Man cleaning glasses with cloth

The Right Way to Clean Your Glasses

It’s important to clean your eyeglasses the right way, to prevent scratches and other damage and to keep them looking great. This is even more important now, as we battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because the coronavirus can survive on certain surfaces for several days, you may be more vulnerable to exposure when handling your glasses and touching your face. And bacteria on your nose pads and frames can cause staph infections.

Always practice these important tips for cleaning both your lenses and frames.

  1. First, wash your hands with lotion-free soap (or liquid soap) and dry them with a lint-free towel.
  2. Rinse your glasses under a gentle stream of lukewarm water. Avoid hot water, which can damage the lens coating.
  3. Apply a small drop of lotion-free dishwashing liquid to each lens.
  4. Rub both sides of the lenses and all of the frame for a few seconds, including the nose pads and the ends that rest behind your ears. (You can also use a Clorox disinfecting wipe to clean nose pads and earpieces.) A soft toothbrush is useful for cleaning nose pads and hinges.
  5. Rinse thoroughly with water.
  6. Gently shake the glasses to remove the water.
  7. Carefully dry the lenses and frame with a clean, lint-free towel (not laundered with fabric softener or a dryer sheet, which can leave a residue).
  8. Remove any remaining streaks or smudges with a clean, microfiber cloth. You can find these at most optical shops or photography stores. Make sure you clean the cloths frequently with lotion-free dishwashing liquid and water.

For touch-up cleaning when you don’t have the above supplies, try individually packaged, pre-moistened disposable lens cleaning wipes.

It’s equally important to make sure YOU DON’T clean your glasses with the following, which can damage and scratch them:

  • Your clothing
  • Your saliva
  • Household glass or surface cleaners.
  • Paper towels, napkins, tissues or toilet paper

Other suggestions

Spray eyeglass cleaners and cleaning cloths can be used if you don’t have easy access to water. They can be purchased at optical shops and drugstores. If your lenses have anti-reflective coating, make sure the cleaner you choose is approved for anti-reflective lenses.

If your lenses are in good shape but the nose pads or frames are very dirty, consider having them cleaned professionally by your eye care professional or an optical shop. Nose pads can usually be replaced.

What to do about scratches

Scratches can impact your vision as well as the resistance of the lenses. For the best vision and safety, it’s important to buy new lenses if you have significant scratches. Consider buying lenses with a scratch-resistant coating.

And finally, always store your glasses in a clean case and NEVER place them face down. Heat can cause the lenses to warp or peel, so never leave your glasses in a hot place, including your car during the summer months. Remember glasses don’t last forever. If your glasses are badly scratched, or if you haven’t had an eye exam in a year, schedule one now!


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