Cleaning your eyeglasses daily is the best way to keep them looking great and prevent lens scratches and other eyewear damage. But there’s a right way — and plenty of wrong ways — when it comes to how to clean glasses. Follow these tips to clean your eyeglass lenses and frames without risk of scratching the lenses or causing other damage. These same tips apply for cleaning sunglasses, safety glasses, and sports eyewear, too.
1. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly. Before cleaning your eyeglasses, make sure your hands are free from dirt, grime, lotion and anything else that could be transferred to your lenses. Use lotion-free soap or dishwashing liquid and a clean, lint-free towel to clean your hands.
2. Rinse your glasses under a gentle stream of lukewarm tap water. This will remove dust and other debris, which can help avoid scratching your lenses when you are cleaning them. Avoid hot water, which can damage some eyeglass lens coatings.
3. Apply a small drop of lotion-free dishwashing liquid to each lens. Most dishwashing liquids are very concentrated, so use only a tiny amount. Or apply a drop or two to your fingertip instead. Use only brands that do not include lotions or hand moisturizers (Dawn original formula, for example).
4. Gently rub both sides of the lenses and all parts of the frame for a few seconds. Make sure you clean every part, including the nose pads and the ends of the temples that rest behind your ears. And be sure to clean the area where the edge of the lenses meet the frame, where dust, debris, and skin oils can accumulate.
5. Rinse both sides of the lenses and the frame thoroughly. Failing to remove all traces of soap will cause the lenses to be smeared when you dry them.
6. Gently shake the glasses to eliminate most of the water from the lenses. Inspect the lenses carefully to make sure they are clean.
7. Carefully dry the lenses and frame with a clean, lint-free towel. Use a dish towel that has not been laundered with a fabric softener or dryer sheet (these substances can smear the lenses). A cotton towel that you use to clean fine glassware is a good choice. Make sure the towel is perfectly clean. Dirt or debris trapped in the fibers of a towel can scratch your lenses; and cooking oil, skin oil or lotion in the towel will smear them.
8. Inspect the lenses again. If any streaks or smudges remain, remove them with a clean microfiber cloth — these lint-free cloths are available at most optical shops or photography stores.
For touch-up cleaning of your glasses when you don’t have the above supplies available, try individually packaged, pre-moistened disposable lens cleaning wipes. These are formulated specifically for use on eyeglass lenses. Don’t use any substitutes.