It’s impossible to focus on the task at hand with smudges and streaks all over your lenses. But really, dirty glasses can also negatively impact your health: Bacteria can grow on nose pads and ear clips of eyeglasses, leading to staph infections and other skin issues, according to a 2018 study. That’s why it’s best to clean and sanitize your glasses on a regular basis. By cleaning your lenses daily and frames weekly, you’ll see clearer and be less prone to bacteria-causing infections. Not sure where to start? Take a tip from Carolyn Forte, Director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, on the proper way to clean glasses without damaging them.
How to Clean and Sanitize Eyeglasses
The microfiber cloth that comes in most glasses cases is just the start: Follow this three-step approach to remove any pesky smudges, streaks, or marks on your lenses and sanitize frames of varying materials.
- Rinse the lenses with lukewarm water to remove any debris or dirt on the surface. If you have polycarbonate lenses or lenses with coatings, use an eyeglass-specific spray like Koala Kleaner. Otherwise, try gentle dish soap, like Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap, if your lenses are greasy. Make sure to avoid any dish soaps that contain lotions or similar moisturizing ingredients.
- Dry lenses thoroughly with a soft microfiber cloth or a cloth made specifically for lenses.
- To kill germs on the ear and nose pieces, run a Clorox Disinfecting Wipe along the frame.
If you often find yourself with smudged glasses when you’re out and about, stash a pack of Care Touch Lens Cleaning Wipes in your car or purse. While these individually-packaged wipes don’t clean and sanitize as well as the three-step method, they’re a solid option when you’re in a pinch.
How to Avoid Scratching Your Glasses While You Clean
We get it: Sometimes you don’t have eyeglass cleaning wipes handy, or the ability to wash your lenses with dish soap. If you don’t use the right products, there’s a strong chance that you can damage your lenses and frames in the long-run. Avoid using acetone products (think: nail polish remover) to clean lenses, or wiping wet lenses dry with paper towels, tissues, or the fabric of your shirt.