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How to Clean Glasses Properly

Your eyeglasses are subjected to a range of elements every day. Because of that, it is important to clean them regularly. Cleaning your glasses helps prevent permanent lens damage, improves visibility and reduces eyestrain.

girl with clean glasses

There are right ways and wrong ways to clean your glasses. Here is step-by-step guide on how to clean them and keep them clear and in good shape.

Step-by-Step: How to Clean Your Glasses Properly

1. Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands helps mitigate the bacteria, dirt and grime that transfers to your glasses. Wash your hands for up to 20 seconds with warm water and soap before cleaning your glasses. Dry your hands with a lint-free towel.

2. Rinse the Glasses

Rinse your glasses under a gentle stream of warm water. Rotate the glasses to ensure both sides of the lenses, the frame and the earpieces all get wet.

3. Lather the Glasses with Dish Soap

Using your fingertips, carefully lather the glasses with a small amount of lotion-free dish soap. Make gentle circular motions to lather the soap over both sides of the lenses, throughout the frame and down the earpieces.

4. Wipe the Glasses Thoroughly

Clean each component of your eyeglasses thoroughly. These include the temples of the frame, nose pads, and earpieces.

You can use a cotton swab or a toothbrush with soft bristles. Ensure that you use gentle pressure when scrubbing the nose pads and crevices.

5. Rinse Away Residue

Hold your glasses under running water to wash away the soap residue and suds. Always make sure that you rinse away all traces of soap. Failing to do so will cause smudging when you dry the glasses. 

6. Shake Off Excess Water

Turn off the water and gently shake the eyeglasses. Inspect your lenses to check if they are clean and clear. You can wash them again if you see any smudges or smears.

7. Use a Microfiber Cloth to Dry the Glasses

Start by folding a clean microfiber cloth over either side of one lens. Dry the lens using gentle circular motions with your fingertips. 

Repeat this step for the other lens. Dry the nose pads and then dry and polish the frame and the earpieces. Check the glasses again to ensure you have removed all smudges, smears, and streaks.

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Don’ts of Cleaning Your Glasses

There are several mistakes that many people make while cleaning their eyeglasses. Below is an overview of what not to do when cleaning your glasses:

  • Don’t use hot water to clean your glasses. Hot water is damaging to the lenses, frame, and protective coatings.
  • Don’t use tissues, paper towels and the fabric of your shirt to clean smudges from your glasses. These materials are too coarse and can easily scratch the lenses.
  • Don’t clean your eyeglasses using your saliva. Saliva transfers germs from your mouth and also makes smudges look worse.
  • Don’t use household products such as surface cleaners to clean your lenses. These products contain ingredients such as acetone that can damage your lenses and frame.

Best Eyeglass Cleaners and Cloths

With the proper tools and products, your lens cleaning routine will be simpler and more effective. For the cleaning solution, the best option is a cleaning spray designed specifically for eyeglasses. You can purchase eyeglass lens cleaner spray at eyeglass retailers, local drug stores, or online.

A microfiber cloth is one of the safest and most effective tools for drying and cleaning your eyeglasses without scratching or smearing them. However, ensure that you clean your microfiber cloth frequently as they are effective at trapping dirt and debris.

How to Remove Scratches from Glasses

Unfortunately, most popular DIY methods to remove scratches from your eyeglasses are ineffective or even make the situation worse. Minor scratches will not affect your vision, and the recommended course of action is to prevent more scratches through proper care. 

This includes following proper cleaning and storage practices and applying a scratch-resistant coating. If the scratches are substantial and affect your vision, contact your eye care provider for a replacement.

Professional Eyeglass Cleaning – How Is It Different and Is It Worth It?

Ophthalmologists, optometrists and eyeglass retailers offer professional eyeglass cleaning services. If you have build-up that you can’t get rid of with your cleaning attempts, professional cleaning may be a suitable option. Professional eyeglass cleaning utilizes specialized equipment such as ultrasonic cleaners, which are much more gentle and effective at removing dirt and restoring your glasses.  

While there are at-home ultrasonic cleaners, improper use can cause lens and frame scratching. It is advisable to opt for professionals since they can remove the lenses before cleaning to avoid damaging them. You can also receive other complimentary services, including nose pad replacement or glasses reshaping. 

Tips for Keeping Your Glasses Clean

  1. Wash your hands before handling glasses.
  2. Avoid touching the lenses when adjusting your lenses.
  3. Store your glasses in a protective case on the go.
  4. Always keep a clean microfiber cloth in the glasses case.
  5. When you don’t have a case, always place your eyeglasses on clean surfaces with the lenses facing up.
  6. Keep your glasses separate from other items like keys or loose change.


  1. Cleaning Eyeglasses: What to do and what not to do. (November 2018). Michigan Eye Institute.

  2. How to Clean Your Glasses. (November 2020). The New York Times.

  3. How to take care of your eyeglasses. (August 2012). Consumer Reports.

  4. The Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning Eyeglasses You Should Remember. (November 2020). The Science Times.

Last Updated March 30, 2022

Note: This page should not serve as a substitute for professional medical advice from a doctor or specialist. Please review our about page for more information.

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