There is nothing worse than a dirty spot on your glasses - well except perhaps many dirty spots or smudges. When that happens, most of us are tempted to grab the corner of our shirt and wipe it off, but resist the temptation - this is actually not a good idea.
As our eye doctor can explain during your next eye exam, there is a right way and a wrong way to clean your glasses. Cleaning your glasses properly will not only remove irritating dirt and smudges, but will also prevent your lenses from getting scratched allowing you to see your best.
You want to make sure that the materials you use to clean your lenses are clean and soft. The reason your shirt corner is not the best option is because it likely contains dust or particles that can scratch your lens. However, you don’t need fancy, lens cleaners either. In truth the best cleaner for your glasses may be more simple than you expect -
Gentle Dish Soap
That’s right, a gentle dish soap, warm water and a clean, dry soft cotton towel are the best tools you can have for cleaning your lenses.
Simply rinse your glasses in warm water and apply a small drop of soap (make sure to use a brand of soap that is lotion and moisturizer free). Rub the soap into the lens with your fingers and rinse thoroughly until all of the soap has been removed. Gently shake the glasses to remove excess water and then dry with a clean, dry, lint-free towel.
You may be wondering about the microfiber lens cloths and spray cleaner you get from your optician. These lens cleaning packs are great for when you are on the go and don’t have access to a sink and dish soap. The microfiber cloths are also great for polishing dry lenses after any dust or particles are blown away- just make sure they are cleaned regularly. For a real, thorough clean however, we advise that you use the technique above.
Don’t use vinegar, glass or window cleaner, bleach, ammonia or spit/saliva for cleaning your lenses. The chemicals could strip off the coatings on your lenses, and saliva - well, it just doesn’t work. In particular, many lenses these days have anti-glare treatments that are especially prone to damage if not cleaned properly and are particularly vulnerable to window cleaners and alcohol.
Remember once your glasses are scratched, there is little to do to repair them. If you see something on your lens try to blow or brush it away carefully before you use a cloth to clean your lenses.
Keeping Your Lenses Clean
To avoid dirt and smudges, always take your glasses off with two hands using the arms of the frame and avoid touching the lenses. Further, the best way to preserve your glasses and keep them clean is to keep them in a case when they are not in use. It’s worthwhile to get an extra case or two to have on hand in the car or in your purse for times that you need to take your glasses off. If you notice swirled or circular scratches on your lenses, those are almost always from improper cleaning so make sure to take the time to clean them properly the next time.