How to Clean Your Eyeglasses
Sunglasses, prescription eyeglasses, reading glasses, safety goggles, it doesn’t matter. If you strut around in any type of eye wear on a regular basis, then they are going to get dirty. That is the easy part. The hard part is getting them adequately clean without scratching the surface, risking some sort of other damage, or taking a bunch of time. Fingerprints, greasy smudges, sticky liquids, food particles, dust, dirt, you name it, and a little piece of it has probably been on your lenses at one point or another. Now it is easy enough to reach for a tissue, or pull up a t-shirt after taking a deep breath, but if you want to get your glasses really clean and prevent damage at the same time, you may want to try something different.
Most regular eyeglass wearers tend to spend a decent chunk of change procuring said eye wear. For this reason, we are all pretty darn protective, and interested in maintaining them properly. You would be surprised at which common methods can actually lead to damage, as well as how quick, easy and safe it can be if you have the right tools to work with, along with a fool-proof method. It should not be nerve wracking or time consuming to clean your eyeglasses, but many of us don’t know what is the best way, or which type of cleaning supply to employ.
With expensive prescription glasses and designer sunglasses you should be cautious with what you use to clean them. Special coatings and even the lenses themselves can be damaged by using the wrong thing a single time. This is why you want to make sure that you are using a safe and effective method, along with the correct supplies before you start to clean. In order to get those spectacles sparkling, we have developed two methods that really work. They will save you time, reduce costs, and most importantly, get your lenses cleaner than ever. The first method will be your everyday maintenance style cleaning, and the other will be your hardcore, I haven’t cleaned these things in a month and they are super dirty and gross style cleaning. Most of us will only ever need the first, quick and easy method, but for really tough build-up, you may find yourself resorting to something a bit more powerful.
The main tool you are going to need is a good microfiber cloth. We sell one that is specifically designed for lenses, but some people prefer a larger size, so we also carry similar cloths in an 8″x8″ size, a 12″ x 12″ size and a 16″ x 16″ size. The lens cloth is the smallest, thus more convenient for bringing along with you, and is only 5″ x 8″. The finish on these cloths is different from what most people are used to, and that allows them to clean better with less effort. Even folks that are already using some sort of microfiber, will find these to be softer, thicker and more useful than what they have now. The deluxe style of cloth that we carry is more able to polish surfaces as you clean, and will absorb oils more readily instead of pushing them around to cause smearing. Because they are a thicker material that is super soft, they are able to deep clean glass surfaces without any risk of scratching. They will remove the tiniest dirt and dust particles, but will also remove greasy build-up, sticky residues and all kinds of other grime. Each one is totally reusable, and can be laundered hundreds of times. Most people will get many uses before washing becomes necessary, so a single cloth can easily last for years with no additional costs necessary. The cloth alone is all that you will need for the regular style cleaning, but if you are leaning towards the hard core method, you will also want some dish soap, or a good natural grease cutting cleaner like Quick n Brite.
To dampen or not to dampen? That is the question. For most of us, dirty glasses means a light coating of mostly just fingerprints and other light dust and smudges. This type of dirtiness is super easy to clean using just a DRY lens cloth. If the dirt was a little more stubborn, or if there was more of it, then you will want to get the cloth DAMP. A dry lens cloth will do the job in most cases, for most people, but if it is not quite getting everything off, simply get your cloth damp under the tap, and it will increase the cleaning power. You could also lightly wet the lenses directly using a spray bottle, or by sticking them under the faucet. This will add moisture, but allow you to keep the cloth dry. With a damp cloth or lens, you will be able to power through any stuck on goo or greasy smudges with ease and there will never be any additional chemical sprays, special steps, or fancy tools necessary. The whole job should only take a couple minutes at the most.
Most people will use this method most often, Due to superior quality materials a dry one will wipe away just about anything. To do the cleaning, simply take your lens cloth, and wipe the dirt away. You will always want to make sure the cloth is clean, and free of debris because this could cause scratching. It is best to start at one side of your glasses, and then move to the other, in order to prevent new smudges and dirt from being deposited where you just cleaned. The cloth can be used on any surface of your eyeglasses including the frames. You can use them on glass lenses, plastic lenses, polarized or tinted ones and more. No matter what the surface, these great cloths will thoroughly clean it without any risk of damage. They actually polish as you clean too. This means that you will not only have super clean lenses that make it easier to see, but your sunglasses will also be shiny and new looking too. Despite being dry, these cloths are non-linting so old dirt will not be replaced by annoying little pieces of fuzz.
If you feel the need to get the cloth wet because you are faced with a pretty tough job, the one thing to keep in mind, is to not use too much. A WET cloth will just cause mess and frustration, but a DAMP one will cause smiles and jubilation. You do not need it to be soaking wet, just slightly damp. If it is too wet you will get streaking, and the lenses will not come out as clean as what is possible. To dampen, simply run the cloth under the tap to get it soaked, then wring out until it no longer drips. This is plenty of moisture to get the benefits you are after, but not so much that it will lead to trouble. As you clean with a damp cloth, the lens should dry in seconds after you are done. If there is residual moisture left, then the cloth is too wet.
Using the lens cloth damp like this enables you to remove the most stubborn dirt in a quick and easy fashion. The cloth will glide across your eyeglasses to pick up and remove every last piece of dirt. All of the debris gets locked into the fibers so it can be washed away later. Your glasses will be super clean, and it only takes a few seconds in most cases. You will never leave behind annoying lint, or risk scratching like with pulp based paper products. For tough jobs and loads of dirt, a damp lens cloth is the way to go. Since it is also polishing the surface as you wipe away dirt, your eyeglass lenses will be shiny as well as clean, and you will benefit from increased clarity. The need for a damp cloth will not be an every time thing. This additional cleaning power will only be needed in rare cases. For general cleaning or everyday maintenance, a dry lens cleaning cloth will be all that you need.
If you have been purchasing fancy sprays, advanced tools or expensive chemical treated cloths, or if you have been sticking your glasses under the faucet every time you clean them, you need to try a different way. The methods outlined here are so easy, and the tools are so affordable you will wonder why you didn’t find them sooner. It really is just as easy as wiping away the dirt using the right tool.
HARD CORE METHOD
This method will be similar to the regular one, but just taken a bit further. Most of us will never need to get this involved in cleaning our glasses, but some of us will need to, and others won’t be able to help it. It is also probably a good idea to do a thorough cleaning like this on a once per year, or every other month basis if you plan to hang on to your shades for a while. In just about every single normal case, a dry or damp cloth will be more than sufficient to clean any sunglasses, prescription glasses or anything similar. With just the cloth alone, and possibly water, you will get a 100% reduction in dirt and a noticeable difference in shininess as well as ability to see clearly. It is only for the super tough jobs that you might want to consider something a bit more than the cloth. For these cases, we recommend the addition of Quick n Brite, although you could also use dish soap if you are in a pinch.
If you are wiping, and still find residual dirt or if there is a greasy or sticky film left over, then resort to using this method. It is really just a modification on the quick and easy method, but it eliminates any possibility of dirt surviving. It is also ideal for the OCD folks out there because it is the perfect way to ensure that every spec of dirt gets removed from your glasses.
- Turn on the tap and give them a good rinse under the water.
- Once wet, use a light or heavy solution of Quick n Brite depending upon the severity. You could also use dish soap here, but Quick n Brite is the better choice if you have it. Simply spray it on and use your fingers to rub it around on both sides of both lenses. You can also use this cleaner directly on the frames to clean them too.
- Once that is done, give your eyeglasses another rinse to remove all dirt and any cleaner that was on there. Since Quick n Brite is a great grease cutter and sticky residue remover, anything that was on your lenses should have been washed down the drain.
- To dry the lenses and complete the cleaning process, take your lens cleaning cloth, or a larger microfiber cloth to dry and polish to a streak-free and shiny finish. The microfiber cloth will leave no fluffy fuzz like cotton cloths do, and is not risky to the lens or any finish like tissue and paper towels can be.
Using this method will ensure that any lens on any pair of glasses will get thoroughly cleaned without any risk of damage. You will be able to totally remove any signs of dirt, while improving clarity and leaving the surface polished and looking great. Both methods of cleaning offer superior results, and they will save you time and money. A high quality microfiber cloth is the first step to ensuring amazing results and a quick and easy cleaning process. Don’t be fooled by cheaper versions that just don’t work as well. Our cloths are highly affordable, but also the highest quality available. They ship for free at any quantity, so picking up a few is a low cost, low risk venture. You are guaranteed to have a cloth that makes it easy to clean your eyeglasses.
The glasses in the picture above were cleaned using just a dry cloth. They were pretty darn smudged and covered with grime when we started, but a simple once over with a dry cloth was all that it took to get the lenses clean, clear and shiny again. You can see the improved clarity in the photo, and notice how the haze in the lenses above is gone once they are clean in the lower one. On sunglasses like these, the frames get smudges and fingerprints on them too, and thanks to the black color, they show up very well. If you have similar ones you can use the cloth to wipe down the entire frame to remove those greasy prints and smudges and make your glasses look good again.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR
- Always use a high qualitymicrofiber cloth to wipe your lenses. Cotton ones will not clean as well and will leave behind lint. Paper towels and tissue, will give inferior cleaning results, leave lint and could also possibly scratch the glass or plastic surface because they are made from wood. Lower quality microfiber will be safe to use, and may work with enough effort, but they often only smear the dirt around, and some will even lint.
- Never use hand soap or any washing liquid that may contain ammonia. Eyeglasses with a special coating on the lenses could be harmed by this type of cleanser. They are also commonly greasy so they take more work to wipe away, plus the chemicals that may be contained in them can attack and ruin the coating. Any anti-glare or UV protection coating will wear quicker if this type of soap is used.
- Be careful of debris on dry lenses or less than clean cloths. Little pieces of left over particles can scratch if you wipe them around or try to clean with a dirty cloth.
- Do not dry your glasses with a facial tissue, toilet paper, napkin or paper towel. Once again these items seem like a good idea and are always right there, but are made from rough wood pulp, so scratching is possible and lint is guaranteed.
- Pay attention to water temperatures when washing plastic lenses. While the heat can be beneficial to remove the grime, it can also lead to warping in some cases.
- Eye glass parts are tiny, so be careful not to lose pieces as you clean. It is always a good idea to plug the sink or work in a risk-free area when cleaning your eyeglasses. It can be possible for the rubbing action of the cloth to loosen a screw enough that it causes it to fall out and without clean and usable glasses, it will be pretty hard to find it.
TIPS FOR THE FUTURE
- Get a case for your glasses. This is the best way to keep them safe when not in use. A hard, sturdy case will prevent accidental damage and also make it so that dirt can’t settle on the lenses when you are not wearing them.
- Use only a high quality lens cloth or other microfiber cloth to do the cleaning. This is not an item that you want to try and save a few pennies on. A good cloth will last longer and make the job easier. You will get better results and spend less time frustrated with dirty lenses if you choose a quality cloth the first time around.
- Be careful where you set your spectacles. Do not leave them lying where children can reach, or on a heavily trafficked counter or table. If left in these places, you are just asking for them to get dirty or damaged.
- Clean your eyeglasses at night, before bed. This is a great time to do the cleaning because you can leave them untouched and start the next day with a fresh and clean set of glasses.