No one needs to tell you to clean your eyeglasses, but maybe you need someone to tell you how to do it. Just like cleaning a phone screen or computer screen, there are good and bad ways to clean your specs.
If you don’t follow the right steps or use the right methods, you could end up damaging those extra set of eyes you depend on.
To save you from wasting money and going through the hassle of premature eyeglass replacement, we’ll dish out a few tips on how to clean eyeglasses for the long run.
It doesn’t pay to be negative, but it’s worth getting some bad habits and practices for cleaning eyeglasses out of the way. If you own a pair of glasses or live with someone who does, you’ll no doubt recognize some of the practices we’re about to identify. If you’re getting your first pair, stay on the lookout for these habits.
You’ve probably wiped a smudge off of your lens with the edge of your T-shirt or seen your mom or dad or grandparents do it. Discontinue this or don’t follow their example. The fibers on clothing can scratch the lenses and leave lint pieces on them which are hard to remove. The result? A lens that looks perpetually dirty.
In terms of disinfecting a surface, the school of thought typically goes “the harsher the chemical, the more germs get killed”. But that line of thinking fails to consider what strong chemicals do to some surfaces (like eyeglass lenses). In the case of your lens, highly acidic compounds will break down its anti-reflective coating. Cleaners such as Lysol, Windex, vinegar, and toothpaste (yep, people clean glasses with toothpaste) contain powerful acids that damage eyeglass lenses.
Sure, Bounty is the perfect quicker picker upper for a kitchen counter, but it’s bad news for your eyeglasses. Paper towels, like your favourite sweater or T-shirt, have abrasive surfaces that will scratch your lens and leave behind debris. This effect is worse if you apply pressure. So slow your roll and reach for a cleaning tool with a softer surface instead (which we’ll suggest in a bit).
Now that we got the wrong solutions out the way, let’s look at the worthwhile ones. More importantly, we’ll consider how to use some of these tools. It’s vital that you know how to clean your specs properly because the last time we checked, eyeglasses aren’t cheap to replace! Knowing how to keep them clean and secure is the best way to prolong their lifespan.
You’ve probably realized a theme here about cleaning tools that cause scratches, and that’s the case with many cloths. Microfiber cloths, however, are made with super smooth surfaces that trap dirt without leaving any debris or scratching the lens at all. For example, our antimicrobial treated microfiber cloths are 50-100 times thinner than human hair, strong enough to pick up plenty of dirt yet delicate enough to leave no scratches.
Chemical cleaners are tricky to recommend because some are surprisingly beneficial while others are surprisingly detrimental. For example, good old dish soap and water can work as an effective cleaner, but the caveat is that the soap shouldn’t contain any ingredients that would harm the lens - finding one can be tricky.
Your best bet is to use a cleaner that’s formulated and approved for the cleaning of glass lens. These solutions may have been added to your prescription or probably go on sale at optical eyewear stores. If not, you can look for a certified eyeglass cleaner. For example, our Screen Shine cleaner (in combination with Screen Shine wipes) can keep eyeglass lenses clean without dumping acids that ruin glass coatings.
Once armed with your microfiber cloth and lens-friendly cleaner, you can use the following process to clean your eyeglasses.
There are dozens if not hundreds of ways to clean eyeglasses but not all of them are made equal. Some of them may do more harm than good, perhaps damaging the lens and ironically, making sight through your lenses less clear.
The flipside of using the wrong tools to clean your glasses is that you might reduce their lifespan and have to replace them early. So save yourself the hassle and the money by cleaning your specs the right way. Your eyes and wallet will definitely benefit if you do.