Let’s talk about cleaning your eyeglasses. Now, it’s probably fair to say that on an average day you find yourself wiping your lenses with everything from your T-shirt to a tea towel. And you probably know this isn’t the best way to clean glasses. But it’s convenient, right?

The problem (though you may not notice at first) is that all of these random little cleanings actually contribute to long-term eyewear damage.

So, let’s look at all the wrong ways to clean glasses – and see if you can spot yourself, even a little.

How to Clean Glasses: The Wrong Way

1. Don’t use your shirttail or other items of clothing to clean glasses, especially when the lenses are dry. The fabric will scratch your lenses.

2. Don’t use a household glass cleaner, vinegar, alcohol, or other cleaning products to clean your glasses. The harsh ingredients in these products can scratch your lenses and damage any protective coatings.

3. Don’t use kitchen paper towels or toilet paper to clean your lenses. Not only will they scratch your lenses, you’ll also end up with paper lint all over them.

4. Don’t use saliva to clean glasses. It doesn’t work, and it’s unhygienic.

Okay, now you know what not to do. So, let’s look at how to effectively and gently clean glasses so that the lenses are protected.

How to Clean Glasses: The Right Way

Here’s how to clean glasses in a way that will help protect their longevity and help you see more clearly.

1. Soap and rinse your own hands to remove any dirt and oils.
2. Rinse your glasses under warm running water to remove any scratchy dust and debris.
3. Add a drop of basic (non-lotion) dishwashing detergent to your fingertips – remember that it’s very concentrated – and lather onto both sides of the lenses.
4. Continue around the frames and the nose area and especially the crevices where each lens meets the frame.
Clean Glasses | Sight Origins5. Rinse your glasses under warm water, making sure to remove all traces of soap, which can make your glasses streaky.
6. Dry with a clean, soft, lint-free towel. A soft cotton towel that you would use on fine glassware is a great option.
7. Microfiber cloths are also wonderful for a final polish. But make sure you wash these cloths regularly. They can be hand-washed using the same dishwashing liquid and tap water combination.

What About Eyeglass Cleaner?

Eyeglass cleaning sprays, or pre-moistened disposable lens wipes, are readily available at drug stores. They’re a great choice when traveling, when you may not have dish soap and tap water available. But soap and water are still your best choices for effectively cleaning glasses.

When you do use these products, try to rinse your glasses under a tap first. If this isn’t possible, use plenty of eyeglass cleaner to help flush away dust and debris that may scratch your lenses.

And if you wear glasses with an anti-reflective coating, make sure the eyeglass cleaner can be used on anti-reflective lenses. Otherwise, you risk stripping off this protective coating.

How to Remove Scratches From Glasses

Now, there is a widely held belief that you can buff lens scratches out of glasses, given the right cleaning materials. Unfortunately, this is not true. Lens scratches are etched into the lens, and they can’t be reversed.

So, what can you do if you find your lenses are scratched?

Well, there are some wax-based products out there that may make lens scratches less obvious, but they cannot remove the scratches.

As it turns out, scratches can reflect light in distorted ways, and they can also affect the strength of your glasses. So don’t think that scratches are just inconvenient. If your lens scratches are significant, you should definitely look into replacing your lenses as soon as possible.1

The Best Defense Against Eyewear Damage

Your best defense against eyewear scratches and damage is simple: use an eyeglasses case. A good, sturdy case helps keep your glasses protected from dust, sticky fingers, excessive bacteria, dirt, and food. It also helps protect the delicate frame of your glasses, keeping it from getting bent out of shape.

An eyeglasses case can be purchased inexpensively from a drugstore or your optometrist, and eyeglasses should come in a case at the time of purchase.

Clean Glasses | Sight Origins

Clean Glasses, Happy Face

Clean glasses don’t just equate to good vision and the prevention of eyewear damage. The bacteria and debris that can build up on glasses are also bad for your skin, and it can potentially cause breakouts. When it comes to how to clean glasses, you should make the process a priority.

So, how often should you be cleaning glasses? Well, every day is the best way to ensure their health and longevity. The easiest way to do this is to link it to something else you do every day. Perhaps you could clean your glasses after cleaning your teeth each night. Whatever you choose, make it a habit, and then it’ll stick.

Learn More:
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Ways That UV Rays Can Harm Your Eyes
These Are the Telltale Signs You Need Glasses