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How to Thoroughly Clean Your Eyeglasses: A Comprehensive Guide

Keeping your eyeglasses clean is essential for clear vision and eye health. Smudges, dirt, and debris can be annoying at best and cause eye irritation or infections at worst. This post provides a step-by-step guide on the proper methods for cleaning your eyeglasses and maintaining their condition.

sparkling eyeglasses with a halo over them

Why Proper Eyeglass Hygiene Matters

When dirt, oils, and other contaminants accumulate on your eyeglass lenses and frames, it can lead to several issues:
  • Blurred or obscured vision from smudges and smears on the lenses
  • Eye discomfort or irritation if debris gets into your eyes
  • Germs and bacteria transfer from the glasses to your face, increasing the risk of infection
  • Permanent scratching or clouding of the lenses if wiped improperly
By learning how to thoroughly clean your glasses regularly, you can avoid these problems and keep your vision crisp and eyewear looking its best.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Cleaning Eyeglasses

Follow these guidelines for keeping your glasses hygienic:

Wash Your Hands Thoroughly

Use soap and warm water to wash your hands before handling your eyeglasses. This prevents oils and dirt from your fingers from transferring to the lenses or frames. Dry thoroughly with a clean towel.

Rinse Glasses Under Lukewarm Water

Hold frames and lenses under a gentle stream of lukewarm water. This loosens debris so it can be removed. Avoid using very hot water as that risks damaging specialized lens coatings.

Apply a Small Amount of Lotion-Free Dish Soap

Put a drop or two of mild, lotion-free dish soap on each lens. Gently rub the soap over all surfaces of the lenses and frames using your fingers. Concentrate on parts touching your skin (nose pads, ear pieces) as those accumulate the most oils.

Rinse Lenses and Frames Thoroughly

Rinse your glasses again under lukewarm running water to remove all soap residue. Move frames around to ensure water reaches all areas.

Carefully Dry Lenses and Frames

Use a microfiber cloth or soft, lint-free towel to dry eyeglass lenses and frames gently. Microfiber materials are ideal because they prevent scratches and don't leave behind fibers or lint.

Inspect Lenses and Wipe Any Remaining Smudges

Visually inspect lenses for any remaining dust, smears, or spots. Use a microfiber cloth to gently polish away any debris. Avoid using too much pressure or abrasively rubbing lenses.

Elegant Sunglasses with Packaging and Microfiber Cloth image by Antony Trivet
Source: Pixels

Additional Tips for Keeping Glasses Clean

  • Use cotton swabs to dislodge debris in small frame crevices and around hinges/screws.
  • Clean nose pads regularly with alcohol wipes since they contact the skin directly.
  • Wash microfiber cloths frequently so they don't transfer dust and oils back onto lenses.
  • Rinse glasses before wiping to prevent grinding dirt into lenses.
  • Quick daily wipe-downs plus weekly thorough cleanings help minimize buildup.

What NOT to Do When Cleaning Eyeglasses

Avoid these poor cleaning practices, which could permanently damage lenses:
  • No wiping lenses with clothing, paper towels, tissues, etc. Fibers can scratch.
  • Do not use rubbing alcohol, glass cleaners, or other harsh chemicals. They can ruin specialized coatings.
  • Never use saliva or breathe condensation onto lenses. This introduces more germs.
  • Don't buff out scratches if lenses become visibly damaged. Consult an optician.
Properly caring for your eyeglasses with regular, thorough cleanings is vital for maintaining crisp, undistorted vision and preventing eye health issues. Follow these best practices for keeping lenses and frames clear and smudge-free. 

Let me know if you have any other eyeglass-cleaning tips in the comments!

beautiful african american woman wearing fancy glasses with a big smile on her face

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I get my glasses professionally cleaned?

Some opticians offer deep cleaning services using specialized equipment. This can be useful if regular cleanings still leave lenses cloudy or scratched.

How do I clean my glasses while traveling?

Bring lens cleaning spray and a microfiber cloth to wipe down glasses on the go without access to running water. Consider a protective travel glasses case, too.

How do I clean other types of eyewear, like sunglasses?

Tinted sunglasses can be cleaned just like regular clear prescription lenses using dish soap and water, as long as you use a soap approved for coated lenses.

What's the best way to store glasses when not wearing them?

Keep glasses in a secure case or pouch with lenses facing up whenever you take them off. Ensure the storage case stays clean to avoid transferring dirt back to the lenses later.


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