How to clean glasses

It doesn’t matter if you have the most up-to-date prescription in your glasses — if the lenses aren’t clean, the world will appear smudgy and unclear.

Have you ever used your sleeves, tissue, hanky or the nearest napkin or paper towel as lens cleaners for your glasses? The problem is that rubbing a dusty or dirty lens can move the dust particles over the lens surface causing tiny scratches to develop over time. Paper towel and tissues can carry wood fibres and dust that scratch the lens as you wipe.

So, what’s the best way to clean glasses? It’s easy, simply wash them the same way you would your dishes: with dishwashing soap and warm water. Once they are clean, dry them with a clean lens cloth.

In summary, follow these easy steps:

  • Run glasses under warm water (not hot)*
  • Put a drop of dishwashing liquid between your fingers and use them to clean all parts of the frame and lenses
  • Rinse glasses with warm water
  • Dry with a clean lint-free cloth — a microfibre cloth from your optometrist or camera shop is perfect. When the cloth looks a bit dirty simply throw it in the washing machine. You can reuse it again and again.

The side benefit of cleaning your lenses using this method is that the frame also comes out looking sparkling clean!

There is another solution, however, to help keep lenses in their cleanest, best shape. Talk to your optometrist about an anti-reflective coating on your lenses, which will prevent dust, scratches and smudges from showing up on your glasses. They have a dust-repellent surface to keep your lenses cleaner for longer.

Enjoy looking through your clean and clear glasses!

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*Never use hot water on your glasses as it can damage some lens coatings and frame materials.

What Eye Doctors Say about How to Clean Glasses with Anti Glare Coating

We talked with numerous doctors about increasing the life of the anti glare lens coatings, and they all agreed. The best cleaner to use is a lotion-free, mild dishwashing liquid such as Great Value, Palmolive, Joy, or Ajax.

You may have to dilute the thicker liquids by mixing one part water with one part of dish soap. You want the solution thin enough that it can easily be spread with the fingers over the entire lens surfaces, both front and back.

However, avoid those dish soaps that contain lotions, oils, and lanolin for skin softening, as these can leave smears on your glasses that not even the lens cleaning cloths can remove. Also, avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive solvents such as cleansers, polishes, ammonia, or bleach based cleaners, as these can actually strip the coatings completely away over time. You want just a basic dishwashing-by-hand liquid with preferably no extra chemicals in it besides the soap.

Then, once you’ve washed and rinsed your anti glare lasses, use a microfiber cloth, specifically intended for safely cleaning anti reflective lenses. You can get these at most any place that sells glasses such as Walmart, Pearl, Lens Crafters, Sam’s Club, et al. Use this cloth, only to dry the rinsed lenses; not for actual cleaning. For actual washing, you gently rub the soaped up glasses with your fingers until you’ve completely covered all lens surfaces. Avoid excessive rubbing, as this too can prematurely wear out the AR coatings.

How to clean glasses with anti glare coating. Picture of Soft Anti Reflective Lens Cleaning Cloths.How to clean glasses with anti glare coating. Examples of soft anti glare lens cleaning cloths.

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If you wear glasses, you know the never-ending struggle to keep them clean of streaks, spots, smudges, and scratches.

There are times when it’s tempting to just reach for the hem of your shirt, but if you want those lenses to last as long as they should, it’s important to clean them the right way. That’s why we’ve put together a list of glasses cleaning dos and don’ts for you to use!

How NOT To Clean Your Glasses

  • The number one thing not to do when cleaning lenses is to wipe them with tissues, paper towels, napkins, or any other paper product. No matter how soft these materials are, they are still made of wood pulp and can easily scratch the lenses.
  • Avoid wiping your glasses with clothing. Throughout the day, your clothes accumulate dust and grime, and these particles can cause scratches even if the material itself doesn’t.
  • Don’t use everyday cleaners. Chemicals like ammonia and window cleaner can wear down the protective coatings on the lenses.
  • Don’t set the lenses down unprotected, and especially don’t stuff them into a bag or pocket. This leaves them vulnerable to debris and scratching, not to mention your risk of smudging them when you accidentally pick them up by the lenses instead of the frame.
  • Don’t leave the lenses in areas prone to splatter and spray, such as the kitchen or bathroom counter. Things like hair spray and perfume can also damage the coatings on lenses.

Glasses Cleaning Dos

  • To get those glasses squeaky clean, use warm water and a drop of dish soap. Gently lather the lenses, frames, and nose pads, then wipe them with a clean and dry handkerchief, cotton cloth, or microfiber cloth.
  • Always store your glasses in a hard case. Doing so will help reduce the exposure to debris like airborne dust. If you don’t have a case, make sure to at least store them with the lenses facing upward to protect them from scratching.
  • For glasses cleaning on-the-go, you can either buy special solution and keep a dedicated cleaning rag with it, or you can mix your own cleaner by filling a small spritzer bottle with water and then adding one drop of dish soap.
  • If the lenses do get scratched, bring your glasses to us so that we can fix them instead of trying to buff out the scratches yourself, which could do more damage.
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Here are a few more tips to make your life with glasses easier:

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Come To Us With Your Glasses Concerns

Whenever your glasses need more than simple cleaning, don’t hesitate to come to us. Whether the lenses are scratched or cracked, the coatings are wearing off, or the frames themselves are bent or not fitting right, we can either fix them or help you find the perfect new pair.

Our practice is happy to provide you with what you need!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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