How to clean your glasses

Are you guilty of the "shirt rub" when your lenses get a bit cloudy?

A quick wipe with your shirt can be a great fix, but over time these shortcuts can lead to long term lens damage.

Delicate lens coatings can become damaged if you keep wiping them on your clothes.

So, to keep your lenses scratch free, check out these two cleaning routines.


How to deep clean eyeglasses in 6 easy steps



1. Rinse your glasses

Using lukewarm water from your kitchen or bathroom faucet, rinse your glasses to rid the frame of any dirt and natural skin oils. The warm water helps soften any stubborn dirt which you can remove in the next step. Be careful not to use excessively hot water as this can damage your lenses.


2. Apply a mild detergent

Using a mild dish detergent or hand soap, apply a small blob to each of your lenses. Try to avoid touching your lenses with bottle nozzle to minimise the risk of scratches. Don’t use any domestic cleaning products here. Mild soap will do just fine.


3. Gently hand clean your frame & lenses

Using your fingers and thumbs, gently rub the soap onto the front and back surfaces of your spectacle lenses. With a nice soapy lather, get to work on the nose pads and temples (arms) of your frame. The inner surfaces of your glasses will likely be dirtier as make more frequent contact with your skin. Take your time to get in all the tight corners and refrain from using any kind of bristle brush or abrasives. These will definitely damage your glasses, so use your hands only!


4. Rinse your glasses again

Wash any excess soap of your hands and hold your frame at the ends of the temples (arms). Once more, rinse your glasses using lukewarm water from your faucet. Be sure to wash away all the residual soap, otherwise this will cause smears later on.


5. Shake the water off

To get most of the water off your frame, give them a little shake before placing them on a clean dry surface. Try to avoid touching the lenses to prevent any smudges. A microfibre cleaning cloth would be ideal for catching any drips.


6. Wipe your glasses dry

With dry hands, use a microfibre cloth to gently wipe all the surfaces of your lenses and frame. This is the most satisfying stage as your glasses should now be impeccably clean, free from smudges and grime.


Person cleaning eyeglasses frame with bright orange lens cloth

How to clean your glasses with a cloth

For a regular everyday cleaning, it’s best to use a microfibre glasses cleaning cloth. The soft fibres help to absorb dirt and remove any smudges or skin-oil from your frame and prescription lenses. To avoid cloudy lenses, follow these 3 easy Steps.


1. Clean your lenses first

Using a microfibre cloth, always start by cleaning your lenses first. This means you won’t rub any oils or grease from your nose pads onto your lenses. If your cloth is clean, this is best way to get crystal clear results.


2. Wipe your temples next

Without touching your lenses, gently wipe the temples (arms) of your glasses. Natural skin-oil can build up on the inner surfaces where they make contact with your skin. Your microfibre cloth will remove any residue from hair or skin products leaving them smooth and shiny.


3. Clean your nose pads last

If necessary, clean your nose pads last. This is usually the greasiest part of your glasses as the pads rest on your nose all day. Your lens cloth will need a wash after this process, but your glasses frame should now be nice and clean.


Frequently asked questions about cleaning eyeglasses

Person wiping a black spectacle frame with an orange glasses cleaning cloth

Do you clean both sides of glasses?

Yes, you can clean both the front and back sides of your lenses. As long as you use a mild detergent, simply rub both sides of your spectacle lenses with your fingers to deep clean them. Same goes for your frame. Clean both the inner and outer surfaces to remove any grime.


How do you clean between lenses and frames?

The best way to clean between lenses and frames is by using your thumbnail behind a lens cleaning cloth. With the cloth draped over your thumb, get your nail right into the tight corner and work around the entire lens periphery. Repeat on the other lens.

If you frame is especially dirty, you might need to immerse your glasses in lukewarm water mixed with dishwashing detergent. This will soften stubborn dirt and debris. Using your thumbs, gently rub your lenses, nose pads and temples (arms) to remove any skin oil. Remove your glasses and wipe them dry with a microfibre cleaning cloth, making sure to get between the lenses and surrounding frame rim.


How do you get rid of cloudy film on glasses?

The best way to remove cloudiness from your glasses is by immersing them in lukewarm water mixed with dishwashing detergent. Gently wiping your lenses with your fingers, the soapy water breaks-down any grease or skin oil. Rub dry with a clean microfibre cloth for a perfect finish.


Why do my glasses always smudge?

Your eyeglasses smudge due to natural oils on your face and hands. If you regularly touch your glasses to re-adjust them, this is the main cause of cloudy lenses. Try to avoid fiddling with your glasses frame to keep it cleaner for longer. This is why getting the right fit of glasses is crucial to prevent them sliding down your nose and resting on your cheeks. For guide to spectacle frame sizing click here.


How do you clean glasses without smudging?

To avoid smudging your glasses, always clean your lenses first. Lens cloths absorb oil and dirt from your nose pads and temples (arms) which are easily transferred to your lenses. Another way to prevent smudging is to make sure your lens cloth is clean. By regularly washing your lens cloth, you reduce the dirt and grime within the fibres which would otherwise smudge your lenses.


How often should I deep clean my glasses?

You should deep clean your glasses at least once per week. Washing your spectacles in some lukewarm water mixed with dish washing detergent prevents the build-up of makeup, moisturiser, hair products and natural skin oils. Through the week, a deep clean will stop those annoying smudges when you use your glasses cleaning cloth.

Pale blue washing basket filled with laundry and cleaning cloths

Is it OK to wash your glasses everyday?

Yes, it’s perfectly fine to wash your glasses every day. If your frame is good quality and isn’t made of chap materials, there’s no reason you can’t frequently wash your spectacles. Just be sure the soap you use is mild and the water isn’t too hot. This prevents damaging the anti-glare and anti-scratch coatings on your lenses.

To prove regular cleaning is perfectly okay, co-founder Lucy actually deep cleans her glasses every single day. In her kitchen sink at home, she dips her frame into warm water and just uses regular dish-soap to gently wipe her frame and lenses. She does this so regularly it takes less than two minutes and leaves her glasses immaculately clean.


Can you clean your glasses too much?

No. If you’re using a microfibre cloth and being gentle with your lenses, there’s no such thing as cleaning your glasses too much. In fact, the cleaner you keep your lenses, the less likely they are to scratch as they’ll be free of any dirt and debris that could dragged across their delicate surface coatings. Always use a glasses cleaning cloth to clean your lenses. Never use your shirt, clothing or abrasive materials to clean your glasses.


Is washing glasses with water bad?

Lukewarm water mixed with dish soap is perfectly okay for washing your glasses. This won’t damage your frame or lenses, as long as the water isn’t too hot and the detergent isn’t too strong or contains harsh chemicals. To be safe, just use regular hand washing soap in tepid water and your glasses will be squeaky clean without any damage.


Which dish soap is best for cleaning eyeglasses?

There are many types and brands of dish soap which are suitable for cleaning glasses. In the UK, the national market leader is ‘Fairy.’ In the USA, ‘Dawn’ is perfectly suitable for cleaning your eyeglasses. A good rule of thumb is to use a soap that you’d be happy washing your hands with. If a soap is gentle enough for your skin, its gentle enough for your lenses.


A GIF reel of methods showing how not to clean your glasses

What should you not clean your glasses with?

Never use your clothing, handkerchiefs, kitchen tower or toilet paper to clean your glasses. As soft as they may seem, these textiles are too rough for optical lenses and can damage their delicate coatings causing irreversible scratches. Avoid using domestic cleaning liquids such as Windex or other glass cleaners as they contain harsh chemicals that strip your lenses of their coatings. Always use a microfibre glasses cleaning cloth to clean your glasses. And if needed, you can use lens-specific cleaning sprays. Both are readily available online or with your local optician and keep your lenses in perfect condition.


Can I use vinegar to clean my glasses?

No, vinegar is acidic and can damage the coatings on both your lenses and glasses frame. Whilst vinegar makes a great domestic cleaning solution, we recommend you use mild hand soap to clean your spectacles. Gentle detergents like this are kinder on your frame and prevents premature deterioration in any lacquers or lens coatings.


A microfibre glasses cleaning cloth being removed from small brass tube

How do I keep my glasses clean all day?

To keep your glasses clean all day, it’s best to deep wash them in the morning using warm soapy water. This removes any freshly-applied skin products from your morning routine.

Throughout the day, using a clean microfibre lens cloth will keep your glasses clear of grease and dirt. For the best results, we suggest having several microfibre glasses cleaning cloths which you can rotate throughout your week.

Clean cloths means clean glasses.

If you commute to work or regularly travel, it can be difficult to keep your glasses clean all day. Which is why you should keep a lens cloth with you wherever you go. To make this easier, this Cloth Capsule attaches to your keys meaning you always have a cloth on-hand to wipe your lenses with.


A glasses cleaning cloth stored inside a brass tube keyring attachment


Tortoise shell eyeglasses frame being cleaned in ultrasonic water tank

What is the easiest way to clean eyeglasses?

The easiest way to clean eyeglasses is with an ultrasonic cleaner. Available on Amazon, these little water tanks use detergent and ultrasonic sound waves to gently but thoroughly remove the dirt and debris from your frame and lenses. If you’re serious about keeping your glasses clean, this is the safest and most effective method that avoids damaging or scratching your eyeglasses.

Round tortoise shell spectacles immersed in water cleaning tank


If you don't wear spectacles but want to know how to keep your sunglasses clean, head over this handy article.

Hopefully you found this article helpful.

Thanks for stopping by.


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