​How to Clean Your Glasses: A Step-by-Step Guide

​How to Clean Your Glasses: A Step-by-Step Guide

Posted by Team Debby on 1st May 2024

How to Clean Your Glasses: A Step-by-Step Guide

Maintaining clear vision is essential for everyday tasks, and keeping your glasses clean is a vital part of that. Over time, dust, fingerprints, and smudges can accumulate on your eyeglasses, sunglasses, or any type of sports eyewear. These can reduce clarity and potentially cause eye strain.

To ensure optimal performance of your spectacles, regular and proper cleaning is crucial.

A pair of glasses being gently wiped with a microfiber cloth, removing smudges and fingerprints, leaving the lenses sparkling clean

We know that cleaning your glasses can sometimes seem like a hassle, especially if you're unsure about the best methods and materials to use. However, by choosing the right cleaning materials and understanding the correct cleaning process, you can prevent scratches and damages to your lenses.

With a gentle touch and the proper technique, you can keep your glasses in perfect condition, ensuring that you see the world with crystal-clear vision.

Key Takeaways

  • Cleaning glasses regularly ensures optimal vision and prevents eye strain.
  • Using appropriate materials and techniques is essential to avoid damaging lenses.
  • Proper maintenance extends the life of your eyewear and helps address common issues.

Getting Started: Preparing Your Glasses for Cleaning

Glasses placed on a clean, flat surface. A microfiber cloth and cleaning solution nearby. Instructions for cleaning displayed prominently

Before we clean our glasses, it's critical to prepare them to ensure that we remove all grime and debris without damaging the lenses or frames.

Wash Your Hands

First, we need to ensure our hands are free of dirt, grease, and any other potential contaminants that could transfer to our glasses. Follow these steps:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold).
  2. Lather your hands with soap, covering all surfaces.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Rinse thoroughly under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Inspect the Glasses

Next, we should carefully inspect our glasses to understand the condition of the lenses and frames. This will inform how we proceed with the cleaning process.

  • Eyeglass Lenses: Look for particles of dust, lint, or grime. Be attentive to any oily fingerprints or smudges.
  • Frames: Examine for dust accumulation, particularly around the nose pads and hinges.

By doing this, we ensure that we can tailor our cleaning process to the specific needs of our glasses, providing a thorough and gentle clean.

Choosing the Right Cleaning Materials

A hand reaches for a microfiber cloth and spray bottle, next to a pair of glasses on a table

In selecting the right materials to clean our glasses, we must be diligent to avoid scratching or damaging our lenses. The type of cloth and cleaner we choose is crucial for optimal results.

Selecting a Cloth

We recommend using a microfiber cloth for cleaning our glasses, as it's designed to trap dirt and oil without scratching the lens surface. It's imperative to avoid other materials such as paper towels, tissues, or clothing, which can contain coarse fibers that harm the lenses.


  • Use a clean, dry microfiber cloth.
  • Inspect the cloth for debris before use to prevent scratches.


  • Use rough materials like paper towels.
  • Clean lenses with dirty or debris-laden cloths.

Picking a Cleaner

For our glasses, it's essential to select an appropriate cleaner. Specially formulated eyeglass cleaners are a safe bet. Alternatively, we can use lotion-free dishwashing liquid or lotion-free soap, diluted with water. It's important to avoid household glass cleaners or anything with ammonia, bleach, vinegar, or alcohol, as they may strip the coating off the lenses.

Recommended Cleaners:

  • Specially formulated eyeglass cleaners
  • Diluted, lotion-free dish soap or liquid


  • Household glass cleaners with harmful chemicals
  • Cleaners with lotions or moisturizers that leave a film

The Cleaning Process

A pair of glasses being gently wiped with a soft cloth to remove smudges and fingerprints, with a bottle of lens cleaner nearby

We must ensure that our glasses are clean for optimal visibility and to prevent any damage to the lenses. Proper cleaning techniques are essential, especially for glasses with specialty coatings like scratch-resistant or anti-reflective treatments. Let's walk through the steps to get your eyeglasses lenses spotless.

Rinsing Under Water

Before applying any cleaning agents, we always rinse our glasses with lukewarm tap water. This helps to remove any dust or debris that might scratch the lenses during the cleaning process. It's crucial that we avoid hot water, as it could damage lens coatings.

Using Soap

We use a small drop of lotion-free dishwashing liquid on each lens. By gently rubbing both sides of the lenses with our clean fingers, we can create a light lather that helps to break down grime. It's important to clean every part, including the frame, to ensure there's no buildup of oils or dirt.

After soaping, we rinse the glasses thoroughly to remove all soap suds, because residues can cause smearing.

Drying Properly

We shake off any excess water and examine the lenses to ensure no soap is left. Next, we dry our glasses using a clean, lint-free microfiber cloth, as it's soft and won't scratch the lenses. For glasses with anti-reflective or other coatings, it's essential not to use paper towels or fabrics with rough textures, as they can damage the coatings.

We pat the lenses gently instead of rubbing to prevent any potential damage.

Maintaining and Protecting Your Glasses

A pair of glasses being gently wiped with a microfiber cloth, with a bottle of lens cleaner and a soft brush nearby

To ensure the longevity and clarity of your eyewear, it's paramount that we store them properly and adhere to a consistent maintenance routine.

Storing Correctly

The first step in protecting your glasses is to always store them in a protective storage case when not in use. This reduces the risk of scratches, bending, or breaking.

We recommend choosing a hard case that's lined with soft fabric to cushion the lenses and frames. Never place the glasses lenses-down on a surface, as this could cause scratching.

Performing Regular Maintenance

Regular upkeep is crucial to maintain our glasses in good condition. Cleaning the lenses daily with a microfiber cloth and a lens cleaning solution can prevent the build-up of oils and dust.

Weekly, check the tightness of the screws and adjust if necessary to prevent the arms from becoming loose.

Additionally, consider investing in anti-scratch warranties for new pairs of glasses, as this ensures any damage can be repaired or the glasses replaced.

Dealing with Common Issues

Glasses on a clean, flat surface with a microfiber cloth and cleaning solution nearby

When it comes to maintaining the clarity of our glasses, smudges and scratches are common nuisances. We must approach the issues methodically for the best results.

Addressing Smudges and Streaks

To tackle smudges and streaks on our eyeglass lenses, we begin by rinsing them under lukewarm water to remove any coarse particles that could scratch the lenses. It's important to avoid hot water, as it can damage the lens coatings.

After the initial rinse:

  1. Apply a small drop of lotion-free dishwashing liquid directly on each lens.
  2. Gently rub both sides of the lenses and all parts of the frame for a few seconds.
  3. Rinse the glasses again to remove the soap, ensuring there are no suds left.
  4. Shake the glasses gently to remove most of the water.

To dry the glasses:

  • Use a clean, lint-free towel that has not been laundered with fabric softener or a dryer sheet (these substances can smear the lenses).

Pro Tip: For a spotless finish, we can lightly polish the lenses with a clean microfiber cloth. This helps to remove any residual streaks or smudges without scratching the lens.

Handling Scratches

Scratches on lenses are more challenging; once the eyeglass lenses are scratched, those marks are usually permanent. However, if we have minor surface marks, there are ways to make them less noticeable. For lenses with a scratch-resistant coating, these methods might not work and can potentially cause more damage.

Here's how we can cautiously attempt to reduce the visibility of minor scratches:

  1. Clean the glasses using the aforementioned steps to ensure that there is no debris on the lens surface.
  2. Purchase a scratch repair kit designed for eyeglasses and follow the instructions carefully. These kits can fill in the scratches temporarily, making them less visible.

A word of caution:

  • Avoid using DIY remedies like toothpaste or baking soda; they can scratch the lenses further.
  • Do not apply any substances not specifically designed for eyeglass lenses.

Frequently Asked Questions

A pair of glasses being gently wiped with a soft microfiber cloth, with a bottle of lens cleaner and a cleaning cloth nearby

In this section, we cover some of the most common queries regarding the upkeep of your glasses to ensure they remain clean and scratch-free.

What is the most effective solution for cleaning eyeglasses?

The most effective solution for cleaning eyeglasses is a mixture of water and mild dish soap. We recommend gently rubbing your glasses with your fingers, using the soap solution, and then rinsing them under lukewarm water.

Can I remove scratches from my eyeglasses, and if so, how?

While small scratches can be reduced in visibility, it is important to understand that they cannot be completely removed. For minor scratches, commercially available products designed for lens polishing may marginally diminish their appearance, but we advise proceeding with caution as they can damage lenses further.

Is it safe to clean my glasses with vinegar?

Cleaning your glasses with a diluted vinegar solution can be safe, but we recommend using it sparingly. Ensure it's diluted with water and avoid contact with any non-glass parts of your eyeglasses, as the acidity could damage them.

What are the alternatives to clean glasses if I don't have a microfiber cloth?

If a microfiber cloth is unavailable, other soft, lint-free cloths like cotton shirts can suffice. Avoid paper towels or napkins, as these materials can cause scratches.

How should I clean the area between the lens and frame of my glasses?

To clean the crevices between the lens and frame, use a soft-bristled brush, like a toothbrush. Gently brush away any debris.

Then, wipe the area with a microfiber cloth.

Is using rubbing alcohol to clean eyeglasses recommended?

Rubbing alcohol can be used to clean eyeglasses, but it should be diluted and used infrequently. We suggest not using it on frames with coatings, as alcohol can strip away the finishes.

Always read and follow the manufacturer's recommendations.