A small study conducted in 2018 reported that dangerous bacteria can grow on eyeglasses, predominantly on the nose pads and ear clips where the most contamination was found. A quick daily cleaning can reduce the culmination of germs and lengthen the longevity of your eyeglass frames.
However, without proper cleaning, you could be unknowingly stripping the coating from the surface of your eyeglass lenses. To make the most out of your investment, Doig Optometry put together a quick guide that will ensure you are cleaning your glasses safely and hygienically.
Deep cleaning your eyeglasses at home
1. Wash your hands in warm water
It makes sense that you will be able to get your glasses cleaner if your hands are clean. Also, this allows you to set the temperature of the water coming from your tap. If It is too hot for your hands, then it is too hot for your eyeglasses. Both your frames and especially the coating on your lenses are sensitive to temperature. Water that is too cold will not clean your glasses well, and water that is too hot can damage them. The rule of thumb is if the water is warm enough for your hands, it is just the right temperature for cleaning your eyeglasses.
2. Run your glasses through the stream of water running from your tap
This will rinse off all the gritty dirt and debris that can scratch your lenses.
3. Apply a small amount of dish soap to your glasses
Dr. Doig recommends using clear dish soap because some opaque dish soaps have creams in them. Also, be sure there’s no “grit in your dish soap”. This is great for the skin of your hands, but it can leave streaks on your glasses. You don’t need to use too much soap, just enough to get a thorough clean.
4. Use a soft, clean cloth to clean the surfaces of your lenses and your frames.
Remember that the cloth must be clean and soft. Any grit on your cloth will scratch your lenses. Microfibre cloths are soft enough for this step as long as they are clean.
5. Next, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean around the nose pads and other tricky parts of your eyeglass frame.
Make sure it’s a soft-bristled toothbrush and never use it on the lenses. This step is only about cleaning the nose pads and we don’t want to damage the lenses.
6. Rinse all the soap off your glasses with lots of warm water.
Remember, if it’s too hot for your hands, it’s too hot for your glasses.
7. Carefully and gently dry your glasses, using a clean and soft cloth.
Again, microfibre cloths are soft enough to be safe for this step as long as they are clean. You may want to have a second microfibre cloth for this step.
8. Put your glasses on and enjoy the clean view!
Light cleaning of your glasses when you are on the go
1. If you are near a tap, wash your hands.
Rinse as much grit and dirt as you can from your lenses. If you can’t do this, skip to step 2.
2. Use eyeglass spray cleaner.
Spray a generous amount of eyeglass spray cleaner on the surface of your lenses and let it sit for 15-30 seconds.
3. Gently wipe the lenses with a clean microfibre cloth.
4. Repeat with more spray cleaner if your glasses don’t seem clean yet.
At this point, rubbing them more may risk scratching the lenses, especially if you were not able to rinse them under water before cleaning them. You can spray them, again and again, to remove dirt. Remember, your spray cleaner is more affordable than new lenses so using lots of spray cleaner is the better choice.
Once they are clean enough to continue with your day, remind yourself to give them a deep cleaning when you get home.
Things to consider when using microfibre cloths to clean your eyeglasses
- Microfibre cloths collect oils - After a few days of use, your microfibre cloth may not seem to work as well as it did when it was new. This is because the cloth has accumulated oils from your glasses and, once saturated, these oils can smear back onto your lenses. The simple solution to this problem is to throw your microfibre cloth into the laundry with your other clothes and towels.
- Don’t use any fabric softener when washing the cloth to clean your glasses - Fabric softeners will coat the fibre in your microfibre cloth and make it less effective. Also, do not put your microfibre cloth in the dryer. The heat from the dryer will also damage your microfibre cloth and make it less effective. Simply hang it to dry, and then it will work like new again.
Choose a quality eyeglass spray cleaner
Many eyeglass spray cleaners are chemical-based. At Doig Optometry, we’ve never been comfortable recommending all those chemicals since your glasses will touch your skin and since they sit very near your eyes. What’s great about Doig Optometry’s spray cleaner is that it’s a very gentle enzymatic cleaner. It’s hypoallergenic and pH neutral and contains no harsh chemicals.
Doig optometry’s eyeglass spray cleaner is effective against the COVID-19 virus. COVID-19 is thankfully an easy virus to destroy. This is because it has a lipid membrane. Lipid is broken down by surfactants in your dish soap, but cleaning with dish soap requires rinsing.
The enzymatic cleaner in Doig Optometry’s eyeglass spray cleaner quickly destroys the greasy lipid membrane around the COVID-19 virus. Without its lipid membrane, the COVID-19 virus cannot bind to the cells of your body to cause disease. To help make sure this happens, let the spray cleaner sit on your glasses for 15-30 seconds before wiping it away.
Professional cleaning for your eyeglasses
If your eyeglasses lenses and eyeglasses frames have a build-up of oil that doesn’t go away or you’re noticing skin breakouts where your glasses touch your face, professional cleaning at Doig Optometry will do the trick. Bring your glasses to our office for a complimentary cleaning in our ultrasonic cleaner.
Our Ultrasonic cleaner uses a solution with a gentle surfactant similar to your kitchen dish soap. After a few minutes in this ultrasonic cleaner, your glasses are rinsed in clean water and then cleaned with Doig Optometry’s BI-OH cleaner to ensure we’ve completely destroyed the COVID-19 virus. Then your glasses are returned to you sparkling new!