Around 164 million Americans wear some kind of corrective lenses—and it’s safe to say many of them fall for the most dangerous myth in the world of glasses cleaning. If you’ve ever scrubbed your lenses with the hem of your shirt, you know what we’re talking about!
Knowing how to clean your glasses is crucial, especially because many common cleaning tactics put your glasses at risk for scratches. Some can even wear down the protective coating on your lenses.
If you’ve invested in a pair of glasses, you already know how precious they can be. From the polycarbonate lenses to the specialized coatings, the last thing you want to do is risk a scratch to your prized possession. If you’re hoping to protect them in the long run, here’s what to know about cleaning your glasses the right way.
Supplies You’ll Need
First things first: in order to protect your glasses, you’ll need to have a few essential cleaning supplies on hand. You’ll also want to know what not to apply to your lenses.
The best cleaning solution for glasses is, as you might expect, glasses cleaner.
This simple spray solution is safe for your lenses, though you’ll want to make sure to pick an option that states that it’s safe for lens coatings if you have any. If you’ve bought your glasses online and not in a brick-and-mortar shop, don’t sweat: glasses cleaner is relatively easy to find in most major stores, so be sure to grab a bottle of it as soon as you get your new lenses.
If you don’t have glasses cleaner on hand, you’re not out of luck! You can also use dish soap, though you’ll want to make sure you’ve chosen a lotion-free variety.
You’ll also need a microfiber cloth. These small cloths can ensure that you don’t scratch your lenses as you clean your glasses. Again, it’s easy to find them in stores or online, and you can often buy a pack of several to make sure you always have one on hand.
Another option you can try is special optical wipes. These disposable wipes are designed for cleaning glasses lenses, and they’re a great choice if you need a quick cleaning on the go.
How to Clean Your Glasses the Right Way
Now that you’ve got the supplies you need, let’s go over some quick tips for cleaning glasses. The overall method may vary according to the supplies you’ve chosen, but you’ll follow a few general steps:
Prepare Your Glasses
First, you’ll want to remove any surface dust or debris that might scratch your lenses as you wipe them. To do this, start by washing your hands to make sure you won’t be transferring anything to your glasses.
Rinse your glasses under lukewarm water to remove any dust or debris. If your home has hard water, you may want to use distilled or filtered water for this step. Wipe your glasses with a microfiber cloth.
Clean Your Lenses
With your lenses free of debris, it’s time to clear away streaks and smudges.
If you’re using a glasses cleaning spray, spray your lenses on both sides. Next, you’ll once more wipe the lenses down with your microfiber cloth.
If you’re using dishwashing soap, get a small drop of it onto your fingers and gently rub it onto the lenses of your glasses. Rinse them in lukewarm water, give them a gentle shake, and use the microfiber cloth to dry them off.
You can also clean the lenses in your glasses in the same way, including the temples and nose pad, as these areas tend to get a buildup of skin oils and dust.
At this point, you’ll want to check your glasses for any smudges or streaks. If you notice any irregularities, you can use the microfiber cloth to rub them away.
How to Avoid Scratches
As you might expect, we endorse the supplies and methods above whenever you’re cleaning your glasses. Straying from this tried-and-true method is an easy way to get accidental scratches across your lenses!
However, we also want to go over a few things you should never do to clean your glasses—despite the fact that popular tips might tell you otherwise.
Cleaning Supplies to Avoid
Certain cleaning supplies may cause scratches on glasses lenses, which is why it’s best to avoid them. Though it may be tempting to use them in a pinch, don’t clean your glasses with paper towels, napkins, and tissues—and never use the hem of your shirt!
You’ll also want to avoid harsh cleaning products that can strip the coatings off of your lenses. This includes household cleaning products like glass cleaner, vinegar, and lemon juice. In addition, any product that includes acetone—like nail polish remover—can destroy your coatings.
In addition, though popular wisdom may tell you that rubbing toothpaste or baking soda over a scratch can help buff it out, that’s the last thing you’ll want to do. It’s true that this may help reduce the visibility of the scratch, but it will also remove the coatings on your lenses!
Cleaning Tactics to Avoid
As we’ve hinted above, you’ll want to avoid tactics that involve using common cleaning objects—like your shirt or a tablecloth—onto your lenses. In addition, you’ll also want to avoid popular cleaning methods like using your breath or saliva to wet your lenses.
Protect Your Glasses for the Long-Term
Whether you’re trying to protect your first frames or you’re trying to steer clear of your usual breath-and-shirt-hem method, it’s time to learn how to clean your glasses the right way. With the right supplies and the simple tips above, you’ll be able to enjoy your new lenses for years to come.
As you work to make the most of your eyewear, don’t forget that we’re here to help! With durable frames from a range of top brands, we’ll help you find a pair of glasses you’ll love wearing for longer. Reach out to us to learn more!