While seemingly a trivial topic, hygiene nowadays (especially optical hygiene) is more prevalent than ever. While we navigate through a pandemic and we acquire new habits to ensure we and the products we use are clean, us glasses wearers must take extra steps to achieve this.
Just like any product we use, we should endeavour to keep our glasses clean so that they function to the best of their ability. Secondly, taking that bit of extra care usually improves the longevity of your frames! Not only does good caretaking benefit the condition of our glasses, it can also greatly reduce the risk of any health complications with our eyes.
Read on to explore exactly what is the right way to clean your specs.
Big no-nos when cleaning glasses
Before we jump into the intricacies of how to clean glasses to make them shiny and pristine, it’s best to acknowledge the important things to avoid.
Cleaning glasses with your clothing
One major thing to avoid which is highlighted tirelessly by optometrists, is using your t-shirt or other articles of clothing to wipe your lenses. Quite simply, all this does is smudge and push around any dirt which is on your glasses. Moreover, not only does this not actually clean them, it can cause damage to your glasses, too. When using your clothing, or other sub-optimal materials for your lenses, it can cause micro-abrasions which leave them looking worn over time or lead to a noticeably worse vision.
Cleaning glasses with certain alcohol solutions
If you are cleaning your glasses with alcohol, it is important to note which solutions to use and which to completely disregard. Using Acetone-based solutions like nail polish remover to clean your glasses is a big no-no. These products can lead to peeling, discolouring or fogging of the lenses which obviously would be more than an inconvenience as a glasses-wearer, especially if you have invested in some nifty blue light lenses. The wrong cleaning fluids can not only cause permanent damage to your glasses, but they can also cause permanent damage to you! Using the wrong solution on your glasses can be dangerous as if they get in your eye, they can leave you with great discomfort or even a permanent injury.
The recommended frequency for cleaning glasses
A lack of regularity is also a shortcoming of many poor cleaning habits. While you may own the right lens cleaning solution, the right cloths and the right protective cases, if you only use these products once or twice a month then your efforts are wasted. All it takes is a few days of working in a restaurant, a construction site or even an office to collect dirt and bacteria, leaving your beautiful glasses looking grimy and run down. Not to mention an increased chance of developing an eye infection.
Therefore, your cleaning routine should be daily! Opticians recommend that you clean your lenses once a day and your frames once a week. Just think of your average day – why would you wash your hands regularly but not your glasses? If you think back to that saying; “your iPhone is dirtier than a public restroom” – then imagine what could be lurking on your glasses!
What should I stock up with?
There are a few optical hygiene essentials. Firstly, a microfibre cloth (which is explicitly reserved for your glasses and not the kitchen sink). Secondly, a glasses-specific alcohol solution is a must for your glasses cleaning toolkit. While generic alcohol wipes and cleaner will destroy the bacteria and remove dirt from your lenses, it is best to play things safely by sticking to a product which is designed specifically for cleaning glasses. These solutions will be softer on the lenses and the acetate, leaving your favourite frames looking as good as new.
When it comes to how to clean your glasses frames, it should be weekly as mentioned earlier and thankfully you shouldn’t have to stock up on much. The advice is, you should be cleaning the glasses frames with water (warm water where available) alongside a lotion-free soap. Pay particular attention to the nose pad (as that is where much of the bacteria builds up), as well as other areas you think would need extra TLC based on your face shape, like the ear hooks.
How to keep your glasses spick and span
Another thing to note is not how to clean glasses but how to keep them clean. This depends on how you store and travel with your glasses. It is important not to throw the frames directly into a bag. It is highly likely there is a variety of bacteria or debris in the bag which can either dirty your glasses or worse, damage them. Buying a protective case is an ideal way to keep your frames protected and free from bacteria and dust at the same time.
Are you in need of a glasses upgrade?
If you, like many others, have previously purchased the wrong frames and haven’t paid much attention to their care, perhaps an upgrade would be a good place to begin with your new glasses cleaning habits. Take a look at our quality women’s glasses and prescription eyewear for men, and why not try a few pairs on before you make your decision, with the help of our free home try before you buy glasses service.