How to clean glasses
Smudges and smears often get in the way of a clear view – everyone who wears glasses will be familiar with the importance of cleaning glasses. We’ll show you how to remove fingerprints, as well as deposits from makeup, creams, and other things quickly. We’ve also included some common mistakes people make when cleaning glasses and how to avoid them.
The best way to clean glasses
Ideally, you’ll be cleaning your glasses at home, because you have everything right where you need it. Cleaning glasses is not rocket science, but it can certainly feel that way. All you need is some lukewarm to warm water and a small amount of mild dishwashing liquid - who knew that that would be the best way to clean glasses? Importantly, though, the detergent shouldn’t contain antibacterial additives as they are too harsh and attack the surface.
When cleaning glasses, hold them under water and rub your cleaning agent gently with little pressure on the lenses and on the frame. When cleaning the lenses and frame, always hold the lens you are cleaning. This will prevent warping or even breakage. Don't forget the temples and the nose pad, as both parts are in contact with the skin and can easily accumulate sebum, grease, and dirt. A thorough cleaning will also restore a good fit by removing slippery grease. After you’ve cleaned them, dry and polish the glasses carefully and thoroughly with a microfibre cloth.
Expert tip: Our skin sweats all day and releases salts, among other things, which are deposited on the glasses. If we take our glasses off overnight, the frame, lenses and the salts that adhere to them cool down and harden. Cleaning glasses becomes more difficult at this stage. This means that it is best to clean your glasses in the evening, when the deposits are still soft and therefore easier to get off.
Emergency solutions for cleaning glasses
As an alternative to a water bath with a little dishwashing liquid, you can also use another tried-and-tested household remedy: white or distilled vinegar is a good way to clean glasses! This household all-star is useful in cleaning so many things, from mirrors to limescale. Here’s how to clean glasses using vinegar:
Put about a tablespoon of vinegar in a spray bottle and fill it up with water. After you have shaken the bottle well, you can spray the solution onto the glasses and rub it with a clean cotton cloth until the lenses are dry and clean again. Once mixed together, you'll always have the bottle of the best eyeglass cleaner at hand.
If you want to clean your glasses really thoroughly, you can treat your glasses to a luxury clean at the optician about two to three times a year. The optician has an ultrasonic device that removes dirt from even the smallest crevices of your glasses. Most opticians offer this cleaning service free of charge.
Cleaning glasses on the go
If you’re in your car, you won’t want to wait to clean your glasses. Having a microfibre cloth or glass cleaning cloth to hand is good – this will give you a streak-free finish. Blow any dirt or dust off the lenses first, and then polish the lenses in a circular motion. Tissues or a coat sleeve can make the problem worse, so keeping a cloth handy is essential!
Glasses cleaners: Things to avoid
Sleeves, tissues or even kitchen roll are not suitable aids for cleaning glasses. These materials are either too uneven - paper towels, for example, contain scratchy wood fibres - or they attract the smallest dirt particles, which turn the material into sandpaper when cleaning glasses. If scratches appear on the lenses, the lenses become too clouded to be of use. Even grooves on the lenses that are barely visible to the human eye cause light to be refracted differently and can mean that your perspective gets warped.
Here’s how not to clean glasses:
- Don’t use aggressive cleaning agents and glass cleaners - these attack the surfaces of lenses and frames.
- Avoid skin-care products - the ingredients leave streaks on the lenses.
- Damp cleaning cloths can damage glasses - the alcohol they contain can damage plastic lenses.
- Dirty cloths – self-explanatory, really.
- Too much pressure – this can warp the frame or even cause the frame to break.
- Cleaning in the washing machine or dishwasher – sounds obvious, but there are some accessories that can be washed in the dishwasher (such as sneakers, for example), but glasses certainly aren’t one of them! The heat can warp the frames.
Final tip: When you're not wearing your glasses, store them in a case along with the cleaning cloth. This not only protects them from dirt and dust, but also keeps them safe for transport.
We hope you found this article helpful. Sign up to Ask Team Clean for other useful cleaning articles such as how to clean a sandbox and cleaning piano keys.