How do you clean your eyeglasses?

Getting the best value for your money when it comes to eyeglasses, sunglasses, eye exams, and contact lenses.

Postby Phyllis » Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:26 pm

I just got new glasses and they gave me a lint free cloth but didn't say the best way to clean the glasses. I think the glasses do have an anti-reflective coating, and I want to make sure that I don't damage the lenses.
Phyllis
 

Postby george » Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:21 am

This is a good question, as you'd think the answer should be obvious and agreed upon by everyone, but you'd be surprised how many different opinions you find on the web. I went to the lens manufacturer sites to try to get the best answers. While I looked at sites that have high quality anti-glare coatings on their lenses, I think the main recommendations should work on lower quality anti-reflective lenses as well.

To summarize what I found:

According to the Crizal FAQ (link fixed 11/11/12), you should first rinse your lenses under warm running water to remove any particles that might scratch the lens when you do wipe the lens. They suggest using a mild liquid detergent such as Dawn or Joy dishwashing detergent. They say using these detergents will remove the facial oils which could smear the lens if not removed. Then rinse the lens with water and dry it with a soft cotton cloth. They mention polishing the lens with the Crizal cleaning cloth that they provide to people who purchase the lenses with Crizal anti-reflective treatments, and also using this cloth throughout the day when you can't fully wash the lenses.

On the Crizal site, they also mention that you can use alcohol to clean your lenses on an occasional basis, but you shouldn't use alcohol on a daily basis. They also say that you can use any commercially prepared anti-reflective lens cleaning solution on your Crizal lenses.

From the Zeiss website (link removed 11/11/2012 as it was no longer active), they say it is very important to keep your glasses in a sturdy case when not being worn (I've read this in several places but must admit that I'm not good about storing my glasses in their case. They are either on my face or on my nightstand). They do say that if you don't keep them in their case, make sure you never put them with the lenses facing downwards.

They say you should first clean them by holding them under cold, running water (not sure why they say cold while Crizal site says warm - the one thing I know is that you should NEVER run anti-reflective coated lenses under hot water as it can ruin the coating. The higher quality coatings like Crizal and Zeiss can handle high temperatures better, but cheap coatings will easily get ruined by hot water.) Zeiss site says you can use pH-neutral cleaning agents. I have no clue what they mean by pH neutral cleaning agents. Well, I know what they mean, but I have no idea what cleaning agents are pH neutral. I think dishwashing detergents tend to be on the base side of the scale (over 7) - but I'm guessing that based on the Crizal site, common dishwashing detergents are fine. They say after you've rinsed off the dirt particles, you can safely dry the lenses with a clean, soft cloth.

They also recommend using a microfiber cloth and a special cleaning agent meant for plastic lenses. They don't give examples of which special cleaning agents are meant for plastic lenses though.

The Zeiss site does also caution against exposing your lenses to temperatures over 80 degrees centigrade which they point out can be found in a sauna or if you leave your glasses on your car's dashboard in the sun.

I have no clue with what they treat the crizal microfibre cloth, but some people do claim that it does a better job than regular microfiber clothes. I'd be surprised if it has any special treatment. Most eyeglass stores will provide you with a microfiber cloth when you purchase your glasses. You can clean these microfiber clothes either by hand or in the laundry machine but do not use any fabric softener.

If you want to purchase the Crizal cleaning cloth from their website for around $14 for a 3 pack, shipped. They also sell several different brands of microfiber clothes on Amazon, but I think that I could devote an entire article to these microfiber clothes and other cleaning supplies. Maybe I'll post a follow-up post later reviewing that information.

I noticed they also sell all types of cleaning solutions and pre-moistened towelettes on Amazon. From what I can tell (which admittedly isn't a whole lot), it appears the cleaning solutions are typically a mixture of water with isopropyl alcohol. Isopropyl alcohol is the active ingredient in most rubbing alcohols, with rubbing alcohol basically being a mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol - often 70% isopropyl alcohol. Some people report that isopropyl alcohol also has an anti-static effect, which can be helpful to keep glasses clean. Just remember that according to the Crizal site, you should NO be using alcohol on your glasses daily.
george
 
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Postby Mango » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:14 am

I went traveling a few months ago and realized I had forgotten my microfibre cleaning cloth. I discovered that air drying lenses works really really well!

I liked using microfibre cloths, but didn't find them to be as effective after washing them. Maybe it was my imagination, or maybe I did it wrong. In any case, I had a hard time keeping my glasses perfectly clean. George's tip about using mild liquid detergent helped a great deal, but the cloths still seemed to smear stuff around.

Now I rinse the lenses first, apply dish detergent, and then rinse again, being careful not to touch the lenses during the second rinse. Then I blow lightly on the lenses to remove any remaining drops of water. I dry the temple arms with a regular towel.
Mango
 
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Postby Dr. David » Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:07 pm

Mango wrote:I went traveling a few months ago and realized I had forgotten my microfibre cleaning cloth. I discovered that air drying lenses works really really well!

I liked using microfibre cloths, but didn't find them to be as effective after washing them. Maybe it was my imagination, or maybe I did it wrong. In any case, I had a hard time keeping my glasses perfectly clean. George's tip about using mild liquid detergent helped a great deal, but the cloths still seemed to smear stuff around.

Now I rinse the lenses first, apply dish detergent, and then rinse again, being careful not to touch the lenses during the second rinse. Then I blow lightly on the lenses to remove any remaining drops of water. I dry the temple arms with a regular towel.


It's perfectly fine to dry your glasses with "a regular towel" IF You Are Sure it is 100% cotton. Cotton will not scratch glass (unless you still have particles of sand or something hard on the lens or the cloth). However, 'a regular towel' may NOT be 100% cotton! Many hand and bath towels nowadays are made with a certain percentage of polyester or other plastic fibers in them, so check the little hang tags (before removal, or when buying new) to be sure the towel is actually 100% cotton. Also, some people may wonder why cotton is OK, but paper which is also made from plants is not OK. The paper is made from very tough fibrous cellulose that was used by a tree to support it's weight which was likely several thousand pounds, and thus it's pretty tough, whereas if you've ever seen a cotton plant (I don't mean the factory, but one single plant growing out of the ground) you will see the soft whispy white fibers blowing in the wind and you can see the cellulose in them is formed into a much softer type that is more able to bend and move & thus not be hard edged and scratch.

Thus, it unsafe for your lenses to be dried with toilet paper, even though it's thin, or even more so with paper towels, because they are harder and 'scratchier' than cotton towels.
Dr. David
 

Postby MArk » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:16 am

Amazing. Soap & water cleaned them perfectly clear! All. Even with the special cleanjng the sprays I was using were leaving a film
MArk
 

Postby divadmas » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:19 pm

puffs tissues scratched my lens. eye doc recommended kleenex brand and that works well along with costco spray from optical shop (free refills).
divadmas
 
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Postby David » Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:56 pm

Anytime you rub anything on your lenses you take the risk of scratching the surface. Even microfiber cloth can scratch your lenses if it has dust particles on or in it. All it takes is a small fleck of dust that is already on the lenses to be wiped across the lense to scratch it. I've found the best possible way to clean lenses without scratching them. I bought a can of compressed air sold as "cleaning duster" at Office Depot. I use compressed air to blow off the loose dirt and dust before I wet the lenses. Then I wash my hands to be sure they aren't the source of dirt or dust. Then I wet the lenses and put some dishwashing soap on my fingers and gently rub the lense front and back at the same time. Next I wash the lenses off and blow them dry with the compressed air. This reduces the number of times the lenses are wiped. I've had these lenses for over 3 months and there are no scratches on them.
David
 

Postby showlow » Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:59 am

I just spent close to 400 bucks on my new pair of glasses, and was given a special cloth that I've already lost because it was a bage color. I really appreciate that they give you one small cloth for spending all that money. While I love these lenses they have got to be the hardest lenses on earth to keep clean, just about ANYTHING and everything get's them dirty. I wish there was a good competitor to anti glare than crizal, cause I would go with them in a heart beat. I think for spending the money you do on them they should give you free cleaning cloths for life.
showlow
 

Postby george » Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:16 pm

Showlow,

I'm curious which Crizal coating your glasses have, as the more expensive Avance model is supposed to be easier to keep clean because of hyrdophobic and oleophobic properties. The problem with basic anti-glare lenses is that the dirt will be much more apparent than on standard lenses because the lenses appear much clearer. I find my inexpensive anti-glare coatings need to be cleaned at least once a day. I would expect the higher end anti-glare coatings to be much easier to clean and keep clean as the coatings are designed to resist oils and smudging.

I have heard that Hoya makes a coating that some like better than the Crizal Avance. It is the Super Hi-Vision EX3 coating by Hoya. You may want to check it out. It seems that there are a few brands out there that may rival Crizal. I need to see if I can find some more data to include in the thread about high quality anti-reflective coatings.
george
 
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Postby aeroearth » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:04 pm

Just assembled my new glasses with the anti reflection coating. Something I found out about 40 years ago (OCLI's HEA coating). Then based on vacuum deposition of magnesium fluoride and other chemicals. Same technology used on camera lenses. The good news is the coating improves light transmission from ~ 88% to 98%. The bad news it is easily soiled and damaged.
To avoid mechanical damage never touch or allow anything else to touch the lens surface as far as possible. I'd suggest avoiding contact with alcohol containing solutions as this causes micro solvent stress cracking in both acrylic and polycarbonate plastics commonly found in lens manufacture.
This is my third set of anti reflection coated lenses. First set lasted about three years before becoming too scratched to see through. Cleaning was done with Optician supplied micro fibre cleaning cloths. Second set I cleaned by washing under warm water and gently rubbing a wipe of hand washing bar soap under running warm water. Then most importantly I blotted the lens dry with 100% cotton towel and did NOT wipe the lenses with anything. Got those to last four years. Failure mode much as before with surface coating well scratched and actually rubbed through around the edges of the lens. Frameless design of spectacles. Wrapped the spectacles in the micro fibre cloth only to prevent the side arms touching the lens surface when stored in their case over night. For the third set I am considering cleaning with water only and no physical contact at all. Tricky to achieve but maybe ultrasonic cleaning with just water. Need to think about what happens to the clamp points where bridge and frame are joined to lens edges. Might chafe due to ultrasonic bath energy over time. The blot technique seems to work very well. Was implemented about halfway through the life of second set otherwise they may well have lasted a lot longer.
Skin fat accumulating around frame fittings I remove with bar soap solution and a soft brush followed by a rinse. Salt in sweat is bad news for any frames made of steel or nickel silver materials, so good to rinse spectacles regularly. Nose pads get replaced about very three months, buy them off eBay.


Last bumped by Anonymous on Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:04 pm.
aeroearth
 




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