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How to Clean Eyeglasses

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A close-up of hands cleaning black-colored frame eyeglasses with a cleaning spray and a microfiber.

An inevitable part of wearing eyeglasses is that, eventually, they will get dirty. You’ll smudge the lens with a fingerprint, or maybe you’ll splash water on them. As tempting as a quick breath and wipe from your t-shirt is, that’s not an ideal way to clean them.

A gentle wash with warm water and soap or a specific lens cleaner and a microfiber cloth are two of the best ways to clean your glasses. 

Having dirty lenses in your glasses won’t necessarily lead to eye disease or severe problems. But smudged up glasses could contribute to discomfort from eye strain or lead to eye fatigue from trouble focusing.

Proper Eyeglasses Cleaning

Washing glasses isn’t some big, complicated process. When done regularly, it shouldn’t take more than 30–45 seconds for a thorough cleaning. The first few times you follow the proper steps, you may find it takes a little longer, though.

Soap & Warm Water Method

For thoroughly cleaning lenses and frames, soap and running warm water are among the best options.

  • Wash hands thoroughly
  • Rinse glasses with warm
  • Apply a small amount of hand soap and rub to a lather
  • Rinse soap thoroughly
  • Gentle shake excess water off
  • Wipe dry with a clean microfiber cloth

Eyeglasses Cleaner & Cloth Method

For a quick lens clean on the go, an approved cleaner and a microfiber cloth make a great choice.

  • Wash hand thoroughly
  • Spray both sides of each lens
  • Gently rub the solution with clean fingers
  • Wipe the lens clean with a microfiber cloth

Common Things to Avoid

Of course, there are things you’ll want to avoid. Unfortunately, some of them are pretty common things that you may already do.

Avoid the following if possible:

  • Wiping your lenses with the edge of your shirt, tissue paper, regular cloth, or paper towel—instead, use a microfiber cloth or one of similar quality.
  • Breathe or spit on your lens—instead, use warm water and soap or a lens cleaner.
  • Don’t use cleaners with harsh chemicals or rubbing alcohol. These may not immediately damage the lenses, but over time they could damage the lenses or wreck any coating you may have.

A close-up of hands washing eyeglasses with water and soap.

Importance of Clean Lenses

There are a few reasons why keeping your glasses clean is important. Perhaps one of the most pressing reasons is to avoid infection. Bacteria can build up if your lenses and frames aren’t cleaned regularly. This bacteria can potentially cause infections or other related problems given its proximity to your eyes.

Another reason to keep your lenses clear is to avoid eye fatigue, or at least something that may worsen it. When we spend time focusing on small, close-up, or hard-to-see objects, eye fatigue could be the result. Dirty lenses could magnify this effect.

There is also less chance of the lenses in your glasses getting scratched if you keep them free from dust and other contaminants.

Professional Cleaning

When trying to clean your frames and lenses, a grease-cutting soap like Dawn can work great. But sometimes oil and other contaminants build up over time. This buildup can become stubborn and resistant to normal cleaning.

Some optometry clinics offer professional cleaning services.

Rather than simply using soap and water, a clinic will often have specialized cleaning equipment using ultrasonic technology. You’re likely to see the eye doctor every 1 or 2 years; getting this done while you’re in for an exam is a great addition to your eyewear care routine.

Dealing With Scratches

Another unfortunate part about being an eyeglasses wearer is dealing with scratches eventually. If the dirt didn’t cause scratches, perhaps a careless cleaning did. Whatever the case, there are usually some options for minor scratches.

A couple of potential options for dealing with minor scratches include over-the-counter scratch remover kits, baking soda and water, and toothpaste. No techniques really come with guarantees of preventing further damage.

So, you must consider that possibility before attempting a scratch repair. It’s also a good idea to consult with your optician or optometrist beforehand. Asking the question could prevent you from unnecessary lens repair or replacement costs.

Ask About a Cleaning

Keeping your cleaning supplies well stocked and clean is as important as keeping the lenses clear. Next time you’re in, check out our great selection of eyewear care products. And if it’s time for a fresh new look, ask about our frame and lens options.Prefer to call ahead? Reach out to us with any questions about brands, services, or availability.

Written by Jeff Neighbors

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