Eye Health Central

How to Clean Glasses

Glasses Cleaning 101

cleaning eyeglasses

Your glasses not only help your vision but are an extension of you, your style, and your personality, and most of the time they are the first thing people notice about you. So keeping them clean is really key.

However, cleaning glasses is unfortunately not as straightforward as you would think. Certain techniques can actually damage your glasses, while others won’t give you the clarity you need. Let’s go through some of your most asked questions:

How Do You Clean Cloudy Glasses?

Cloudy glasses can hinder your vision and make it harder for you to focus. If your lenses appear cloudy, it could be due to smudges, dust or dirt. Here's how to get them sparkling clean:

1. Rinse with Warm Water: Always start the cleaning process by rinsing your glasses under warm water. It will wash away any dust or debris that could scratch your lenses during the cleaning process. Make sure the water is not too hot, as extreme temperatures can damage your lens coatings.

2. Apply a Small Amount of Soap: When we say small we really mean it, take a tiny amount of lotion-free dish soap to your fingers and gently rub it on both sides of the lenses and all parts of the frame.

3. Rinse and Dry: Rinse your glasses thoroughly under water. Then, shake off the excess water very gently and dry them using a clean, lint-free cloth or a microfiber cloth designed specifically for glasses. Avoid using towels, tissue, or napkins as they can scratch your lenses.

How to Clean Glasses Frames?

Keeping the frames of your glasses clean is as important as cleaning your lenses. Over time, your sweat, oils, and/or makeup can build up and it could corrode your frames or irritate your skin.

The best way to clean them is as described above: rinse under warm water, rub a tiny amount of lotion–free soap, and dry them with a lint-free or microfiber cloth. You can even use a very soft toothbrush to scrub gently around the nose pads and along the arms as this is where grime tends to accumulate.

What Can Damage My Glasses?

Certain cleaning practices can unintentionally damage your glasses. Here's what to avoid:

1. Avoid Rough Materials: Never dry your glasses with any rough materials like paper towels, tissues or clothes as these can scratch your lenses.

2. Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Stay away from using household glass cleaners, bleach or vinegar to clean your glasses as these can strip away the coating on your lenses.

3. Avoid Heat: Extreme heat can warp your glasses and damage lens coatings. Don’t leave your glasses in an extremely hot car or use boiling or hot water to clean them.

Why Are My Glasses Always Foggy?

Your glasses can easily fog up when warm air hits the cool surface of the lenses, like when you sip hot coffee, come indoors from the cold, or when using a mask. You can prevent this from happening by:

1. Using Anti-Fog Wipes or Spray: These products leave a very thin film on your lenses that can help prevent condensation from forming.

2. Adjusting Your Glasses: If your glasses sit too close to your face, they're more likely to fog up. Adjusting them to sit a bit further from your face can help.

3. Wear a Mask Properly: When you wear a mask, ensure it fits snugly over your nose, and your glasses rest over the mask to reduce fogging.

How to Look After My Glasses?

Proper maintenance will extend the life of your glasses. Here's how: 

1. Use a Case: Always store your glasses in a hard-shell case when you’re not using them to protect them from scratches or impact damage.

2. Regular Cleaning: Clean your glasses regularly to prevent any build-up of dirt and oils that can damage your lens coatings and frames.

3. Handle with Care: Try and use both hands to take off your glasses. Using one hand over time could actually distort their shape and put pressure on the arm hinges. 

4. Annual Check-Ups: Visit your optician at least once a year for professional cleaning and any adjustments you may need and most importantly so that you can keep on top of your prescription to make sure it's still correct. 

In summary, cleaning and maintaining your glasses is quite easy when you know exactly what to do and you can extend the lifespan of your glasses. On the plus side, it will also make sure you always have clear vision! Remember, cleaning your glasses regularly will help you in the long run. 

Author: John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
Created: 7 Sep 2023, Last modified: 20 May 2024