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How to Clean Glasses in 8 Easy Steps

Last Updated on

Eye glasses

Glasses aren’t cheap, and for some, they’re a necessity for day-to-day life. Cleaning your glasses is the best way to keep them in good condition and working for your vision. 

But there’s a right way and a wrong way to clean your glasses. Here are some tips for how to clean your eyeglass lenses and frames to keep your glasses in good condition. This guide not only helps for regular eyeglasses but for sunglasses, safety glasses, and sports eyewear.

Supplies Needed

  • Tap water
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • A dry towel or microfiber cloth
woman with microfiber cloth
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

The 8 Easy Steps to Clean Glasses

1. Clean Your Hands

It’s important to have clean hands before you start cleaning your glasses. Use dishwashing liquid or soap without lotion to wash your hands, then dry them with a clean towel.

2. Rinse Glasses with Tap Water

Rinsing your glasses with a low stream of tap water will remove dust and debris from your lenses, which can cause scratches when you clean them. Use lukewarm or cool water since hot water can damage a lens coating.


3. Apply a Drop of Dishwashing Liquid to Each Lens

Dishwashing liquid is concentrated, so be sure to use only a tiny drop. Avoid brands that have lotion, which can lead to a residue on your lenses.

4. Rub the Lenses

Gently rub the sides of the lenses and the frame with your hand. Make sure to clean the areas that contact your skin, such as the nose pads and the temples of the frame. Dust, debris, and skin oils also accumulate in the areas where the lenses meet the frame.

Cleaning Eyeglass
Image Credit: Memory Stockphoto, Shutterstock

5. Rinse Your Glasses

Once you’ve cleaned your glasses, rinse both sides of the lenses and the frame to remove soap residue. Be sure to rinse thoroughly since any soap left behind can smear when you dry your glasses.

6. Shake Your Glasses

Shake your glasses (gently!) to get rid of excess water. Then, check your lenses to see if they’re clean.

Blue light eyeglass
Image Credit: newarta, Pixabay

7. Dry Your Glasses with a Clean Towel

A dish towel that hasn’t been treated with a fabric softener or dryer sheer is ideal for drying your glasses, but a lint-free microfiber cloth is ideal. Make sure you dry your glasses thoroughly.

8. Inspect Your Glasses

If you see smudges or streaks on your glasses, you can clean them with a dry microfiber cloth. If you need to do spot cleaning, disposable lens cleaning wipes are a good option.


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The Wrong Way to Clean Glasses

If you have a habit of cleaning glasses with a shirttail or sleeve, you’re damaging your lenses. This doesn’t do much to clean your glasses, and if there’s dirt or debris, it will only scratch them. You should also avoid cleaning your glasses with saliva or a tissue, which is gross and may also damage your lenses.

Some people clean glasses with household glass cleaners, but these products have ingredients that may damage your eyeglass lenses and coatings. You should also avoid cleaning your glasses with paper towels, napkins, or toilet paper, which can scratch your lenses or leave lint behind.

If you do see a scratch on your lenses, don’t try to rub it out. You’ll only make the scratch worse. There’s no magic fix for scratches, either. If you have a significant scratch, it’s best to simply replace your lenses.


Cleaning your glasses is a great way to keep them in good condition and protect your investment. Glasses don’t last forever, but maintaining them with regular cleaning can keep them in great condition as long as possible.

Featured Image Credit: ReinhardThrainer, Pixabay

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.