How to Clean Your Glasses
You wake up in the morning, swing your feet over the bed, and breathe in deep. It’s going to be a great day. Then, you put on your glasses. The once-great feeling is replaced with frustration at the smudges, the dust, the streaks, and the difficulty seeing through your once clean glasses.
Trying to look through dirty glasses is like trying to look through plastic wrap. You can see, but it’s really filmy. Plus, when you pay for glasses to help your vision, reduce blue light, or filter out the sun’s rays, it can feel like a losing battle when you don’t know how to clean them properly.
This tool will give you everything you need to know about cleaning glasses. From reading glasses, blue light glasses, sunglasses, and tips for everything in between, you’ll be on your way to clear vision and spotless glasses in no time.
How To Clean Reading Glasses
Smudgy reading glasses can take reading a book or going over an email and turn it into an unnecessary challenge. Here are the easiest ways to clean your reading glasses to get rid of smudges, dust, streaks, and more. First, wash your hands so that you don’t end up transferring bacteria and oils from your fingers onto your glasses. Next, remove any particles, debris, or dust that may scratch the lenses when you wash them. You can remove debris by running the lenses under some water before applying soap.
Using warm or room temperature water and a small amount of dish soap, gently clean your glasses and rinse them off. When cleaning your reading glasses, it’s important to remember to use lotion-free dish soap and only use mild temperature water instead of using water that’s too hot or too cold.
A microfiber cloth and a glasses spray are also appropriate for cleaning reading glasses. Always use a new or clean microfiber cloth, as a dirty one will only transfer more bacteria to your glasses and could potentially have debris that may scratch your lens. Spray once on each lens and gently wipe with your cloth.
How To Clean Blue Light Glasses
If you’re a hard-core gamer or spend your days in front of a screen, it’s essential to keep your blue light glasses clean and looking professional. Luckily, there are a few easy ways to clean blue light glasses. The first method involves warm water and dish soap. Wash your hands before you begin to avoid getting bacteria, oil, or dirt from your hands onto your lenses or frames. Next, do the same with your glasses. Rinse them underneath lukewarm or warm water to get rid of any debris that may scratch the lenses when you start cleaning.
Once all this is done, grab a gentle, lotion-free dish soap and place a small amount on either lens. Using your fingers, rub the soap on the frames. Then, massage dish soap on the lenses as well. Be sure to cover the back to the front of the lenses so you can clean the entire surface of your glasses. Continue for about a minute and rinse off your glasses with warm water.
When cleaning your blue light glasses, you can also use a lens cleaner and a microfiber cloth. It’s important not to use an old cloth or a dirty one, especially one with debris on it that could potentially scratch your lenses. Use a clean cloth and spray once on either lens. Then, rub in the spray until clean. To clean the frames, it’s best to use dish soap and lukewarm water.
How To Clean Sunglasses
Cleaning your sunglasses is important. They sit in your purse, in your car, or in your pocket all day and then go on your face. Despite your best efforts to keep your sunglasses clean, bacteria are still everywhere. Cleaning your sunglasses regularly will only help remove smudges, dust, and debris but will also keep what goes on your face germ-free.
A Simple Process
To clean your glasses, there are two effective ways. The first, like the previous two, can be done by using dish soap and warm water. Be sure to use water that is lukewarm or warm rather than extremely hot or cold. It’s also important to use dish soap that is free of lotion. Stick with one that’s simple, gentle, and free of texture or exfoliating beads.
Before you get started scrubbing soap onto your glasses, it’s important to make sure you have a clean surface and clean hands. Wash your hands using gentle soap and lukewarm water. Then, rinse your lenses underneath the water to get rid of any extra bacteria, dust, or debris that could potentially scratch your glasses when you massage the soap in. Once you do this, you’re ready to scrub.
Pour a small amount of your dish soap on each lens and gently massage the soap into the lens with your fingers. After you do this for about a minute, you can rinse off your glasses lenses and repeat with the frames. Simply place a small amount of dish soap in your hands or on the frames directly and clean them just like you cleaned the lenses.
If you prefer using a microfiber cloth and a lens spray, you can do this as well. It’s essential here to only use a microfiber cloth that’s new or clean. If you use a dirty cloth, it may have bacteria on it that you’ll simply transfer to your lenses, or it could have debris on it that may scratch the lenses. Repeat the same process of cleaning your hands and getting rid of lens debris before you begin. Then, spray a small amount of lens cleaner on either lens and move in circular motions with your microfiber cloth until you reach your desired cleanliness. We recommend still washing your sunglasses frames with lotion-free dish soap and lukewarm water for the best results.
Once you’re done, go for a drive and enjoy your clean sunglasses lenses!
Other Tips for Cleaning Glasses
Cleaning glasses is more straightforward than most people think. However, there are some general guidelines to follow. Here are some of the dos and don’ts for cleaning any kind of glasses.
1. Always Wash Your Hands
If you’re not washing your hands before cleaning your glasses, you’re transferring bacteria from your hands to the lenses, and you’re back at square one.
2. Don't Share Your Glasses
We know your mother always encouraged you to share, and sharing is a great practice. But when it comes to sharing glasses, it’s not always the best idea. Not only does bacteria from your face get on the face of the person you’re sharing with, but it can also transfer oils, dirt and cause unwanted breakouts on your skin. When in doubt, don’t share your glasses.
3. Avoid Using Cloths With a Rough Surface to Clean Your Glasses
These may include paper towels, wash cloths, the edge of your favorite t-shirt, or a napkin. While it may seem like a good idea to begin with, using a rough surface can scratch your lenses. Scratches in your lenses are frustrating to look through and can also trap bacteria inside more easily. When this happens, prepare to repeat the entire process.
4. Clean Your Glasses Regularly
Lots of bacteria can accumulate on glasses. We put them on our faces, drop them on the counter, and throw them in backpacks or purses without a second thought. With all this exposure, it’s essential to keep up with cleaning them. Luckily, it only takes a minute!
5. Never Use Saliva To Clean Your Glasses
While this may seem like an easy way to buff your lenses, saliva is full of bacteria that isn’t meant to go near your eyes. Plus, when you rub saliva off, you’re likely using a t-shirt, towel, or rough surface to do so. It’s best to avoid this method.
6. Keep Your Glasses in the Case
This not only gives your sunglasses, reading glasses, blue light glasses, or prescription eyeglasses a safe space where not many germs can reach, but it also protects them from being squished, scratched, or broken. Keeping your glasses in a case will keep them germ-free and can save them from getting stepped on.
7. Never Use Cleaning Products with Harmful Ingredients
For instance, while using ammonia, bleach, vinegar, or Clorox in your bathroom is a fantastic way to keep it clean, these substances aren’t meant for your glasses. This can damage your glasses and be dangerous to put near your eyes. Instead, stick with gentle dish soap or hand soap.
8. Avoid Keeping Your Glasses in Places Where They Can Get Chemicals on Them
One example would be your bathroom sink or vanity desktop. If your glasses are sitting in an area where they can have perfume, antiperspirant, sunscreen, hairspray, or any other chemical spray, these chemicals can also get on the lens. Once on your lens, these chemicals may break down the substances on your glasses and be dangerous near your eyes. If you like having your glasses with you while you get ready, an easy solution to this is to keep your glasses in a case at all times.
Why Cleaning Your Glasses is Important
The importance of cleaning your glasses is pretty self-explanatory. However, here are some of the top reasons why experts recommend regularly cleaning your eyewear.
Who Wants Bacteria on Their Face?
First and foremost, who wants bacteria on their face? Getting rid of bacteria, dirt, and oils from your face is a priority for just about everyone. Just take a look at the skincare industry. All this hard work can be put at stake when you take oily, dirty glasses and forget to clean them.
Bacteria on your face isn’t just a risk for breakouts, acne, and skin irritation. It can also pose serious health problems. For instance, glasses are objects that are constantly near your eyes. If you wouldn’t stick your hand in your purse and rub your eyes, why would you place your glasses in your purse and put them near your eyes without cleaning them?
Our eyes are also one of the most sensitive places on the body. The risk for infections like pink eye increases when we wear glasses often—especially if those glasses aren’t clean. Studies conducted in 2018 discovered that dangerous groups of bacteria can live on glasses for a long time. Some of these bacteria have even been connected with staph infections.
When you think of cleaning your glasses, you may only think of cleaning the lenses. While this is important for your vision and optical clarity, the frames are what come in direct contact with your nose and face. For this reason, keeping the frames and any nose pads or ear clips clean is vital.
Cleaning Glasses Keeps Your Vision Clear
If you aren’t already convinced to clean your glasses regularly, here’s another reason. The more you clean your glasses, the clearer you’ll be able to see from them! This concept is pretty self-explanatory, but if you buy glasses to help you see better and end up with poorer vision due to smudging and dust, you aren’t getting the most out of your glasses experience.
While you certainly don’t need to over-clean them, it is imperative to clean them regularly enough that you aren’t looking through smudges and dust constantly. The less your eyes have to strain through smudging and dust, the happier your eyes will be!
This is the whole point of buying glasses in the first place. You buy sunglasses to protect your eyes from UVA-UVB rays. You buy blue light glasses to filter potentially harmful blue light* from digital devices. And you buy reading glasses to make the small, blurry line of words readable! So, keeping your glasses clean helps you get the most out of your vision.
When to Know if You Need New Reading Glasses
If your glasses are scratched up, and you have experienced the wear and tear that comes with everyday use, it may be time to replace them. But how do you know when it’s time to say goodbye to your favorite pair and order a new one?
If your reading glasses no longer make words clear and you find yourself holding menus, phones, tablets, and other screens farther away in order to make out the words, it might be time to get a new pair of reading glasses. If this is the case, here are some helpful ways to figure out the new reading glasses strength you need!
At Home Tests
Use this printable diopter chart to test what strength you need for your reading glasses. Print it out and hold it 14 inches away from your face. Without any kind of glasses on, start at the smallest line and try to read it. If you’re unable to read clearly, move down and try to read each line until you can find one you can read. Once you get to a line that is clear, the correlating number is the strength you need.
After we suggest a new strength for you, you can order reading glasses straight from our website or go to the store and try them on. When trying them on, feel free to test out a few different strengths.
For instance, try two strengths lower than the one suggested and two strengths higher. You can then narrow down which ones fit the best. If you’re stuck between two reading strengths where you can see clearly, always choose the lower option!
Another sign that you need new glasses is that they’re scratched. Scratched glasses will make it harder for you to see and provide the perfect environment for bacteria to collect and grow. It may be safe to use them until you can find a new prescription, but if your sunglasses or blue light glasses are scratched, it’s probably time to toss them.
Clean and Bright
Cleaning your glasses is a vital step to caring for your eyewear. Remember to always use an eyewear care kit or lukewarm or warm water and gentle dish soap. The rest is easy! Curious about more ways to take care of your eyes and glasses? We break down everything you need to know about the different kinds of glasses, break down hot colors, and more.
Blue Light Disclaimer:
*Potentially harmful blue light refers to the 415-455 nanometer range of the visible light spectrum. The percentage represents the average amount of potentially harmful blue light filtered at 5 nanometer increments in this range. With the exception of Eye Gear™ Gaming Glasses, covered under U.S. Pat. No. 8,360,574. Other U.S. and foreign patents pending.
Sources:Acne - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic
How to Take Care of Your Eyeglasses | Consumer Reports
A view to a kill? – Ambient bacterial load of frames and lenses of spectacles and evaluation of different cleaning methods | National Library of Medicine
Staph infections - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic