Picture of an example of anti-reflective lenses, in a pair of eyeglasses.

Best Way to Clean Your Glasses, Eyeglasses

We’ve worn glasses for over five decades. In that time, we got advice from many optometrists, ophthalmologists, and other vision practitioners. They all agreed on the best way to clean your glasses. They suggested cleaning glasses with mild, oil free dish soap and soft lint-free cloths to dry them.

Indeed, carefully cleaning your glasses is easy once you know how to safely handle them. You should know which cleaners work the best and safest, and which drying cloths scratch the least. All of these factors are important in keeping expensive glasses looking good and working well.

We tried the dry lens cleaning cloths from Kodak and other suppliers. They made these of a very thin, tissue-like paper. We also tested some of the costly liquid lens cleaners that work with the dry cloths.  But we found only partial success. Almost always, this cleaning duo left smears and streaks on our glasses.

Best Way to Clean your Glasses: Our Experience

Picture of the Great Value Ultra Concentrated Dishwashing Liquid, 60 Oz bottle, front view. Best Way to Clean your Glasses.
Great Value Ultra Concentrated Dishwashing Liquid, 60 Oz bottle, front view.

What the Eye Doctors Say is the Best Way to Clean Your Glasses

We talked with numerous doctors about lengthening the life of our glasses. They all agreed. They said that the best lens cleaner is a lotion-free, mild dishwashing liquid soap. We use brands like Great Value, Palmolive, Joy, or Ajax. Now you may have to dilute the thicker soaps. For that, we mix one part water with one part of dish soap. You want the mix thin enough that it easily spreads with the fingers over the lens.

But do avoid those dish soaps that contain oils and lanolin for skin softening These can smear your lenses. Then, not even lens cleaning cloths can get those out in some cases.

Also, avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive solvents. Specifically, don’t use cleansers, polishes, ammonia, or bleach based cleaners. Why not? These can strip any anti scratch or anti glare coatings away. So you want a simple dish washing-by-hand liquid with no extra agents in it besides the soap. Do not use automatic dishwasher soap.

Picture of the Great Value Ultra Concentrated Dishwashing Liquid, 60 Oz. bottle, back view.
Great Value Ultra Concentrated Dishwashing Liquid, 60 Oz. bottle, back view.

About Drying Cloths as the Best Way to Clean Your Glasses

Where to Get Glasses Drying Cloths

Then, once you’ve washed and rinsed your glasses, dry them with a soft microfiber cloth. Use one designed for safe drying plastic and glass lenses. You buy these at most stores that sell glasses such as Foreyes, Pearl, Lens Crafters, Sam’s Club, Walmart, et al.

Tips for Using Glasses Drying Cloths

Use this cloth, only to dry the rinsed lenses; not for scrubbing them. For washing, you gently rub the soaped up lenses with your fingers until you cover all lens surfaces. Avoid too much rubbing though. This too can wear out any lens coatings before their time.

Picture of soft anti reflective lens cleaning cloths. Best Way to Clean your Glasses.
Examples of soft anti reflective lens cleaning cloths.

Use a clean, soft, lint free lens drying cloth. Any oil in the cloths can spread to your clean lenses as you dry them. Oil on the glasses can lower any anti reflective performance they have. Or, it could damage them beyond repair.

Best Way to Clean your Glasses: The Method

To sum all this up, here’s our tried-and-true procedure to clean glasses with dish soap.

1. Wet Glasses with Water

Wet the glasses with clean water. Use filtered water if you live in a hard-water area. This stops suspended particles in the water from scratching your lenses.

2. Apply Dish Soap

Then, onto each lens, place one or two drops of dish soap liquid.

3. Softly Scrub Glasses Fronts to Continue with the Best Way to Clean Your Glasses

Further, gently rub the lens surface with your fingers, taking care not to press too hard. Also, be sure you have no callouses, scabs, dry skin, or other rough edges on your fingertips. Jagged finger nails rough skin can also mar plastic lenses especially.

4. Clean the Back Sides of your Glasses Then

The soap you have on your fingers from the first sides should be enough to clean the other sides.

5. Clean Frames, Nose, and Temple Pieces

Also, rub clean the nose rests and the entire frames of your glasses. You want to clean off all the body oils from them.

6. Rinse Soap Off

Rinse under warm, running water until the lens surfaces squeak when running your fingers across them.

7. Dry your Glasses to Continue with Best Way to Clean Your Glasses

Then, dry the glasses with the lens cloths mentioned above. You’ll know that you’ve indeed cleaned the lenses well, if they have a clear luster.

8. Finally, Check Out your Glasses

Best Way to Clean your Glasses: Conclusion

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to costly eye glasses. So to preserve their good performance, avoid getting them very dirty in the first place. Or at least, reduce how dirty you get them. Furthermore, avoid solvents like turpentine or citrus-based cleaners, or any harsh cleaners. Why? Because these can quickly destroy any micro thin anti glare films on your lenses.

Finally. you’ll always have some body oil on glasses that you wear every day. But remember that even when cleaning as described above, don’t do it too much. Indeed, too often glasses cleanings stress the anti reflective coatings. So, too much cleaning wear them down. So, wear and store your specs such that they require the least cleaning. But when you must clean them, use the method above. It least hurts yet best restores your delicate glasses lenses to decent working order.

Best Way to Clean your Glasses: Related Posts

  1. Cleaning Anti Reflective Eyeglasses
  2. How to Clean Anti Glare Glasses
  3. Cleaning Ray Ban Sunglasses Instructions
  4. How to Clean Oakley Sunglasses
  5. How to Clean CDs and DVDs, Tips, Advice

Best Way to Clean your Glasses: References

  1. How to Take Care of your Eyeglasses, from Consumer Reports
  2. The Best Way to Clean Your Eyeglasses, from the Wall Street Journal
  3. How to clean glasses without ruining them, from Zenni Optical 

Revision History

  • 2019-04-24: Added tags. Shortened post URL.
  • 2018-06-01: First published.