How to Effectively Clean Eye Glasses and Sunglasses

how to clean prescription glasses with a cloth

For many people, sunglasses and regular eyeglasses are everyday accessories. Because they go pretty much everywhere you go, they’re prone to picking up dirt, grime, grease, and smudges.

Dirty eyewear not only looks bad, but it may hinder your ability to see clearly. Kind of defeats their purpose, right? Moreover, dirty glasses are more prone to bacteria growth, which can transfer to your nose and eyes, posing a health risk.

Fortunately, cleaning your eyewear is quick and easy and only requires a few supplies. Read on to learn how to safely and effectively clean your glasses.


How to Clean Your Sunglasses and Glasses in 5 Simple Steps


How often you clean your glasses depends on factors like your environment, personal hygiene, and tolerance for blur. However, the average glasses-wearer should clean their glasses at least once daily.

All you’ll need to accomplish this task is running water, mild dishwashing soap, and a microfiber cloth.

The following steps can be used on regular eyeglasses and sunglasses (even blue light and polarized ones). Here’s what to do:

steps to clean sunglasses and glasses

Step #1: Wash and Dry Your Hands 

Before you begin cleaning your eyewear, it’s important to wash your hands so that you don’t transfer dirt, oil, and germs to your lenses while handling them.

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and dry them with a lint-free towel.

Step #2: Rinse Your Glasses with Lukewarm Water 

Hold your eyewear under lukewarm running water to rinse them off. Make sure you rinse both the lenses and the frame. The warm water works to dislodge dirt and grime. Just be sure the water isn’t too hot, as that can damage specialized lens coatings. 

Step #3: Wash the Lenses with Mild Dishwashing Soap 

Place a drop of mild non-abrasive  dishwashing liquid on each lens. Then, using your fingers, gently rub the soap over both sides of the lenses, the entire frame, and the nose pads. For this step, you can also use a lens cleaning spray, such as the one in the Privé Cleaning/Repair Kit. 

Step #4: Rinse Your Glasses Again

Hold your glasses under lukewarm running water to rinse the soap off the lenses and frame. 

Step #5: Wipe Your Glasses Dry 

Using a clean microfiber cloth, dry your glasses. It can help to hold them up to the light to look for any lingering smudges or dust. Once they’re sparkling clean, wear them or store them in a glasses case.

Here's a bonus! Every pair of glasses from Privé Revaux comes with a microfiber cloth and foldable case! 

Common Questions About Cleaning Sunglasses or Glasses 

If you adhere to the above steps, the result should be crisp, clear, clean glasses. Still, we understand you might have lingering questions about cleaning your shades and specs.

Or perhaps you’re wondering if there are other cleaning products you can use if you don’t have dishwashing soap on hand. Let’s tackle some of those questions now.

Can I Use Alcohol Wipes on My Sunglasses?

Many people think (medical type??) alcohol wipes are a convenient and effective way to clean your glasses on the go, but this kind of alcohol does not mix well with glasses lenses. Alcohol can be too harsh for a lot of lenses and carries the risk of removing special lens coatings.

Instead, keep wipes or spray that are specially formulated for glasses on hand. These are useful when you’re on the go and don’t have access to running water and dish soap. 

do not use windex for cleaning sunglasses

Is Windex Bad for Sunglasses?

Windex works great on your glass coffee table and windows, so it should work well for your glasses lenses too, right? Wrong! Windex and other household cleaners contain chemicals that can strip the coatings off lenses.

For example, if you use Windex on polarized lenses, you run the risk of removing that specialized coating.

What Other Liquids Should You Avoid Using to Clean Glasses?

In addition to the above substances, it’s also essential to steer clear of vinegar, bleach, or ammonia when cleaning your glasses.

These harsh substances can also strip away delicate coatings and damage your lenses. Additionally, the residue or fumes from these products can irritate your eyes.

Can You Use Your Shirt or a Towel to Clean and Dry Your Glasses? 

We’ve all been there: you’re out and about and notice that your sunglasses or glasses are dirty.  While it might seem like a good idea to wipe the lenses with your shirt, a paper towel, a hand towel, or a tissue, this is not a good move.

You shouldn’t use anything other than a microfiber cloth on your lenses. Why? Because materials like paper towels or clothing are too coarse and can cause minor scratches on the lenses’ surface. Over time, this can cause your lenses to lose their clarity. 

Can You Clean Your Glasses without Any Liquid? 

Piggybacking off the last question, you should never clean your glasses without a liquid. Even if you have a microfiber cloth on hand, you still need liquid (water or a lens cleaning spray) to clean them properly.

Rubbing dirty glasses with material or fabric, without rinsing off the debris with water first, will push dirt and debris around, leading to scratches.


prive revaux cleaning kit


Start Properly Caring for Your Glasses 

If you haven’t been properly caring for your sunglasses or glasses, get on the right track starting today. Doing so will help extend the lifespan of your eyewear.

What if your glasses have become severely scratched or damaged due to poor cleaning habits? In that case, it may be in your best interest to replace your glasses lenses or buy a new pair of glasses.

If you’re shopping for eyewear, browse Privé Revaux’s selection of affordable new sunglasses and reading glasses in an array of trendy styles. All of our eyewear comes with scratch-resistant lenses, which can further help protect them as you move through life. 

You can search our collection by lens size, lens type, style, color, and even face shape. Start by taking our online quiz to help you find your perfect match!

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