Cleaning your glasses is a daily ritual. While we are often guilty of cleaning them with whatever is nearby and convenient, some habits may not be as beneficial as we believe.
Smudged and cloudy glasses are unavoidable. A variety of factors contribute to this, including skin oils, dry skin flakes, makeup, moisturizers, dust, dirt, and everyday handling.
Dirty, smudged, or cloudy glasses cause eye strain and squinting through the dirty lens, which defeats the purpose of getting your eye exam and wearing glasses in the first place.
Cleaning your glasses daily is the best way to keep them looking good and prevent lens scratches and other eyewear damage. When it comes to cleaning glasses, however, there is a right way and plenty of wrong ways.
Can Bacteria Live on Your Glasses?
Yes. Bacteria, mold spores, and other irritants can live in your glasses or sunglasses. However, cleaning the frames and lenses with soap and water regularly easily removes bacteria. Cleaning your glasses by fogging the lenses with your breath is a bad idea because it only adds germs to your glasses.
Wash Your Hands First
Wash and sanitize your hands thoroughly with soap and water first. Fingers that are greasy or grimy are not only unsanitary, but they also make cleaning your glasses more difficult.
Rinse your Glasses
This will remove dust and other debris, allowing you to clean your lenses without scratching them. Hot water should be avoided because it can damage some eyeglass lens coatings.
Cleaning Your Frames
To remove dirt and bacteria from your eyeglass frames, use warm, soapy water and a gentle cloth. To remove grime and oil from the nose pads and hinges, use a soft toothbrush.
Avoid touching the lenses with the bristles of the toothbrush, and dry your glasses with a microfiber cloth.
Clean every part of your frames thoroughly to remove stubborn debris, germs, and oils from your skin, including the area where the lenses meet the frames.
Cleaning Your Lenses
When cleaning your lenses, avoid using ammonia-based cleaners. Many different coatings on your lenses are sensitive to ammonia and other chemicals found in most household cleaners.
Warm water and mild soap that doesn’t contain a lotion additive, such as dishwashing liquid, are the simplest way to clean your eyeglass lenses. Wash the lenses gently with clean fingers. After rinsing the lenses with cool water, gently dry them with a soft towel.
Alternatively, use a lens cleaner on both sides of your lenses. Gently clean the lenses with a microfiber cloth and then dry them with a dry portion of the cloth; if you don’t have a microfiber cloth, tissue without moisturizer is a good option for cleaning your eyeglasses. Prepackaged moistened wipes designed specifically for glasses lenses are also available.
To dry your lenses, avoid using paper towels, dishtowels, a shirttail, or other fabrics. Some lens materials are prone to scratching when not cleaned with a soft, microfiber cloth.
Cleaning Sprays & Cloths
Spray cleaners for eyeglass lenses are available where you buy your glasses or at your local drug or discount store. These are useful if you are traveling or don’t have access to dishwashing soap and clean tap water.
If you don’t have access to running water to rinse your lenses before cleaning them, use a generous amount of spray eyeglass cleaner to flush away dust and other debris before wiping the lenses dry.
If your lenses have an anti-reflective (AR) coating, make sure the eyeglass cleaner you use is safe for anti-reflective lenses.
Inspect the lenses for dust or debris before using individually packaged, pre-moistened disposable lens cleaning wipes. Blow any debris off the lenses before wiping them to avoid scratches.
Use Protective Cases
Although glasses will always need to be cleaned, proper storage in a glasses case is one of the most effective ways to reduce smudges, cloudy lenses, scratches, and breaks.
When your glasses are not being worn, proper storage keeps dust, dirt, and other debris from falling on them. This also aids in the prevention of scratches while your glasses are in transit (e.g. when placing them in your bag between your home and a coffee shop, work, your vehicle, etc.).
Never place your glasses lens-down on any surface! This is the quickest way to permanently damage your lenses.
Professional Cleaning for That Extra Oomph
If your glasses have an oily buildup around the ears or nose that won’t go away after you clean them, or if you’re getting breakouts on your nose or around your ears where your glasses touch your face, professional cleaning may be the solution.
Professional cleaning is appropriate for lenses with few blemishes and frames that have retained their shape well. New nose pads and a little tweaking will make those old glasses look brand new again.
You can often return your glasses to many eyeglass retailers for a complimentary cleaning. It’s also a good idea to request a cleaning whenever you get your glasses adjusted or go for your annual eye exam. If your glasses are looking a little grimy, book an appointment with us at Total Vision La Mesa today and get them looking fresh and new again!