If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.
Whether you’ve worn glasses for most of your life or you only occasionally wear sunglasses when you’re driving, it can sometimes be easy to forget that you should regularly clean your frames and lenses. Much like our phones, a pair of glasses can be a breeding ground for germs, especially if you wear them every day, and dust build-up on your lenses can obstruct your vision. Luckily, it’s easy to stock up on a few essentials to help keep them clean. Here’s everything you need to know.
How to Clean Your Glasses
There’s a right way to clean your glasses, and a wrong way. For starters, you should make sure to clean your lenses and frames daily and weekly, depending on how dirty they appear.
While you may have used your shirt to quickly wipe off their lenses at least once in the past, this may be actually doing more harm than good; you’re not disinfecting anything. In fact, you’re just smearing whatever has landed on your lenses and spreading the germs around the surface. More importantly though, the fibers of whatever your shirt is made from could be scratching and damaging your lenses. Another misconception is to use things like window cleaner, rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover to disinfect your lenses. These products can actually be destructive to your frames and erode your lenses over time, especially rubbing alcohol due to the fact it contains acetone.
When it comes to proper care for your lenses and frames, you should be using a microfiber cloth, per eyewear experts, including LensCrafters. This is the safest, and most effective product to use to clean your glasses. These cloths are incredibly soft and don’t leave lint or other particles as they clean your lenses, ensuring no damage.
You should also use a cleaning solution to make sure you’re disinfecting the surface. Eyeglasses maker Warby Parker sells a spray, and you can find a large variety of them sold online or at your local shop. Cleaning solutions are oftentimes sold as sprays for convenience, but you can also use a lotion-free dish soap. Just apply a small amount of soap on your fingertips to spread it across the surface your lenses and frames, and then rinse with distilled water. And always make sure you wash your hands before beginning to clean your glasses, so you’re not transferring any germs.
When you’re going in for your annual eye exam or having your glasses adjusted, ask if they offer a complimentary cleaning. Many will offer this service in addition to free adjustments.
The Best Products to Clean Your Glasses
Here’s what you should be using to ensure that you’re cleaning your lenses and frames without damaging them.
1. MagicFiber Cleaning Cloths
These high-quality microfiber cleaning cloths are an inexpensive and safe way to keep your lenses clean. In fact, they’re so soft that you can safely clean the surfaces of your other belongings as well, such as your laptop, smartphone and tablet screens, and even jewelry. They’ll effectively clean oil, smudges, fingerprints and more without leaving scratches or streaks. You can store them safely and securely in your frame case, your purse or a fanny pack. They’re also sold in bulk, so these are a perfect option if you’re prone to misplacing your cleaning cloths, or you just want to ensure you always have one on you.
Buy MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths $8.99
2. Koala Eyeglass Lens Cleaner Spray
This cleaning spray promises the “next level” in terms of cleaning your lenses, whether you have designer sunglasses, VR smart glasses or just a pair of reading glasses. Made without ingredients like alcohol, ammonia, fragrances or any toxic chemicals, the Koala cleaner spray’s even safe for small children to use and begin instilling a regular routine in cleaning their pair of glasses. And for a little bonus, it comes with three microfiber cleaning cloths, featuring woven honeycomb pattern that will safely and effectively clean your lenses.
Buy Koala Eyeglass Lens Cleaner Spray $12.99
3. Care Touch Lens Cleaning Wipes
Pre-moistened wipes are an effective, and very simple, alternative to sprays and microfiber cleaning cloths. They’re still gentle enough to safely clean your lenses and frames, and will help disinfect the surface. And even if you’re someone who uses a microfiber cloth and spray, you should consider a wipe to make sure you can get the nose pads of your glasses. In fact, nose pads are one of the major areas on your glasses where bacteria and germs can easily accumulate.
We love these Care Touch wipes for their streak- and residue-free formula, so you can clean your lenses and see clearly. They’re also incredibly inexpensive for the amount; you get a total of 210 individually wrapped and pre-moistened wipes. These are perfect if you’re on a budget, or if you don’t feel like constantly having to restock on wipes and cleaning solution.
Buy Care Touch Lens Cleaning Wipes $12.79
4. Better Life Unscented Dish Soap
Dish soap is a good alternative to cleaning solution or pre-moistened wipes for safely cleaning your glasses at home. However, you want to make sure that you avoid a soap that has a citrus base or feature softeners, as some can leave behind a residue. That’s why we recommend Better Life’s Unscented Dish Soap. It’s sulfate-free, but still manages to strip away oils and clean the surface.
Buy Better Life Unscented Dish Soap $11.73
5. Raylove Hardshell Eyeglasses Case
A case goes a long way in maintaining the appearance and overall quality of your glasses. Rather than leaving them out to collect dust or haphazardly stuffing them in a bag when you’re not using them or transporting them, keep them in a case where they can remain safe from damage. We like this hardshell case from Raylove, which is extremely durable and features a soft interior that protects your frames from dirt or scratches. This case is perfect for small or medium eyeglasses, and it’s available in a wide variety of colors.
Buy Raylove Eyeglasses Case $8.99
6. Mazzeo Sunglass Case
If you’re someone who has larger size sunglasses or eyeglasses, this case from Mazzeo is the perfect choice for keeping your pair safe. The crush-resistant exterior will keep them safe should you drop the case, while the soft, plush fabric interior will protect against any dirt or scraping against the lenses. Even if you don’t have a large pair of frames, you may want to consider bringing this case out for hikes or outdoor excursions. The case is made from water-repellant material, and will float should you drop it in water, keeping your frames dry and clean.
Buy Mazzeo Sunglass Cases $5.99