Proper care of eyewear isn’t rocket science, however many of us choose to employ other, more creative methods to clean our glasses. Following the suggestions for proper cleaning can extend the life of your lenses and be sure you have the clearest view possible.
Windex is for windows, not for your glasses! But do you know why it’s not good to use Windex on your glasses? Don’t feel bad if you don’t know the answer, most people don’t. Most lenses have protective coatings added such as UV or anti-glare. Cleaners containing ammonia, bleach or vinegar can strip away these coatings…coatings you pay extra $$ for.
So what should you use to clean fingerprints, dirt, make-up and other random goo that may end-up on your lenses? The AOA recommends warm water and dish soap. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. If dish soap and warm water can clean pretty much anything (food, grease and lipstick) from your finest china and stemware, why not from your eyewear? All it takes is a drop of dish soap on your finger mixed with warm water (we recommend removing your glasses before doing this), create a lather on the lens, then rinse. Be sure to give the nose and ear pieces of your frames equal attention when cleaning. Use a dry, clean, soft cotton cloth to wipe dry. The AOA (American Optometric Association) recommends daily cleaning of your eyewear using this method.
The necessity for in-between cleaning of your eyeglass lenses is inevitable. Natural oils from the face, eyelashes, fingerprints and airborne debris can leave regular build-up on lenses. As it turns out, a sink, clean water, dish soap and a clean soft cotton cloth are not always readily available. So what should you do when you can’t do what you’re supposed to do? Invest in a soft microfiber cloth (preferably one specifically for lens cleaning purposes) and keep it in your purse or desk drawer for these occasions. A majority of lenses today are made with plastic, which scratches easily. Once you scratch the lens, the scratch is there forever and cannot be buffed out, so the choice of what is used to clean your lenses is an important one. Obviously using anything abrasive will scratch the surface of the lens and achieve undesired results. Kleenex, your sleeve, paper towels and napkins are not recommended as they can leave debris or lint on the lens. Using saliva isn’t recommended either. First, it’s just gross and second, its’ not effective. Using a microfiber cloth will not leave debris, removes residue very well without scratching and isn’t gross. Microfiber cloths made just for eyewear cleaning are inexpensive and can be purchased at retailers where eyewear or eyewear accessories are sold.