.

Properly cleaning your glasses not only removes the dirt and smudges, but also protects the coatings that may be on your lenses and keeps your lenses from getting scratched. 

 First Step in Clean Your Glasses

The first step in cleaning your glasses is to have clean hands so you are not transferring dirt or skin oils onto your glasses. Wash and dry your hands with a lotion-free soap or dishwashing liquid and dry them with a lint-free cloth before cleaning your eyeglasses.

Rinse your glasses under a gentle stream of warm tap water to remove the surface dust and debris. Avoid using hot water because that can damage some lens coatings. 

Then apply a very tiny amount of dishwashing liquid or apply a drop of dishwashing liquid to your fingertips and gently rub both sides of the lenses and all parts of your frame, including the nose pads and the temples of the frame. Then rinse both sides of the lenses and frame making sure to remove all traces of dishwashing soap, so you don’t have a soap smear on your lenses.  NOTE: Use a dishwashing liquid that does not contain any added moisturizers for your hands.

Tip: You can create a diluted solution of dishwashing liquid and water (tap or distilled) and keep it in a small spray or pump container to use just for eyeglass cleaning.

Clean Dry Cloth

Use a clean microfiber cloth or clean cotton towel that has not come in contact with a fabric softener or dryer sheet to dry your glasses. You may want to keep a clean cotton towel that is only used to dry your eyeglasses. Dirt or debris in a used cotton towel can scratch your glasses and cotton kitchen towels that have cooking oil, skin oil, or lotion on the towel will smear that on your glasses.

Lint-free microfiber cloths are available at optical and photography stores and can also be purchased online. Hand wash your microfiber cleaning cloth frequently using a lotion-free dishwashing liquid, rinse thoroughly and air dry. 

Spray eyeglass cleaners are available where you purchase your glasses, at drug stores, and online. These can be useful when you are traveling and don’t have dishwashing soap and clean tap water available.

Things to Avoid When You Clean Your Eyeglasses

  • Don’t use saliva to wet your lenses.
  • Don’t use household glass or surface cleaners to clean your eyeglasses. These products have ingredients that can damage eyeglass lenses and coatings. 
  • Don’t use paper towels or paper napkins, toilet paper or tissues to wipe your lenses. These can scratch and leave lint on your lenses. 
  • Don’t try to buff away a scratch on your lenses. This only makes the scratch worse. 

Scratched Lenses

There is no repair for a scratched lens. Eventually all eyeglass lenses will get a few scratches. Eyeglass lenses can have a scratch-resistant coating, but it is not scratch proof. 

If the eyeglasses are for a child or you wear them in very dusty conditions, you may want to purchase an anti-scratch warranty for your lenses. 

If your lenses are badly scratched and your prescription has expired, schedule an eye exam so you can purchase a new pair. 

Gregory Scimeca, M.D.
Ophthalmologist and Medical Director
The Eye Professionals

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