When you buy a new pair of prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses, you spend a lot of time and money finding your perfect pair. Purchasing prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses is a big investment. Perhaps even more important than a new car or new phone, this investment is one that determines how you look and feel about yourself. More importantly, lenses determine how you see to perform day to day. Taking proper care of your glasses, like taking care of that new car, will keep them performing their best and keep you looking great.
Follow these tips to clean your eyeglass lenses and frames to reduce the risk of scratching the lenses or causing damage. These same tips apply for cleaning sunglasses, safety glasses and sports eyewear.
- Before cleaning your eyeglasses, make sure your hands are free from dirt, grime, lotion and anything else that could be transferred to your lenses.
- Rinse your glasses under cool water to remove heavy dust and other debris. This will help to prevent scratching your lenses while cleaning them. Avoid hot water which can damage some lens coatings and treatments.
- Apply a small drop of dishwashing liquid to each lens. It’s best to use brands without lotions or hand moisturizers (Dawn or Palmolive, for example).
- Using your fingers or a lens cleaning cloth, gently rub both sides of the lenses and all parts of the frame. Clean all parts to include the nose pads, the temples where they rest behind your ears and where the edges of the lenses meet the frame. Dust, debris and skin oils can accumulate in these areas.
- Thoroughly rinse both sides of the lenses and the frame with cool water. Failing to remove all traces of soap will cause the lenses to be smeared when you dry them.
- Gently shake the glasses to eliminate most of the water from the lenses and inspect them for cleanliness and any lose screws or nose pads.
- Carefully dry the lenses and frame with a clean, lint-free cotton towel or micro-fiber cloth. Avoid towels that have been washed with a fabric softener or a dryer sheet as these substances can smear the lenses. Any dirt, debris or buildup trapped in the cloth may also cause damage.
- Repeat process daily or as needed.
- Spray cleaners can be used with a clean cloth or lens cloth and are convenient when traveling or as a temporary option for cleaning.
- Cleaning your glasses as part of your morning or evening routine will help to prolong the life of your glasses.
Spray eyeglass cleaners and micro-fiber cloths are available at the Eye Institute of South Jersey, PC, and adjustments and replacement nose pads are always free.
- DON’T use your shirt to wipe you glasses, especially when the lenses are dry as this can scratch your lenses.
- DON’T use saliva or your breath to wet your lenses.
- DON’T use household glass or surface cleaners to clean your eyeglasses. These products have ingredients such as ammonia, bleach and vinegar that can damage eyeglass lenses and lens treatments.
- DON’T use paper towels, napkins, tissues or toilet paper to clean your lenses. These can scratch and smear your lenses and leave them covered with lint.
- DON’T try to “buff away” a scratch in your lenses. This may make the scratch worse. Check with our optical to see if you are covered by a warranty.
- DON’T clean your glasses in the shower. Body and hair products, as well as steam and hot water can damage coatings on your lenses.
- DON’T leave your glasses in a hot car. Frames can become brittle and warped when exposed to high temperatures.
- Always keep your glasses in their case when not in use and never place them on a table or counter with the lenses facing down. Adhering to this practice will prolong their lifetime and protect them from scratches or damage.
- If your lenses have an anti-reflective (AR) treatment, make sure the eyeglass cleaner you choose is approved for use on anti-reflective lenses.
- Microfiber cleaning cloths should be washed frequently to avoid dirt and skin oil buildup. Hand-wash the cloth using lotion-free dishwashing liquid and clean water; allow the cloth to air dry. Keep more than one on hand.
- We do not recommend the use of individually packaged, pre-moistened disposable lens cleaning wipes.
Eyeglass lenses are scratch resistant – not scratch-proof – and unfortunately there is no magic cure for scratched lenses. All eyeglass lenses will get a few scratches over time from normal use and exposure to the environment. Minor scratches may not interfere with your vision or the use of your eyeglasses but in addition to reflecting light and interfering with vision, some scratches can affect the impact resistance of the lenses. For optimum vision and safety, contact our optical to ensure your glasses are performing properly. Warranty options may be available but in some cases new lenses may be recommended.
Some products are designed to make the scratches look a little less visible but these are essentially waxy substances that wear off easily. These products will often smear lenses particularly if they have an anti-reflective coating.
Always see our optician before attempting any home repairs.
Glasses Don’t Last Forever
Regular frame and lens maintenance will prolong the life of your glasses, so we encourage regular visits to our office so our optician can help you keep your glasses in the best possible condition.
If frames are well cared for they may be able to be used for replacement lenses. However, all frames have a life expectancy. We will inspect any previously worn frame for damage, wear or weak parts and advise you our best possible estimate as to whether your frame can endure another few years of use with new lenses.
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What is your image telling others? Your glasses speak volumes about you. Get your message out there with a great frame and lenses!