If you wear glasses, the first thing you learn is how to clean eyeglasses. Glasses are far from cheap. When buying eyeglasses, there is the cost of the frames and prescription lenses to consider, but there are numerous extras people opt for as well.
Most of us choose special lens coatings to help us see better, such as anti-reflective, UV coatings, anti-scratch, not to mention the sought after transition feature. People fail to realize there are right and wrong ways to clean eyeglasses. Cleaning eyeglasses incorrectly damages and sometimes even destroys your lenses.
Nobody wants to ruin their lenses by cleaning, as that is just a waste of money. Daily cleaning, when done correctly, protects your lenses, keeps your glasses looking and working like new, and aids in preventing scratches and other types of damage.
Special coatings on lenses are pretty durable and provide a fair amount of protection, but nothing is ever 100% effective. The anti-scratch coating doesn’t protect lenses from all scratches but works well at preventing minor ones.
- Quick and Easy Ways to Clean Eyeglasses
- Things to Avoid When Cleaning Eyeglasses
- How to Clean Eyeglasses at Home
- Best Ways to Clean Eyeglasses throughout the Day or on the Go
- Cleaning the Nose Pads of Your Glasses
- Tips for Cleaning Plastic Glasses Frames
- Homemade Eyeglass Cleaner with Alcohol
- Best Homemade Eyeglass Cleaner for Plastic Lenses
- How to Prevent Steam from Building on Your Glasses
- Tips for Cleaning Metal, Hipster, and Vintage Frames
- Keeping Glasses Cleaner Longer
Quick and Easy Ways to Clean Eyeglasses
Combining regular cleaning of eyeglasses with special protective coatings extends the life of your glasses. Following our recommended cleaning tips ensures your frames and lens are clean without the risk of damage. These quick and easy cleaning methods are safe to use on safety glasses, sunglasses, and sports eyewear, in addition to prescription eyeglasses and reading glasses.
Things to Avoid When Cleaning Eyeglasses
When cleaning your prescription glasses, there is the right way to clean them, and there is the wrong way. Cleaning your glass lenses incorrectly is detrimental as it causes the lenses’ coatings to break down, so the coatings no longer provide the intended protection.
Never exhale on your lenses or use your shirt to clean them as the fabric leaves behind tiny scratches. The same theory applies to paper towels and tissues.
In terms of cleaner, avoid using vinegar, bleach, toothpaste, lemon juice, ammonia, window cleaner, or commercial glass and mirror cleaner. The chemicals found inside these cleaning agents break down the protective coatings, scratch lenses, and otherwise create a mess rather than clear lenses.
How to Clean Eyeglasses at Home
No matter if you are cleaning prescription glasses or sunglasses, the best way to clean them at home is with liquid dish soap such as Dawn, lukewarm water, and a microfiber cloth. Begin by running the glasses under a gentle stream of lukewarm water. Avoid hot water as it reduces some coatings’ lifespan.
Wash and dry your hands before cleaning your eyeglasses to ensure all traces of lotion, dirt, and grime are gone. Failure to clean your hands increases the risk of transferring dirt onto the glasses while cleaning. Squirt a drop or two of liquid dishwashing soap onto your fingertips and gently rub the nose piece and both sides of the lenses.
Most opticians and optometrists recommend dish soap as being the best cleaner for glasses lens. Rinse the dish soap away with warm water. Lightly dry the lenses with a microfiber cloth. Even plastic lenses get perfectly clean when using microfiber as the fabric doesn’t leave lint behind.
If you don’t have a microfiber cloth, use a cotton dish towel in its place. Don’t use any towels laundered with fabric softener or dried with dryer sheets as it smears while drying.
Best Ways to Clean Eyeglasses throughout the Day or on the Go
We don’t always have access to warm water and dish soap, but our glasses still require cleaning as directed by the American Optometric Association. For cleaning glasses on the go or throughout the day, invest in some pre-moistened lens wipes for eyeglasses.
Find these wipes at several big-box stores, as well as optometrists offices. Before using the wipes to clean your lenses, gently blow away any loose dirt or debris. Spray lens cleaner works for cleaning while traveling or in place of dish soap and tap water.
Use a lot of sprays to rinse away loose debris and dirt. Gently dry with a microfiber cloth or clean, lint-free cotton towel. Ensure the lens cleaning spray is safe to use with an anti-reflective coating, if necessary.
Cleaning the Nose Pads of Your Glasses
Nose pads are prone to grimy buildup as sweat and body oil from where they sit on our noses attracts various dirt and debris. Nose pads won’t come clean with just your fingertips and some liquid dish soap, nor does eyeglass cleaner do the trick.
Cleaning the nose pads requires warm water, dish soap, and a cotton swab or old soft-bristle toothbrush. Use the soapy residue from cleaning your eyeglass lenses to clean the nose pads.
Apply light pressure to the nose pads, as well as the crevices around them and your frames. Use only a cotton swab to clean any buildup between the frame and lenses, never let the toothbrush come into contact with your lenses. Even a soft-bristled toothbrush scratches lenses.
Tips for Cleaning Plastic Glasses Frames
Like your plastic lenses, cleaning your plastic eyeglass frames is best done with warm water and mild dish soap. Plastic frames only require cleaning once a week, where the glass lenses require daily cleaning.
To clean the plastic frames, rinse them under running water; no worries if the lenses get wet. Get your hands wet, add some soap, and then rub together to create a bunch of suds.
Using the suds on your fingers, wipe down the plastic frames, including the area where the frame meets the lenses. Rinse with tap water and then dry with a soft, cleaning cloth.
Dip a cotton swab into some isopropyl alcohol and wipe down the plastic frames. The rubbing alcohol removes any hairspray and oil buildup. Only use rubbing alcohol occasionally, as it makes the plastic frames brittle with extended use.
Homemade Eyeglass Cleaner with Alcohol
Sure, you can buy eyeglass cleaning products at drug stores and many other locations, but why waste your money? Homemade eyeglass cleaner works as well as store-bought ones for a fraction of the price and doubles as a whiteboard spray.
Fill the spray bottle ¾ of the way full with rubbing alcohol. Add two drops of dishwashing soap. Close the spray bottle and gently shake things up.
Allow the bubbles to dissipate before spraying onto your plastic lenses. Spray both sides of your lenses and wipe clean with a soft cloth.
Use alcohol to rub away and remove super glue from an eyeglass lens, too. Wipe carefully to ensure you do not damage the lenses.
This recipe is also the best way to clean auto glass. Use it on the windshield, mirrors, back glass, side windows and even headlights for a nice clean shine.
If you accidentally drip some super glue on your glasses while working on a home improvement project, quick action is needed. Dab some alcohol on the spot for removing super glue from plastic lenses and frames.
Best Homemade Eyeglass Cleaner for Plastic Lenses
Two cleaning solutions for your plastic lenses that are quick are to wipe down with a clean cloth or a give good scrub down using a homemade glasses cleaner and a soft cloth. In emergencies, clean glasses with a cleaning cloth, but is not recommended on a regular basis.
Fill the container with lukewarm tap water and then add a few drops of dishwashing detergent. Gently stir dishwashing detergent into the water with a spoon.
Hold your pair of glasses by the arms of the frame and carefully dip the lenses into the bowl of cleaning solution. Gently shake off excess water and allow lenses to air dry. To speed up the drying process, use a microfiber cloth.
How to Prevent Steam from Building on Your Glasses
Contact lenses are excellent as steam doesn’t buildup on them when you open the dishwasher or walk into a humid environment. Luckily there is a homemade cleaner that doubles as a steam preventative for your eyeglasses.
Cut up Castile soap into small pieces and place it into a pot on the stove. Cover the soap with water and then bring to a boil. While boiling, stir the soap and water until all lumps dissolve.
Stir in the sassafras oil and glycerin and cook for one minute while continually stirring. Remove the concoction from heat and allow it to cool. Store this homemade cleaner in a small jar.
Rub a small amount of cleaner onto each side of your lenses with your fingertips. Polish with a dry, soft cloth until lenses are clear. We recommend treating one lens at a time for best results. Rinsing is not required with this cleaner.
Tips for Cleaning Metal, Hipster, and Vintage Frames
Cleaning metal frames is relatively simple. Fill a medium-sized bowl up with warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Place your metal frames inside the container and allow them to soak overnight as this process breaks down grease and oil buildup.
In the morning, rinse under warm water and dry with a clean, lint-free cloth. Jewelry polish also works to clean metal frames and polishes up plastic frames nicely when used occasionally.
For hipsters and vintage frames, proceed with caution so as not to ruin them. For hipster frames, clean with warm water and mild soap. Run down the frames with soapy fingers and rinse with clean water.
Don’t polish hipster or vintage frames too much as it damages the unique finish. For vintage frames, warm soapy water works best for cleaning, but pay attention to any pieces that require extra care, such as small pieces of jewelry embedded into the frame.
Keeping Glasses Cleaner Longer
Now that your favorite eyeglasses are clean, it’s time to keep them that way. Never just lay your glasses down; think carefully about where you place them. Avoid countertops in the bathroom where hairspray and other cosmetics cause buildup.
Never put your glasses on their lenses, fold the arms and place them face up when laying them down for a brief period. Store them in the case whenever possible to prevent smudges and keep your new glasses scratch-free.
Thanks for reading about the different ways to clean eyeglasses. If you found any of our tips for cleaning eyeglasses useful, please share how to clean eyeglasses with others on Facebook and Pinterest.