5 Common Mistakes When Cleaning Your Glasses

Do’s and Don’ts to Help You See Clearly

Wondering about the best way to clean your eyeglasses and other delicate, easily scratched surfaces? We’ve adapted these tips and reminders from Allaboutvision.com:

First, clean your glasses every day. It’s the best way to keep them looking great and prevent lens from scratching. Then be sure to follow these cleaning tips to avoid scratching the lenses or causing other damage to all eyewear, including sunglasses, safety glasses and sports goggles.

  1. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly. Before cleaning your eyeglasses, make sure your hands are free from dirt, grime, lotion and anything else that could be transferred to the lenses. Use lotion-free soap or dishwashing liquid and a clean, lint-free towel to clean your hands.

  2. Rinse your glasses under a gentle stream of lukewarm tap water. This will remove dust and other debris, which can help avoid scratching your lenses when you are cleaning them. Avoid hot water, which can damage some eyeglass lens coatings.

  3. Apply a small drop of lotion-free dishwashing liquid to each lens. Most dishwashing liquids are very concentrated, so use only a tiny amount. Or apply a drop or two to your fingertip instead. Use only brands that do not include lotions or hand moisturizers.

  4. Gently rub both sides of the lenses and all parts of the frame for a few seconds. Make sure you clean every part, including the nose pads and the ends of the temples that rest behind your ears. And be sure to clean the area where the edge of the lenses meets the frame, where dust, debris and skin oils can accumulate.

  5. Rinse both sides of the lenses and the frame thoroughly. Failing to remove all traces of soap will cause the lenses to be smeared when you dry them.

  6. Gently shake the glasses to eliminate most of the water from the lenses. Then inspect your lenses carefully to make sure they’re clean.

  7. Carefully dry the lenses and frame with a clean, lint-free cloth. Use a cloth that has not been laundered with a fabric softener or dryer sheet (these substances can smear the lenses). Make sure your cloth is perfectly clean. Dirt or debris trapped in its fibers can scratch your lenses; and cooking oil, skin oil or lotion in the cloth will smear them.


Microfiber cleaning cloths are an excellent choice for cleaning glasses. These cloths dry the lenses very effectively and trap oils to avoid smearing. But because they trap debris so effectively, make sure you clean these cloths frequently. Hand-wash your cloth using lotion-free dishwashing liquid and clean water; then allow it to air dry.

Cleaning Your Glasses—What Not to Do


NEVER use your shirttail or other cloth to clean your glasses, especially when the lenses are dry. This can scratch your lenses.


DON’T use saliva to wet your lenses.


DON’T use household glass or surface cleaners to clean your eyeglasses. These products have ingredients that can damage eyeglass lenses and coatings, such as anti-reflective coating.


DON’T use paper towels, napkins, tissues or toilet paper to clean your lenses. These can scratch or smear your lenses or leave them full of lint.


DON’T try to “buff away” a scratch in your lenses. This only makes the situation worse.

If your lenses have anti-reflective (AR) coating, make sure the eyeglass cleaner you choose is approved for use on anti-reflective lenses. Lens cleaners with harsh chemicals can damage the anti-reflective coating. And never attempt to clean AR-coated lenses without wetting them first. Using a dry cloth on a dry lens can cause lens scratches. AR coating eliminates light reflections that can mask lens surface defects, so fine scratches are often more visible on AR-coated lenses than on uncoated lenses.

comment_2Do you have some words of wisdom for avoiding scratches? Our lens-wearing audience would love to hear them! Just drop us a line below.


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