How to Clean Your Glasses in 5 Steps

Cleaning lenses


Updated on August 2, 2019. Reviewed by Chris Day (Optician) and Dr. Justin Asgarpour (Optometrist).

Tired of cleaning your eyeglasses three times per day? Your relationship with your glasses is just like any other: you have to give it some love and care for it to last.

Cleaning your eyeglasses is a daily ritual. While we tend to use whatever is handy to clean them, some habits may not be as useful as we think. To help you see clearly all day long, here’s a 5 step guide on how to clean your glasses.

1. Wash your hands

Remember what your parents would tell you right before dinner? Make them proud and start your cleaning ritual by washing your hands! Make sure to use cool or warm water with a little bit of Dawn dishwashing liquid or mild soap.  

Ensure that the tap water is lukewarm, hot water could damage the coating or warp the lenses. If you wouldn’t bathe a newborn in it, it’s too hot!  

2. Rinse your glasses

While you’re rinsing your hands, grab your glasses and give them a little rinse under a gentle stream of water. Dab a tiny amount of Dawn dish detergent on both the front and back side of each lens. Rub both sides of your lenses for a minute and give the frame a little cleaning too; don’t forget the nose pad!

The inside (nasal) edge of the eyeglass lenses, where they meet the bridge of the frame, is a prime spot for collecting sweat and oil. Make sure to give this area some extra love. Also note that:

  • Metal frames with nose pads need extra attention on the arms of the nose pads as well as the pads themselves.
  • For plastic frames without nose pads, make sure to clean the portion of the bridge in contact with your nose to remove built-up oil and sweat.

After that, rinse the glasses off thoroughly under the faucet.  

Washing glasses

3. Dry your glasses with a clean cloth

Remove the majority of the water from the lenses and frame by patting dry. Use a clean, fresh out of the dryer cotton towel that has not come into contact with fabric softener or dryer sheets. You want to ensure that there’s no debris that could scratch your lenses.

You may notice small amounts of water working their way out of the hinges or the groove between the frame and lens. This is nothing to be concerned about and can be dabbed off with your lens cloth. The lenses may even “squeak” in the frames for a few hours until any remaining traces of water evaporate.

Cleaning lenses

4. Clean your lenses

After patting dry, finish the lenses with the microfiber cloth and a little bit of moisture with either a commercially available lens cleaner labelled “safe for coated lenses” or simply breathe softly into each lens. Make sure the lenses aren’t dry when you’re cleaning them to prevent dirt or debris from being dragged across the surface.

Drying lenses

5. Keep healthy habits

In order to keep your glasses cleaned, follow some of our experts’ advice:

  • Store your glasses in their case when you’re not wearing them. Most of the dirt on your glasses comes from wearing them on your head!
  • Make sure to always clean your glasses when they are wet, cleaning a dry lens just increases the chances of the cloth simply dragging debris and smearing oil across the lens instead of picking it up.
  • Do not use anything containing alcohol. Not only can it damage the lenses themselves, but could also risk weakening some types of frames.
  • If you use bottled eyeglass cleaner, make sure that it’s labelled “safe for coated lenses”; some cheap brands may not be as appropriate for maintaining your glasses.
  • Wash your lens cloth once a week, it will remove the dirt and deposits that have built upon it.
  • If you’ve been out during a hot day, make sure to rinse your glasses with cool water afterwards. Sunscreen, salt water, and other chemicals that dry on the lens can damage the coating over time.
  • When nose pads go yellow, it’s time to replace them. Most nose pads are universal and can be obtained at any optical centre.  
  • Using an ultrasonic cleaning device can be an option for an in-depth cleansing of your glasses. You can find them in several optical stores.

Reading a book with glasses

See the world Clearly!

Knowing how to clean your glasses correctly can help them last longer and ensure that they perform the function they’re there for – keeping your vision crystal clear.

Clearly’s experts are dedicated to offering you the best eye health advice! Stay tuned for our future articles to be released with our latest news and tips.

Do you need a new pair of glasses? Shop glasses online today and find your next pair.

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