Glasses quickly become smudged and dirty from daily wear – no matter what finish or protective coatings you have on your lenses. Reading glasses, in particular, seem to become dirty quickly as you take them off and put them back on frequently. Properly cleaning and storing your glasses will prolong their life and help you get the most out of them.
A seemingly convenient solution to wipe off smudges is to fog up the lens with your breath and then wipe them off with a shirttail or a paper towel. This is actually counterproductive – not only does it not clean your lenses well, but you risk scratching the glass or plastic.
Instead, follow these simple instructions to get a clean lens without risk of scratching your glasses.
1. Run your glasses under warm tap water.
2. Put a drop of liquid soap between your thumb and forefinger. The soap should not have added lotions that can coat the lenses, giving them a film. Instead, a clear soap, like Dawn, is best. Gently rub the soap on your lenses and frames. Take special care to wash hinges, screws, and nose pads with the soap. Soap can remove body oil from these parts that can cause them to become loose and break.
3. Rinse your glasses off under the warm water.
4. Dry them off with a cloth that is lint-free. Do not use paper napkins or paper towels, as these contain wood content that can cause scratches. Also, don’t use clothing that has been washed with fabric softener; this can cause a milky film to develop on your glasses.
As you go throughout your day, taking your glasses off and putting them back on, it’s easy to become careless and inadvertently damage them. These tips will help you store them correctly, prolonging their life and minimizing damage.
1. Always set your glasses down with the face lenses upward and the arms tucked in; this prevents scratching and arm distortion.
2. When taking glasses off, remove them gently and evenly using both hands to prevent loosening the screws, which stretches them out.
3. Try to not wear glasses on top of your head. This can distort the shape by putting stress on the temples. Instead store them in a case, or wear them on a chain around your neck.
4. Avoid letting perspiration or hairspray touch the lenses; these can damage your lens coatings. Also avoid leaving glasses under direct heat, which can deform them; for example, never leave them on a car dashboard.