Despite our best intentions and hygienic habits, glasses always end up dirty, blurry, smudged, and scuffed. Dust and dirt in the atmosphere combined with natural oils in skin and hair inevitably wind up cloudying your lenses and griming up the frames. Cosmetics, skincare products, and sunscreen add to the grime buildup, too.
Luckily, cleaning your dirty glasses is pretty simple and easy. But watch out—it can also be easy to damage glasses with misguided cleaning techniques!
Keep these things in mind to keep your glasses clean and extend their life.
How Do You Clean Blurry Glasses?
Blurry glasses are almost always the result of skin oil and dirt build up, which is totally normal.
The tried-and-true method for cleaning glasses starts with clean hands.
Wash your hands with soap and water to remove grime and oil.
Run your glasses under the lukewarm water.
Put a tiny drop of dish soap on each lens and lather with your clean fingers. (The American Optometric Association recommends Dawn blue dish soap)
Wash the nose pads, which collect lots of oil from your skin.
Thoroughly rinse off all the soap with more lukewarm water.
Wipe with a clean microfiber cloth to dry.
To clean your glasses on the go, use individually wrapped lens cleaners whenever possible
What Can and Can’t I Use to Clean My Glasses?
Some of the most common day-to-day cleaning methods for eyeglasses actually damage lenses over time. Most newer glasses have anti-glare or UV light-blocking lenses that can be damaged by certain chemicals, so it’s important to keep these things in mind:
It’s OK to use these things to clean your glasses:
Over-the-counter cleaning solution (as long as it’s marked “safe for coated lenses”)
Avoid cleaning your glasses with these:
Windex or glass cleaner, which can remove the anti-glare coating
Toilet paper and paper towels, which have paper fibers that can scratch lenses and leave lint
Saliva, which is ineffective and unhygienic
Hand sanitizer, which can damage lens films
Toothpaste, which has tiny abrasive particles that scuff lenses
Acetone or rubbing/isopropyl alcohol, which can damage lens films
Clothing, which is typically too dirty from use, and not soft enough
Can You Use Alcohol to Clean Glasses?
Avoid cleaning your glasses with rubbing alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, or acetone products. While these products do a good job of sanitizing and removing the surface layer of oils and grime, they’re actually a little too powerful.
The harsher the alcohol, the more damaging it can be to protective coatings on your lenses. Some frames can also be damaged by these harsh chemicals.
How Do You Dry Glasses Without Smudging?
Working with clean hands is one of the best ways to keep your glasses clean and smudge-free. After all, the most common cause of smudges on eyeglass lenses is skin oil from unclean hands and fingers.
Everyday dirt, grime, and oil that builds up on your skin inevitably ends up on your hands, and glasses can be like a magnet for this blur-inducing buildup. Every time you adjust your frames or take them on and off, you’re adding to the smudge factor!
Similarly, make sure the cloth (ideally microfiber) that you dry your lenses with is clean and dry. Moisture from an unclean cloth will only smear smudges around. Be sure to machine wash your eyeglass cleaning cloth at least once a week to ensure a smudge-free shine every time.
How Do I Keep My Glasses Clean All Day?
Good glasses-cleaning habits should give them more longevity and comfort. After all, looking through smudged glasses all day can be a strain on the eyes!
Rinse glasses daily with lukewarm water to keep them free of loose debris and dirt. And don’t forget to rinse the frames! Dirty frames almost always lead to dirty lenses.
Stick with recommended cleaning products like microfiber cloths and cleaning solutions that are clearly marked as safe for coated lenses. Avoid the temptation to clean your lenses with that napkin in the car, or spit-shining them with saliva and the corner of your shirt.
Make a habit of storing your glasses in their case overnight. Avoid the temptation of putting your glasses on top of your head when you’re not using them, as the dirt and oils in your hair will quickly build up on the lenses.
Finally, resist the urge to try and buff out scratches. This will only make them worse. Unfortunately, lens scratches are permanent and there’s no way to fix them. No—not even toothpaste! Modern glasses have anti-scratch coatings that hide or minimize scratches, but no lens is immune to a little damage.
Trying to “fix” a scratch will only make it worse!
Is It Just Time for a New Pair of Glasses?
Even the best glasses have a shelf life and need to be replaced after so many years! If you’re ready for a refresh or you need to get your eyes checked, schedule an appointment online today or give us a call at 402.933.6600!