Giving your glasses a thorough clean is as easy as a wash with lotion-free soap and a dry with a microfiber towel. However, if your glasses are extremely dirty, or caked in grime, it may not seem so simple. We've compiled some easy-to-follow steps on how to keep your eyewear clean without damaging the frames or lenses.
If your glasses are extremely dirty, caked in grease or mud, try these tips:
Use warm water and a lotion-free soap to gently remove dirt, grime, and build-up on any pair of plastic glasses or sunglasses. After washing, buff the frames dry with a microfiber cloth. The thing to remember with plastic glasses is that they can scratch or damage with excessive scrubbing, especially if you use a brush with tough bristles. Make sure to clean your glasses thoroughly, but try to be gentle and not scratch the frames or lenses.
When cleaning your lenses, avoid using cleaners with ammonia. Your lenses have many different coatings on them that are sensitive to ammonia and other chemicals found in most household cleaners.
If you've neglected your glasses for a period of time, or they've simply accumulated a lot of grime from years of wear, you might enquire about a professional cleaning if your glasses are still in good shape. Lenses that don't have many blemishes and frames that have maintained their shape well are good candidates for a professional cleaning. New nose pads and a little adjustment will make those old glasses seem like new again.
When handling your glasses, hold them by the frames and use both hands. Try to avoid dropping them on the lenses, or touching the lenses with your fingers. When you set down your glasses, place them upside down with the bridge at the bottom. This prevents scratched lenses, and keeps more top-heavy frames from falling over.
Always store your glasses in their case to prevent them from getting dusty or having anything spilled on them. Be careful of leaving them in places that get too hot. A heater or fireplace can warp or damage the frames, and a hot car in the summer can cause the lenses to peel. Prolong the life of your frames and lenses by storing them properly.
To clean eyeglasses with an anti-reflective coating, first wash the frames with warm water and lotion-free soap, use an optician-approved lens spray, or opt for a specialized lens soap and warm water to clean the lenses. With any of these methods, you want to be sure to wipe or dry the frames with a microfiber cloth. We also recommend being gentle with your lenses through the cleaning process, as you do not want to scratch or damage the coatings on your lenses.
Cloudy eyeglasses can be cleaned with warm water and soap if the clouding is caused by dirt, grease, or grime stuck to the lenses. Specialty lens sprays made to decrease fog on lenses are helpful if the clouding is from moisture and not from dirt. If the clouding of your lenses is caused by damage to the coatings, or years of disuse, it may be time to speak with a professional about the next steps forward and whether the lenses need to be replaced.
No. Cleaning your glasses removes dirt, grime, and some amount of germs. Disinfecting kills a high percentage of germs on a surface. Sanitizing reduces the number of germs on a surface to a level deemed 'safe' according to public health standards. Sterilization kills all microbial life, appropriate in medical or laboratory settings. But most health officials maintain that cleaning hard surfaces with dish soap and water is an effective strategy to kill the COVID-19 virus.
You may be able to disinfect your eyeglasses after you wash them using a diluted rubbing alcohol solution, but be advised that so doing may damage special coatings on your lenses; please call us if you have questions about disinfecting your eyeglasses. Some types of safety glasses can be disinfected using a preparation of one part bleach per thousand parts water, but bleach can corrode metal. You can also use ammonia and water, or a tincture of iodine and water, in the same ratio. (Never mix these chemicals.) Soak your safety glasses in the preparation for two minutes, and then thoroughly rinse them in warm water—cleaners or disinfectants can damage the lenses or frames if not completely rinsed away. Dry the glasses with a lint-free cloth.
Most health officials maintain that cleaning hard surfaces with dish soap and water is an effective strategy to kill the COVID-19 virus. And Dr. Ryan Parker, O.D., suggests:
"Using hot water and lotion-free soap will do the trick. You want to stay away from household glass cleaners as they have chemicals in them that can damage certain lens coatings. Also, you would want to stay away from soaps that have those abrasive beads in them."
Yes. Your eyeglasses or sunglasses can harbor bacteria, mold spores, and other irritants. But cleaning the frames and lenses regularly with soap and water easily removes bacteria from them. Avoid cleaning your glasses by fogging the lenses with your breath—this only adds germs to your eyeglasses.
Maybe. Alcohol is an ingredient found in some commercial lens cleaning preparations. But using alcohol to clean your glasses might damage special lens coatings. You can try a homemade preparation using a spray bottle filled three quarters with rubbing alcohol, two drops of dishwashing liquid, and then topped off with tap water. If you have questions about using alcohol to clean your glasses, please call us.
According to Dr. Ryan Parker, O.D.: "A diluted solution (70%) of isopropyl alcohol is also useful. It should not pose any issues to good quality lenses, but one should be careful because it can remove some ink and dyes from the frame."
A commercial eyeglass cleaner that contains alcohol may disinfect your glasses.
It is possible for any virus to live on a surface, whether transferred by our hands or the air around us, and the Covid-19 virus may be able to live on glasses surfaces for a few hours or days. Routinely washing your hands as well as cleaning your glasses with soap and water is thought to effectively kill the virus. According to the CDC, Covid-19 is more likely transmitted through person-to-person contact, so frequent washing of hands in public spaces is your best defense against infection.
Some experts suggest that glasses wearers may enjoy some amount of extra protection from COVID-19 because the virus can spread via the eyes. Glasses provide at least some barrier against airborne droplets carrying the virus, and may also deter the wearer from touching their face, yet another way that the virus may spread.
Contact one of our experienced opticians if you have any questions about lens cleaning, how to handle your glasses or just a question about our eyewear in general.