How to Really Clean Your Glasses

Having dirty eyeglasses is maddening. You find yourself trying to look through smudges at your computer screen and in desperation find yourself picking up your shirttail or grabbing a tissue to wipe them clean — only to discover that you’ve made them worse. That smudge in the center of the lens now spreads from one edge of the frame to the other. It might surprise you to know that keeping your glasses smudge-free and scratch-free is both cheap and easy. All you need to do is wash them gently. It’s something you can do every day without harming your eyewear, whether you wear inexpensive readers from the drugstore or designer frames with coated progressive lenses. Here’s your new routine: 

  1. 1. Wash your hands to get rid of anything grimy or germy. 
  2. 2. Rinse your classes in warm water — not too hot, hot too cold. 
  3. 3. Add a drop of plain, gentle dish soap to the lenses. 
  4. 4. Smear the soap on both sides of the lenses and the earpieces.
  5. 5. Rinse off the soap. 
  6. 6. Dry everything off with a lint-free or microfiber cloth.

There are a few things to avoid when cleaning your glasses, including shirttails, paper towels, tissues, and anything else that’s not made specifically for lenses. Those things can scratch the lenses, and scratches are there forever. Also, don’t use glass cleaner. Despite it’s name, it can remove coatings that you’ve paid to have on your lenses. You may be tempted to use something like acetone (nail polish remover) to cut through the smudges, but that’s far too harsh for glasses. It just boils down to good old soap and water to get your glasses squeaky clean.