If you wear glasses, you know dirty lenses can be a pain. They make it hard to see and focus clearly, and they can even contribute to eye strain symptoms. Additionally, allowing them to remain dirty increases the chances of the lenses getting scratched.
Wearing contact lenses requires rigorous daily care to maintain them and prevent problems. So, it makes sense that glasses also require daily care, albeit less than contact lenses in most cases. Keep reading as we discuss some basic tips for cleaning your eyeglasses and what to avoid. We’ll also go over some strategies for fixing minor scratches.
How to Clean Eyeglasses
There are a few ways that you can safely clean your eyeglasses. Before you begin, wash your hands thoroughly to prevent bacteria from transferring to your freshly cleaned glasses.
You’ll also want to ensure you have a microfibre cloth or another acceptable cloth handy to prevent scratches on your lenses.
Remember, with eyeglasses cleaning, “keep it simple.” If you’re taking more than 20 to 30 seconds to clean them, you may be going above and beyond what you need in most cases.
If you’re using a cleaning solution, the typical process is as follows:
- Wash your hands.
- Run glasses under warm water: This removes any dirt or other particles that could scratch your lenses.
- Spray both sides of each lens with an appropriate solution: The type of cleaning solution is important. For example, if you have an anti-glare coating on your lenses, you should use a solution that’s safe for that coating.
- Give the glasses a gentle shake to remove excess water or cleaning solution.
- Wipe dry with the microfiber cloth.
Soap and Water
Using soap and water to clean your eyeglasses is similar to using a cleaning solution. The typical process is as follows:
- Wash your hands.
- Rinse lenses with warm water to get rid of contaminants.
- Put a small amount of unscented dish soap or hand soap on each lens.
- Gently rub the lenses and the frames of the glasses to a lather.
- Rinse thoroughly under running water.
- Gently shake the glasses to get off excess water.
- Wipe lenses and frames dry with a microfiber cloth.
What to Avoid
It’s important to be careful with what you use to clean your glasses. Some cleaning solutions can actually destroy your lenses in the worst-case scenario.
Wiping Material to Avoid
You should always use a microfiber cloth when wiping the lenses on your eyeglasses. If that’s not an option, here are a few things to avoid if at all possible:
- Paper towel
- Tissues (Kleenex)
- The edge of your shirt (we’ve all done it at some point)
The reason that all these things should be avoided is that they are slightly abrasive. Over time, they may cause tiny scratches that will make your lenses lose clarity, eventually affecting your vision.
Cleaning Solutions to Avoid
Ideally, you will use an appropriate cleaning solution or soap and water. It’s worth mentioning a few things that you should avoid:
- Anything containing acetone
- Window cleaner
- Rubbing alcohol
- Your breath
All these options can potentially wreck your lenses or promote bacterial growth, which can actually cause problems in your eyes from being so close to them.
Fixing Minor Scratches
Once a scratch in your lenses is severe enough, the only solution is a lens replacement in many cases. However, if they are only minor abrasions, there are some other potential solutions:
- Baking soda paste: Mix a small amount of baking soda with a little water to make a paste. Apply this to the affected lens and gently rub it in. Once you rinse the lens off, repeat if necessary.
- Toothpaste: A white, non-gel toothpaste can also be used similarly to the baking soda paste. Remember to rub gently and rinse thoroughly.
- Wax repair: There are special wax-based repair kits you can get that may help with slightly larger scratches.
- Glass etching cream: For minor scratches, applying a layer of glass etching cream and letting it sit for a few minutes before polishing it off may be enough to fix the lens. This one should be done with caution and not left on too long.
- Lens replacement: Unfortunately, if the scratches are deep enough, there isn’t a way to repair the lens without compromising it. At this point, your optometrist or optician can replace the lenses in the frames.
Find Out More About Proper Cleaning
Sometimes oils and debris build up on the frames or around the lenses to the point where a simple at-home cleaning doesn’t quite cut it. If you’re not happy with how your glasses are after you’ve cleaned them, give us a call at Seal Beach Eyes Optometry.
Our professional and experienced staff can answer your questions and advise you on the best course of action for your particular situation.