How to Clean your Glasses

  • 12 November 2013
  • Troy Cassidy

Keeping your glasses clean and free of smudges is an important skill for all spectacle wearers, and is one of the more common nuisances of wearing glasses.  It's also important to be able to keep your glasses clean without causing any damage to the lenses. 

The vast majority of spectacle lenses are made of various types of plastic, which will scratch if cleaned too harshly.  Most lenses now are also treated with a coating to reduce reflections - these anti-reflective coatings make the lenses clearer, but can fail if exposed to excessive heat or rapid changes in temperature.  Good general advice about cleaning glasses includes:

  • Rinse your glasses first - any dust on the lens will scratch the surface as you rub your cloth over it.
  • Always use a purpose-made cloth for glasses - a good quality lens cloth is made of very fine "micro-fibres", which are both gentle on the lens and great at removing smudges.  T-shirts, old hankies, bits of sandpaper etc are generally not suitable.
  • Be cautious with tissues - they can be fibrous enough to scratch lenses if not used very carefully.
  • Keep your glasses in their case when not in use, and avoid exposing them to excessive heat, ie in a parked car on a hot day.  That's more about protecting the coating than keeping them clean, but still worth mentioning here.


At Cassidy Eyecare, we advise 2 ways to keep your glasses clean and free of smudges:

The Full Rinse:

This is the best way to really get your glasses properly clean, but it's only feasible to do at home with access to a sink, warm water and dishwashing liquid. 

  1. Using lukewarm water, wet your lenses. 
  2. Add a little spot of dishwashing liquid to each lens, and give each lens a gentle rub with your fingers.  If they're looking grimey around the nosepads, CAREFULLY clean that area with an old toothbrush.  Be careful not to scratch your lenses with the brush.   
  3. Rinse your glasses clean under the tap, and gently dry with a soft cloth or microfibre cleaning cloth.  Good anti-reflective lenses will repel water, so you should be able to shake most of the water off before drying.

This method is best done a few times a week to keep your glasses sparkling.


The Spray and Wipe:

This method keeps your glasses clean when you're out and about, and it's not practical to carry a sink around.  It requires a good quality lens spray and a fine micro-fibre cloth.  At Cassidy Eyecare we supply both of these with every new pair of glasses purchased.

  1. Spray both sides of the lens with the lens spray
  2. GENTLY wipe the lenses dry using the micro-fibre cloth.  Lots of pressure isn't necessary.  A good technique is to almost try and "pull" the smudge off the lens with a gentle dragging action.

This technique should keep your glasses clean and clear during the day.  Our lens sprays are also refillable, saving the environment and helping your wallet.

For a deep clean, we also have in-store Ultrasonic Cleaning baths, which shake out ingrained dirt from the nosepads and around the lenses using ultrasound waves.  This is a free service we provide to our customers on request.

In general, a good quality lens spray and a micro-fibre cloth, properly used, should be all you need to keep your glasses clean and your world looking clear.



About Troy Cassidy

Troy graduated from the University of Auckland Optometry programme in 1995, and has worked in optometry practices in NZ, Australia & the UK since then. Along with wife Stephanie, he has owned and operated Cassidy Eyecare in west Auckland since 2010.

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