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Maintaining Your Eyewear: Things to Avoid

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Dr. Marc Weinstein

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Once you’ve selected the perfect pair of glasses, there are still a few daily practices that can help your eyewear last for as long as possible. All glasses, no matter what material or prescription will need a little maintenance now and then. But do you know how to properly maintain your eyewear? The following guide will help you avoid common mistakes that can result in potential damage to your favorite glasses.

Why Do Eyeglasses Need to be Maintained?

It's easy for eyewear lenses to become dirty due to normal wear. Dirt and oil from your skin can transfer to your glasses, especially in humid or rainy weather. Lens debris can make it hard to see, and over time, may result in increased vision problems by causing squinting, eye strain, headaches, and more. Harmful bacteria from the environment or your hands can also grow on your glasses. Not only is this unsanitary, but in some cases, bacteria can transfer from dirty glasses onto your face or into your eyes and cause infection.

Eyeglass frames can also become loose or damaged from improper maintenance. Apart from being uncomfortable to wear, this may also cause your glasses to slide down, fall off, or be unwearable. Being mindful of regular eyewear care is the best way to assure your glasses last as long as possible and help you maintain optimal vision.

How Often Should You Clean Your Glasses?

Eyewear should be cleaned whenever they begin to get dirty. Most people will find cleaning their glasses once a day to be enough. However, if you touch your face a lot, are frequently in a hot or humid environment, or are very active, your glasses may need to be cleaned multiple times throughout the day. Some people prefer cleaning their glasses first thing in the morning as a part of their regular grooming routine and eyewear maintenance plan.

What Habits Should You Avoid When Cleaning Your Glasses?

The following mistakes should be avoided when cleaning eyewear, as they can damage lenses or spread germs.

Don't use household glass cleaner to clean glasses. Most cleaning solutions made for the home contain chemicals that can strip and damage the eyewear lens coating. Stick to using these cleaners on glass in your home only. Don't spit on your glasses to clean them. In a pinch, many people may spit on their glasses or a cloth to try and wipe their lenses clean. This should be avoided as it may streak glasses even further and is unhygienic. Don't use your shirt or paper towel to clean your glasses. While they may be hard to see, clothing, toilet paper, and paper towel material are typically made up of tiny coarse fibers or pulp. These can create micro-scratches on the lenses that can lead to permanent damage! In general, a soft lint-free towel is the only thing that should be touching your lenses.

How Do You Properly Clean Your Prescription Glasses or Sunglasses?

While it may sound simple, there is a correct way to clean any prescription eyewear. Here are five easy steps to assure that your glasses stay clean and allow you to see properly every day!

  1. Wash your hands before cleaning your glasses. When glasses are already dirty, you want to make sure your hands are clean before trying to clean them. Washing before you start will remove any oils or dirt from your hands so that they can't transfer to your glasses. Don't apply any lotion or hand cream and always dry your hands thoroughly before handling your lenses!

  2. Carefully run your lenses under lukewarm water. Run each lens under a light stream of tap water to remove lens dust and debris. Make sure the water isn't too hot as that can not only hurt your hands but damage your lens coating as well.

  3. Rub both sides of each lens with non-antibacterial hand soap. Dishwashing soap can be too harsh when dealing with delicate lenses. After washing both lenses, gently rub the nose pads and arms of your glasses too, removing any built-up grease, care products, or makeup.

  4. Rinse the soap off. Run both your frames and lenses under the lukewarm water until all the soap is removed.

  5. Use a soft, dry cloth to rub your eyewear until it is completely dry. Be sure to only use a cloth that has been specifically made for eyewear cleaning.

If you are out in public or away from a faucet - this process can be completed using a small bottle of eyeglass cleaning spray instead. Talk to your optometrist for recommendations on the best cleaning spray and cloth options for your glasses. In most cases, when you purchase prescription eyewear, a cleaning cloth will automatically be included.

What are Some Other Common Eyewear Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid?

Now that you know how to properly clean your glasses, there are a few other errors that should be avoided to maintain functioning eyewear. If you follow these tips, your glasses should stay undamaged and wearable for longer.

Avoid keeping your glasses out of their case. When you aren't wearing your glasses they should always be stored in their case to keep them clean and undamaged. If you only have a soft case for your glasses, consider purchasing a hard case so they stay fully protected. Don't wear your glasses on your head. If you only need glasses for reading, it can become a habit to rest your glasses on the top of your head when not in use. This can stretch out the specific alignment of your frames and make them uncomfortable to wear. Stop leaving your glasses in the hot car. Prescription sunglasses should always be removed from your car to avoid potential heat damage. Cars can get incredibly hot in the summer which can reshape, distort, or soften your glasses. Remove your glasses before falling asleep. Even if it's just for a short nap, resting your head on the arms of your glasses can damage them. Your glasses falling from your face while you are sleeping would be even worse!

At 39dollarglasses.com we strive to help you find the right pair of glasses for your specific vision needs and style personality! We want to make sure your glasses feel like "you" since they are a part of your every day. Maintaining your glasses on a regular basis is the best way to extend the life of prescription eyewear. Use these helpful tips to keep your glasses safe, clean, and damage-free!