1. How To Clean Your Frames
First, thoroughly wash and sanitize your hands with soap and water. Greasy or grimy fingers are not only unsanitary but will make cleaning your glasses more difficult.
When cleaning your eyeglass frames, use warm, soapy water to remove dirt and bacteria, and a gentle cloth to dry them.
A soft toothbrush can be used to clean away grime and oil from the nose pads and hinges.
Avoid touching the lenses with the toothbrush bristles, and dry your glasses with a microfiber cloth.
Be diligent about cleaning every part of your frames to remove stubborn debris, germs, and oils from your skin, including in the area where the lenses meet the frames.
2. How To Clean Your Lenses
When cleaning your lenses, avoid using cleaners with ammonia. Your lenses have many different coatings on them that are sensitive to ammonia and other chemicals found in most household cleaners.
The simplest way to clean your eyeglass lenses is to use warm water and mild soap that does not contain a lotion additive, like dishwashing liquid. Gently wash the lenses with your clean fingers. After rinsing the lenses under cool water, use a soft towel to gently dry them.
Alternately, spray both sides of your lenses with a lens-specific cleaner. Using a microfiber cloth, gently clean the lenses and then use a dry portion of the cloth to dry them; tissue without moisturizer is a good option for cleaning your eyeglasses if you don't have a microfiber cloth. You can also purchase prepackaged moistened wipes designed specifically for glasses lenses.
Try to avoid paper towels, dishtowels, a shirttail, or other fabrics to dry your lenses. Some lens materials are susceptible to scratching from anything other than a soft, microfiber cloth.
3. When To Use Professional Cleaning
If you've neglected your glasses for a period of time, or they've simply accumulated a lot of grime from years of wear, you might enquire about a professional cleaning if your glasses are still in good shape. Lenses that don't have many blemishes and frames that have maintained their shape well are good candidates for a professional cleaning. New nose pads and a little adjustment will make those old glasses seem like new again.
4. How To Handle Your Eyeglasses
When handling your glasses, hold them by the frames and use both hands—avoid dropping them on the lenses. When you set down your glasses, place them upside down with the bridge at the bottom. This prevents scratched lenses, and keeps more top-heavy frames from falling over.
5. How To Store Your Glasses
Always store your glasses in their case to prevent them from getting dusty or having anything spilled on them. Be careful of leaving them in places that get too hot—near a heater, fireplace, or in a hot car, for example. Heat can warp lenses or cause them to peel.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Your Eyeglasses
- Is Cleaning My Glasses the Same as Disinfecting Them?
No. Cleaning your glasses removes dirt, grime, and some amount of germs. Disinfecting kills a high percentage of germs on a surface. Sanitizing reduces the number of germs on a surface to a level deemed 'safe' according to public health standards. Sterilization kills all microbial life, appropriate in medical or laboratory settings. But most health officials maintain that cleaning hard surfaces with dish soap and water is an effective strategy to kill the COVID-19 virus.
- Can I Disinfect My Eyeglasses?
You may be able to disinfect your eyeglasses after you wash them using a diluted rubbing alcohol solution, but be advised that so doing may damage special coatings on your lenses; please call us if you have questions about disinfecting your eyeglasses. Some types of safety glasses can be disinfected using a preparation of one part bleach per thousand parts water, but bleach can corrode metal. You can also use ammonia and water, or a tincture of iodine and water, in the same ratio. (Never mix these chemicals.) Soak your safety glasses in the preparation for two minutes, and then thoroughly rinse them in warm water—cleaners or disinfectants can damage the lenses or frames if not completely rinsed away. Dry the glasses with a lint-free cloth.
Soap and Water Remains the Best Strategy for Killing the COVID-19 Virus
Most health officials maintain that cleaning hard surfaces with dish soap and water is an effective strategy to kill the COVID-19 virus.
- Can Bacteria Live on My Eyeglasses?
Yes. Your eyeglasses or sunglasses can harbor bacteria, mold spores, and other irritants. But cleaning the frames and lenses regularly with soap and water easily removes bacteria from them. Avoid cleaning your glasses by fogging the lenses with your breath—this only adds germs to your eyeglasses.
- Can I Use Rubbing Alcohol to Disinfect My Eyeglasses?
Maybe. Alcohol is an ingredient found in some commercial lens cleaning preparations. But using alcohol to clean your glasses might damage special lens coatings. You can try a homemade preparation using a spray bottle filled three quarters with rubbing alcohol, two drops of dishwashing liquid, and then topped off with tap water. If you have questions about using alcohol to clean your glasses, please call us.
According to Dr. Ryan Parker, O.D.: "A diluted solution (70%) of isopropyl alcohol is also useful. It should not pose any issues to good quality lenses, but one should be careful because it can remove some ink and dyes from the frame."
- Will Eyeglass Cleaner Disinfect My Glasses?
A commercial eyeglass cleaner that contains alcohol may disinfect your glasses.
Can the COVID-19 Virus Live on My Eyeglasses?
Research shows COVID-19 is detectable for up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel, two materials found in some eyewear. But routinely cleaning your glasses with soap and water is thought to effectively kill the virus, which according to the CDC is more likely transmitted through person-to-person contact.
- Can Wearing Eyeglasses Protect Me From COVID-19?
Some experts suggest that glasses wearers may enjoy some amount of extra protection from COVID-19 because the virus can spread via the eyes. Glasses provide at least some barrier against airborne droplets carrying the virus, and may also deter the wearer from touching their face, yet another way that the virus may spread.