Updated on  May 2, 2024
5 min read

How to Clean Your Glasses Properly

6 sources cited
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Cleaning your eyeglasses regularly is the most effective way to keep them in good condition. This helps prevent scratches, smudges, grime on the lens, and other damages. 

However, learning how to clean eyeglasses properly is essential for the best results.

How To Clean Glasses: Step-By-Step

Follow these eight steps to clean your eyeglass lenses and frames without damaging the lenses. These tips will also help you keep your safety glasses, sunglasses, and sports eyewear in excellent condition.

Remember that different lenses require different cleaning methods. For instance, transition and blue-light-blocking lenses need to be cleaned with a special cleaner designed for these lenses.

1. Wash and Dry Your Hands

Before cleaning your eyewear, ensure that your hands are clean. Remove dirt, grime, lotion, or anything else that could affect your lenses. Use a dishwashing liquid or lotion-free soap and a clean, lint-free towel to wash your hands.

2. Rinse Your Eyewear

Rinse your eyeglasses under a stream of lukewarm water from the tap. This helps wash away any dust and other debris that can scratch your lenses.

Don’t use hot water. This can damage some eyewear lens coatings.

3. Apply Dishwashing Liquid to Your Eyewear

Apply a small amount of lotion-free soap or dishwashing liquid to each lens of your glasses. Most dishwashing solutions are very concentrated, so only use a small drop.

4. Clean the Lenses

Gently clean both sides of the lens and the entire eyeglasses frame for a few seconds. Ensure that you clean each part carefully. This includes the nose pads and the ends of the temples that sit behind your ears.

Don’t forget to clean the part where the edge of the lenses meets the frame. This is where dust, debris, and oils gather easily.

5. Rinse the Lenses

Wash both sides of the frame and the lenses thoroughly. Be sure to wash away all traces of soap as well. Otherwise, the glasses will be smeared when you dry them.

6. Gently Shake the Eyeglasses

Gently shaking the eyeglasses can remove most of the water from the lenses. After doing this, check the glasses to ensure they’re clean.

7. Dry the Lenses

Thoroughly dry the eyeglasses lenses with a fresh, lint-free cleaning cloth or towel. Make sure the clean cloth hasn’t been laundered with fabric softener or a dryer sheet. These solutions can smear or smudge eyewear lenses.

8. Inspect the Lenses

Inspect the lenses of the eyeglasses. If there are still some streaks, smudges, or grime, remove them with a clean microfiber lens cloth. 

Woman cleaning eyeglasses with microfiber cloth

Where to Buy Glasses + Contacts

Best Overall: Warby Parker

Fastest Delivery: EyeBuyDirect

Also Great: Liingo

Best Place to Buy Contacts: Discount Contacts

Cleaning Supplies You Need for Cleaning Glasses

1. Microfiber Cloth or Lint-Free Towel

Microfiber cloths work well for cleaning eyeglasses. The material dries eyeglass lenses effectively and collects oils to prevent smearing. 

You should also clean these cloths regularly since they trap grime and debris. Hand-wash the towel using lotion-free dishwashing liquid and clean water. Then, let the cloth air dry.

2. Lukewarm Tap Water

Always use warm or lukewarm tap water. Hot water can damage some lens coatings.

3. Safe Cleaning Solution or Dish Soap

Use a safe dishwashing liquid or a mild soap. If your lenses have an anti-reflective coating, ensure the eyeglass cleaner you use is suitable for AR lenses.

What Not To Do When Cleaning Eyeglasses

There are plenty of materials you shouldn’t use when cleaning your eyeglasses. These include:

1. Paper Towels

Don’t use paper towels, tissues, or toilet paper to clean your eyeglasses. This material can scratch or smudge your lenses. They can also leave lint on the glasses.

Focused shot on cleaning eye glasses using tissue paper
Boy cleaning is glasses isolated on white

2. Hot Water

Hot water can damage some lens coatings. The heat can cause the lens coating to warp or bubble.

3. Acetone Products

Never clean eyeglasses with products containing acetone, like nail polish remover. Acetone is damaging to both lenses and plastic frames, especially if left on the surface for too long.

4. Saliva

Many people make the mistake of using saliva to lubricate eyeglasses lenses. However, this involves coating your lenses with germs from your mouth. This bacteria can then multiply.

Saliva can also make a smudge on eyeglasses look worse.

5. Clothing

Don’t use your clothing, such as your shirttail, to clean your eyeglasses. Many materials in clothing can scratch your lenses.

6. Household Cleaners

Don’t use household glass or surface cleaning solutions to clean your eyewear. These formulas contain ingredients that can damage lenses and coatings.

Is Professional Cleaning Necessary?

It’s not always necessary to have your eyeglasses professionally cleaned. This is especially true if your eyeglasses only have minor smudges. 

However, if you’re unsure how to clean your eyeglasses properly, it’s best to take them to a professional. Opticians have the right tools and cleaning solutions to clean your glasses safely. They can also check for any damage or scratches on the lenses.

How to Store Eyeglasses Properly

Aside from cleaning your glasses regularly, it’s also important to store them properly.

When not in use, always keep your glasses in a protective case. This will help protect the lenses from scratches and dirt. Make sure the case is clean and dry before putting away your glasses.

Never leave your glasses on your head or your car’s dashboard, as this can cause damage.

Finally, never leave your glasses in direct sunlight because this can cause the lenses to warp or discolor.


Cleaning your glasses is an important part of maintaining them. Following the proper steps and using the right supplies can help keep your glasses looking their best. If needed, take your glasses to a professional for cleaning and repair.

Best Places to Buy Glasses

Best Overall

Warby Parker has stylish, high-quality frames at affordable prices.

Also Great

Liingo Eyewear is another great option to buy glasses online.

Best on a Budget

EyeBuyDirect has a wide variety of budget frames starting at $6.

Best Places to Buy Contacts

Best Overall

Discount Contacts is our #1 recommendation to buy contacts online.

glasses usa logo
Also Great

GlassesUSA has a huge selection of contacts, glasses, & sunglasses.

Updated on  May 2, 2024
6 sources cited
Updated on  May 2, 2024
The information provided on VisionCenter.org should not be used in place of actual information provided by a doctor or a specialist.