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How to Properly Clean Your Glasses: A Step-by-Step Guide

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A man in a yellow sweater cleaning his glasses using a white microfiber cloth against a yellow background.

For a quick glasses clean, most of us are guilty of a quick breath on the lenses and wiping them on our shirts. But this isn’t an ideal way to clean glasses and could damage your stylish prescription glasses.

Rinsing with clean water, using a cleaning solution or a gentle soap, and wiping dry with a microfibre cloth are three essential steps for cleaning your glasses. And it’s best to avoid things like paper towels, tissue paper, and your shirt.

You may think you are on your own in keeping your glasses clean, but your optometrist’s office isn’t only a place to get eye exams and new glasses. They’re often equally invested in helping you clean your glasses with their special cleaning machines.

Importance of Clean Glasses

One of the first problems with dirty, smudged glasses that comes to mind is how they can interfere with your vision. This may not bother everyone, but it could be a safety concern for some people if they require clear vision for a dangerous job or activity. Dirty or scratched lenses can also cause strained eyes.

Scratches could be another problem if enough dirt and oils build up on the lenses. And replacing lenses because they get scratched could get quite expensive, depending on what type of lenses your glasses have.

But one thing that not everyone considers is the bacteria that can grow on your glasses when they aren’t cleaned properly. A study published several years ago found that 10 different bacteria were found on poorly cleaned glasses—including those responsible for staph infections.

Cleaning Your Glasses With Cleaning Solution

A popular method of cleaning glasses is with a microfibre cloth and a cleaning solution specifically designed for eyeglasses.


Depending on how dirty your glasses are, it may be a good idea to rinse them off with clean water before spraying them with cleaner and wiping them. This can help prevent any larger debris they may have on them from scratching the lens.

Spray With Cleaner

Spray the front and back of each lens with a suitable eyeglasses cleaner. Avoid using Windex, vinegar, or rubbing alcohol, as all these things can damage the coatings on the lenses or the lenses themselves.

Wipe With Microfibre Cloth

Wipe dry with a microfibre cloth. Your solution may have come with one, but any soft microfibre cloth should be fine if it didn’t. Things you should avoid using to wipe your lenses include tissue paper, paper towels, or the edge of a shirt because they could scratch the lenses or the coatings.

A person rinsing their glasses with water in their sink.

Cleaning Your Glasses With Soap & Water

Another suitable method you can use to wash your glasses is soap and water.


Before beginning, you should rinse your glasses with clean water, just like the previous method. Rinsing large debris off your glasses can help prevent damage to the frames or lenses.


After rinsing, apply a small amount of soap to each side of the lenses. Don’t use anything too strong. A gentle dish soap like Dawn is a good option because it will cut through the oils from your skin on the glasses.

Gently clean the lenses and frames with wet fingers. Work the soap into a lather and clean all parts of your glasses.

Rinse Again

Place your glasses under warm running water to remove all the soap. Give them a little shake to remove excess water, and inspect them to ensure they’re clean.


Dry your glasses with a soft cloth, which should be clean. With this method, you should still use a microfibre cloth to minimize the risk of damaging the lenses.

Get a Deep Cleaning Done

The above methods can help your lenses stay clean and provide clear vision. And a deep clean with soap and water can keep your frames relatively clean. But most eyeglasses frames are filled with little nooks and crannies that can house bacteria and other contaminants. 

Some optometrists have special optical cleaners that use ultrasonic sound frequencies to clean. Getting these for home is possible, but they are often quite expensive. And some of them aren’t safe for lenses. But if you take it to your optometrist, they can safely remove the lenses and give your glasses a deep clean.

Come See Us for All Your Eyewear Needs

Whether you need advice on cleaning your glasses or looking for the latest styles, see the professional team at Prairie Vision. We’re happy to answer your questions and review your lens and frame options. And we can also get you in for an eye exam if you need a prescription updated to help you get a clear vision.

Written by Dr. Tanya Jones-Greenwood

Dr. Tanya Jones-Greenwood grew up on her family farm south of Czar and has been a patient with Prairie Vision since she was a child. After receiving her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Alberta in 2006 and her Optometry Doctorate from Indiana University in 2010, she returned home.

“I love our local communities and the small-town atmosphere; I couldn’t think of a better place to work and start a family.”

In 2012 she began partial ownership of the office, and in 2014 she became sole owner.

“This is where I grew up. I love caring for the people in my community and want to see us bring big-city technology and skills to our office yet keep the warm and friendly atmosphere.”

Dr. Jones-Greenwood has a special interest in working with children and within the area of vision therapy. She has attended many additional courses listed below. She is a member of the Canadian Optometrists in Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation, the College of Optometrists in Vision Development and the Optometric Extension Program Foundation.

Outside of the office, she enjoys raising her 4 children with her husband and catching up with family and friends. Dr. Jones-Greenwood’s favourite eyewear line is Paradox and Etnia Barcelona.

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