Rancho Santa Fe Optometry


8 Steps to Clean Glasses

Maintaining clean glasses can sometimes be more frustrating than you’d think. There’s nothing worse than putting on your glasses with a huge finger print smack in the center. And with the addition of anti-glare or anti-scratch treatments, that can sometimes make it harder – although without those treatments, our vision wouldn’t be quite as good – blog post to come on this later.

So for now, I wanted to share the 8 step glasses cleaning process that will work all the time, every time:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly. If you think your glasses are dirty… you should see your hands. Before cleaning your eyeglasses, make sure your hands are free from dirt, grime, lotion and anything else that could be transferred to your lenses. Use lotion-free soap or dishwashing liquid and a clean, lint-free towel to clean your hands.

  2. Rinse your glasses under a gentle stream of lukewarm tap water. This will remove dust and other debris, which can help avoid scratching your lenses when you are cleaning them. Avoid hot water, which can damage some lens treatments.

  3. Apply a small drop of lotion-free dishwashing liquid to each lens. Most dishwashing liquids are very concentrated, so use only a tiny amount. Or apply a drop or two to your fingertip instead. Use only brands that do not include lotions or hand moisturizers (Dawn original formula, for example).

  4. Gently rub both sides of the lenses and all parts of the frame for a few seconds. Make sure you clean every part, including the nose pads and the ends of the temples that rest behind your ears. And be sure to clean the area where the edge of the lenses meet the frame, where dust, debris and skin oils can accumulate.

  5. Rinse both sides of the lenses and the frame thoroughly. Super important! Failing to remove all traces of soap will cause the lenses to be smeared when you dry them.

  6. Gently shake the glasses to eliminate most of the water from the lenses. Inspect the lenses carefully to make sure they are clean.

  7. Carefully dry the lenses and frame with a clean, lint-free towel. Use a dish towel that has not been laundered with a fabric softener or dryer sheet (these substances can smear the lenses). A cotton towel that you use to clean fine glassware is a good choice. Make sure the towel is perfectly clean. Dirt or debris trapped in the fibers of a towel can scratch your lenses; and cooking oil, skin oil or lotion in the towel will smear them.

  8. Inspect the lenses again. If any streaks or smudges remain, remove them with a clean microfiber cloth — these lint-free cloths are available at our office.

Now that we’ve covered the how-to portion, we need to take a minute to discuss what NOT to use to clean your glasses. 

DO NOT use your shirttail or other cloth to clean your glasses, especially when the lenses are dry. This can scratch your lenses.

DO NOT use saliva to wet your lenses. (Ugh, do I even have to explain why?)

DO NOT use household glass or surface cleaners to clean your eyeglasses. These products have ingredients that can damage eyeglass lenses and treatments, such as anti-reflective or anti-scratch treatment.

DO NOT use paper towels, napkins, tissues or toilet paper to clean your lenses. The wood fibers in these products can scratch your lenses.

Lastly, as much as we all love a good DIY project… DO NOT try to “buff away” a scratch in your lenses. This only makes the situation worse… if you have scratched or damaged lenses, come in and talk to any of our opticians and we’ll figure out the best way to get you clear, comfortable vision again!

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