Cleaning your eyeglasses daily is the best way to keep them looking great and prevent lens scratches and other eyewear damage.
But there's a right way — and plenty of wrong ways — when it comes to how to clean glasses.
Steps for cleaning your glasses
Follow these tips to clean your eyeglass lenses and frames without risk of scratching the lenses or causing other damage. These cleaning tips will help you keep your sunglasses, safety glasses and sports eyewear in great shape, too.
1. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly.
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 eyeglass lens coatings.
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.
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. Also, clean the area where the edge of the lenses meet the frame — dust, debris and skin oils frequently accumulate here.
5. Rinse both sides of the lenses and the frame thoroughly.
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 most optical shops or photography stores.
For touch-up cleaning of your glasses when you don't have the above supplies available, try individually packaged, pre-moistened disposable lens cleaning wipes. These are formulated specifically for use on eyeglass lenses.
Which brings us to a very important topic — what NOT to use to clean your glasses. [See below.]
CLEANING GLASSES - DON'TS
DON'T use your shirttail or other cloth to clean your glasses, especially when the lenses are dry. This can scratch your lenses.
DON'T use saliva to wet your lenses.
DON'T use household glass or surface cleaners to clean your eyeglasses. These products have ingredients that can damage eyeglass lenses and coatings, such as anti-reflective coating.
DON'T use paper towels, napkins, tissues or toilet paper to clean your lenses. These can scratch or smear your lenses or leave them full of lint.
DON'T try to "buff away" a scratch in your lenses. This only makes the situation worse.
If tap water isn't available to rinse your lenses before cleaning them, use plenty of the spray eyeglass cleaner to flush away dust and other debris before wiping the lenses dry.
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