How to Clean Your Glasses or Sunglasses - A Simple 6-Step Process

How to Clean Your Glasses or Sunglasses - A Simple 6-Step Process

The very best way to keep your glasses in top condition is to regularly clean them. Preventative steps like cleaning and proper storage not only reduces the risk of damage, but means that your glasses can last for a really long time. Dirty glasses can also contribute to headaches and strained eyes, so it’s definitely beneficial to keep on top of their care.

And what’s great about these measures is that they’re super easy to do, and easily workable into a regular routine. In this guide, we’ll go step-by-step through how to effectively clean your glasses (lenses and frames), along with other tips to keep them well looked after. Let’s begin!

Step 1: Wash Your Hands

Before you do anything - wash your hands. At this initial point, you’ll want to ensure that your hands are free from bacteria, germs, and anything that could cling onto your glasses. It’ll also remove any dirt and oils from your fingers, so you don’t accidentally smudge your lenses. Don’t forget to thoroughly dry them afterwards.

Step 2: Rinse Your Whole Glasses, Including the Frames and Lenses

The focus on glasses cleaning can often be solely on the lenses, but the entirety of them need to get in on the freshening-up game - including the frames. In this stage, rinse your glasses with lukewarm water up the tap. You’ll want to get water over the lenses, as well the hinges, arms, bridges, and nose pads. Basically, any of the little places where dirt and bacteria can build up, and could end up irritating skin. Make sure the water isn’t too hot, as this can affect the coating of the lenses.

Step 3: Clean with a Gentle Solution

Eyes glasses, although seemingly indestructible from the amount of times we drop them, should be treated with a lot of care. This is due to multiple reasons - they can actually be warped and damaged easily, which means they won’t do the job we want them to.

This means that when it comes to cleaning them, you’ll want to use a very gentle solution. Warm, soapy water (think gentle washing up liquid) or specialist lens cleaner will do just the trick.

You definitely don’t want to use anything abrasive or with strong chemicals in. Here’s what you should steer clear of when choosing a cleaning solution:

  • Household cleaners, including glass and window cleaner.
  • Cleaners with ammonia or acetone. 
  • Hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol. The alcohol content in these will damage any coatings on the lenses.
  • Salvia. Yes, this might already seem a bit unpleasant. But rubbing a bit of spit on your glasses just isn’t effective in getting them clean.

Your glasses don’t need to be fully submerged in a lot of whatever solution will do. Only a little bit is needed - you can even apply it with your finger tips. When cleaning your glasses, be sure to hold onto the frames, rather than the lenses. This is just another step in preventing any damage being accidentally caused to them.

Step 4: Get into the Corners of the Frames

It’s important to ensure that the nooks of your glasses frames have a good clean too - these can be real dirt magnets. Use an old toothbrush to delicately clean the frames and hinges. Just make sure not to get the toothbrush on the lenses - it’s for the frames only.

Step 5: Rinse Again

To prevent any streaks forming from soap on your lenses, give your glasses a final rinse under lukewarm water. These can make things look blurry (despite being clean!)

Step 6: Dry 

The final step is to gently dry your glasses with a clean microfiber cloth or specialist lens cloth. It might be tempting to use kitchen roll or tea towels to do this, but these have much harsher fibres in them. This can result in scratches, which after all of your cleaning, would be a real shame!

How to Keep Glasses Clean

Keeping your glasses clean on a regular basis will help make them last longer, as well as provide you the vision correction you need. Here’s our tips for what to do, and how to make it a habit.

  • Regularly clean your glasses. This might seem quite obvious, but it’s a great habit to get into. Do it at least a few times a week - it doesn’t take long, and you’ll be grateful for it in the long run.
  • For regular cleaning on the go, use alcohol-free lens spray. This can be especially useful if you use public transport and find your glasses often steam up. A microfibre cloth is good for this job too!
  • When picking up your glasses, hold them with both hands by the hands and not the lenses. This will help the lenses stay cleaner for longer, and reduce the risk of damage and smears.
  • Check that your hands are dry, and chemical-free before picking up your glasses. For similar reasons to the above tip, this will help maintain the structural integrity of your glasses.
  • When you’re not wearing your glasses, keep them in their protective case, in a spot that isn't too hot. This will protect them from dust and bacteria.
  • Don’t clean with your shirt, clothes, and tissues. Similar to kitchen roll and tea towels, the fibres in these can cause scratches.

Keeping your glasses clean brings long-term benefits. They keep your vision clear, and stay in good condition for a lot longer. It’s well worth establishing a regular glasses cleaning routine, whether it’s first thing in the morning, or last thing at night. Whatever works best for you.