Care of one's glasses

I just picked up my new glasses from Costco.

The Optician said to wash the lenses in warm soapy water.
Indicating a small tub to my right filled to the brim. We
use Dawn dishwasher detergent.

So, no more equal parts isopropyl alcohol,water and a
couple of drops of detergent (Dawn, curiously enough).

I’ll stick with the Optician’s recommendation. Maybe you’ll
take her advice, too. But maybe you won’t.

After wrecking the non-glare coating on two (2) pairs of glasses in a row, I finally had a LONG talk with the optician for this latest pair. And she said that it didn’t really matter what you use on them, as long as you DON’T use Windex or other ammonia-based cleaner, and that you DO use liquid of some kind (water, soapy water, rubbing alcohol, whatever), so you don’t rub them with a cloth while they’re dry, because that grinds the dust particles into the coating.

And–here’s the important part–you use a SOFT, 100% cotton cloth to rub them with. That’s as in an old t-shirt, not a dishtowel. Something with no scratchy texture to it, and with no polyester, nylon, rayon, or wool. Just cotton, and soft.

And I asked her what SHE uses on her own glasses, as she squirted my new glasses with her pricey Speshul Stuf Just For Cleaning Glasses, and she shrugged, “Oh, I just use rubbing alcohol.”

So I rinse mine off with plain water, then spray 'em with rubbing alcohol, then polish with an old, soft t-shirt I keep just for polishing my glasses.

And I screech like a stuck pig when my husband helpfully tries to take them off my face and polish them on his shirttail. “NOOOOO!! Gimme those!” as I snatch them back…

If a coating makes it so I can’t clean my glasses with my shirt, I don’t want that coating, thankyouverymuch. I wear my glasses upwards of 16-20 hours a day, every day. I should be able to clean them easily without damaging them.

I occationally give my glasses to my wife to put in her industrial ultrasonic cleaner, filled with a 50% Mr. Clean solution. They get really clean.

mumble grumble grumble

I’m a little wary of isopropyl (AKA rubbing) alcohol. It’s the only ingredient named in the lens cleaner I bought at Walgreens a little while back, and the caveat on the plastic bottle reads:


Maybe the alcohol eats away the coating. I don’t know. But it certainly isn’t a concern to your Optician. She gets her glasses free- maybe a pair every month or so to promote the latest frame styles.

I’d like to hear from an optician or two. Problem is, chemistry might not be their bag.

The “helpful” person at Lenscrafter’s who sold me my latest pair told me to avoid Windex (I think) and stay away from things that used to be trees.

I’ve avoided Windex, on the grounds that I never wanted Windex on my lenses anyway, but still use Kleenex more often than not.

If I’ve scratched them, they are too filthy for me to tell. I really ought to go clean them when I get home.

And an optician checks in!

OK, I have antireflective coating on all my glasses, which I do not get for free (but the frame reps are happy to give me crazy discounts off the wholesale price). I clean them usually at work with the nice-smelling lens cleaner we buy and a cloth diaper. When I’m at home, and I AM NOT SAYING YOU SHOULD DO THIS, I use dishsoap (Dawn) and a pair of beat up old blue jeans. Yes, that’s right, I use freaking denim. After 2 boys outgrow a pair of jeans, the cotton is pretty darn soft. I will say that I’ve never scratched a lens with my denim method, but once totally destroyed a pair with one swipe of a cheap paper towel.

As far as coatings being the reason not to use your shirt…that’s not why. You shouldn’t use your shirt because you walk around all day picking up little bits of airborne crud, which you are then grinding into your lenses. Not to mention that the oils of your skin will only make your lenses dirtier.

Here’s my dispense talk: “When cleaning your lenses, wet them first and wipe them with a clean soft cloth. Cotton is best. Don’t use paper towels, tissues, napkins, toilet paper or the shirt you’re wearing.” I also inform that fabric softener is waxy and any fabric washed or dried with it will not clean your lenses, but will make them look worse.

Tip on Anti-Reflective lenses: wet both sides of both lenses with either soapy water or eyeglass cleaner made for AR. Gently “smear” the lenses with your fingers on both sides (in a sort of pinching posture with your fingers). Turn on the water in the nearest sink, fast enough to flow well, but slow enough to not be aerated. Slowly pass your glasses through the running water, and most of the cleaner/soapy water will “slide” right off, and the lenses will be nearly clean, needing only a cursory swipe with a cloth. AR coatings are pretty “hydrophobic”, and the more expensive coatings actually do seem to clean more easily and scratch less (and yes, I’ve got cheap AR and expensive AR, and I actually do prefer the expensive stuff. However, my lenses have never ever once been free, and with as often as I like to change my frame, I get the cheaper stuff).

Any other questions? I’ll pop in from time to time :wink:


Oh yeah…chemistry is so NOT my bag. But definitely avoid Windex, as it will actually eat away the surface of any lens other than glass, leaving an unfixable milky sort of appearance. I also advise against the use of rubbing alcohol on a regular basis, though it’s awesome for getting hairspray residue off your lenses. Rubbing alcohol will destroy plastic frames over time, causing a dry-rot sort of effect which can’t be reversed.

And, before the question comes up…no, there is no way to remove scratches (buffing would create a new surface, distorting the angles at which light passes through the lens), and that stuff they show on TV is sort of a glorified laquer which, according to a local TV news station “doesn’t really work!”

Good stuff. hank you.

step one, adjust the shower to a comfy temperature.
step tow, get nekkid and get into shower.
step three, pour a drop of plaing Dr Bronners soap into one hand, get wet [dilute, dilute, dilute] and wash the glasses.
step four, shake off excess water and place on top of the shower doors in the breeze from the bathroom heater and let dry.
step five, finish shower, get dry, put glasses back on face.

Repeat the following morning.

I can make a pair of glasses last 5-7 years in pristine condition [even the part that goes behind the ears and normally rots because most people never wash them…]

I’ve ruined more than one pair of frames by using astringents containing alcohol on my face, and not letting my face dry before putting my glasses back on. Nowadays I clean my glasses in the shower, and I carry a clean bandanna or handkerchief in my purse at all times.

I recommend using a soft clean toothbrush in the groove between lens and frame if there’s any sort of oil or dirt build up.

Hands up all those of us who removed their glasses to see how dirty/smudged they were while reading this thread :smiley:

The absolute BEST thing I have found for cleaning my lenses is a microfiber cloth. It lifts the oils that otherwise smudge & leaves no lint. (Next time around there will be NO coating on my lenses either!)

What? We’re supposed to clean our glasses???

I just sort of rub 'em off when they’re dirty. Huh.

i’ve had a single pair of wire-frame glasses for the last eleven years.
five things explain why i have not needed a new pair of glasses in that interval:

  1. my rx has not changed.

  2. when i am not wearing my glasses, they are stored in an impact-resistant case.

  3. i use only a microfibre cloth for lens cleaning.

  4. i don’t wear my glasses in situations (i.e sports) where they are likely to be damaged / broken.

  5. because of lack of insurance, i pay special attention to following #2 through #4.

gee, what’s all the fuss about?

I had perfect vision till age 40; then suddenly I couldn’t read any more. So I got me a pair of reading glasses off the rack at the supermarket.
A measly 1.25 diopters. Now, few years later, I’ve moved up through 1.50, 1.75, and even 2.00 diopters.
But it’s the same supermarket rack. Costs me less than 15 bucks a throw.
And yes, I do throw 'em a lot. And I clean 'em on my shirt, and drop 'em on the floor, too. Oh, and the cat loves to play with 'em. But they still last me about a year.

One time I got me a fancy pair ($60 ?) from a real optometrist. But I didn’t see any difference. Yay for cheap glasses!

I’ve got another problem; my cat chews on the behind-the ear coverthingies. I think it helps him with his teeth…But they’re all rough now. Anyone know if I can sand or replace them? And do other cats do this?

If they work for you, great. But some of us are severely nearsighted. And have significant astigmatism. We don’t get to wear cheap glasses. And we resent people who do boasting about their cheap and careless ways with their glasses.

Off the shelf reading glasses are basically nothing more than magnifing lenses in frames. The work very well for people who have Presbyopia (basically eyes that can no longer focus- because the lens in the eye is no longer elastic.)

Presbyopia generally occurs around 40 or so. Usually presbyops can see in the distance fine, it’s just close vision that is a problem. This is much easier, and cheaper, to treat optically than other disorders of the eye, as Eureka indicates.

Amen, brother. -13 diopters represent!

Wouldn’t do me any good. They’re so scratched up…I will never get the anti-reflective coating again! I like the microfiber cleaning cloths, though. They rock.