Many pairs of glasses are equipped with anti-reflective or anti-glare lenses. Understanding how to clean them without causing damage in the process is important. After all, glasses are expensive and you don’t want to have to fork out for a new pair every time you get a smudge on the lenses. This is especially important as anti-reflective lenses typically highlight dirt even more than regular glasses. So, it’s not entirely your fault if you feel like your glasses are always dirty.
By taking a few precautions, using some delicacy and an effective cleaning technique, your anti-reflective glasses will be sparkly clean, and stay well preserved over time.
In this article:
- What are the things to avoid
- The step-by-step guide: how to clean eyeglasses with anti-reflective coating
- How is anti-reflective glass different from traditional glass?
Before you begin: An important disclaimer
Some products can cause more harm than good, so it’s important to know what to avoid when cleaning your anti-reflective glasses. Otherwise, you could end up doing irreparable damage to your glasses or scratch the lenses.
This is crucial because even if your anti-reflective or anti-glare is only a surface treatment, it can’t really be repaired. It means that any lens scratch will require a complete glasses replacement. And the anti-reflective paint doesn’t make you invisible either, sorry to disappoint.
Here are some quick tips on what to avoid if you want long-lasting anti reflective lenses:
- 💧Do not try to clean the glasses when they’re bone dry.
- 👚Don’t clean your glasses with clothing or a regular cloth, otherwise you’ll deposit grease from your last lot of fries all over the glass at best, or create micro-scratches, at worst.
- 🧪Avoid aggressive cleaning products, especially those that contain alcohol. Wouldn’t you rather drink it anyway?
- ☀️Don’t leave your glasses in direct sunlight as excessive heat can damage the lenses.
- Don’t put your glasses in the blender.
Horus X’s guide: How to clean anti-reflective glasses
There are a few simple but effective steps that, if followed daily, will keep your anti-reflective glasses (and therefore your eye health) in tip top shape. If you’re a gamer and wear amber lenses instead, check out our guide on how to clean gaming glasses here.
🧰 ⚒️ The necessary tools
- A microfiber cloth: essential for precision cleaning, minus the scratches
- A sink and lukewarm water
- Washing up liquid
- A specialized cleaning wipe
- A rigid glasses case
- Your brain and your hands (1/2 isn’t bad here)
🔁 For weekly or monthly maintenance: The process for keeping your glasses ultra-clean, for longer
- Washing your hands: Our hands are home to tons of tiny little germs that can smear your glasses when handling and leave fingerprints. Keeping your hands clean (something we’ve all had a lot of experience with lately) can remove the small impurities present on your hands.
- Run lukewarm water: Icy water or water that’s too hot can have a long-term negative impact on the anti-reflective protection on your glasses.
- Pass your glasses under water: Run your glasses briefly under the nice lukewarm water you’ve got running. Just enough to dampen the glasses and frames; while you’re at it you may as well give them a nice polish too.
- Apply a drop of washing up liquid to each lens: Lightly massage each glasses lens with your finger, like Nigella Lawson does a chicken.
- Rinse under lukewarm water: Return your glasses to the water and with the care of baptizing a small child, rinse them off under the lukewarm stream.
- Dry your glasses: After rinsing your glasses, use a microfiber cloth to gently pat them dry.
📅For daily maintenance:
- Every morning, use a spray and your microfiber cloth to refresh your glasses with a quick wipe down. Some sprays also include additional anti-fog technology so you can work without feeling like you’re entering Silent Hill.
- Every night, or when you take your glasses off for the day, get into the habit of storing them in their case. This prevents dust and gremlins and keeps your glasses healthy for longer.
Anti-reflective lenses: A special technology
Anti-reflective lenses operate on some pretty cool technology, using glass that also reduces reflections for better eye health.
This not only optimizes visual rendering by promoting a passage of light to your eyes, but also gives a more attractive aesthetic appearance (like our Ushuaia glasses) so people will be attracted to you whether you’re in Clark Kent or Superman mode.
The surface treatment for anti-reflection (and anti-glare) is something called silver halide which is applied to the inside and/or outside of your glass’s lenses. This is also known as AR coating.
But if it’s external, does that mean it’ll fade?
It’s possible, but not if you regularly use and clean your glasses following our tips above. The treatment is really resistant but needs a little helping hand from you.
How to clean anti-reflective glasses: Final thoughts
We strongly recommend getting glasses with an anti-reflective coating. It improves your vision by allowing light to pass through them more efficiently and glasses stay cleaner for longer as they’re more resistant to water and oily compounds. It also makes your glasses seem thinner, highlighting those beautiful big blue (or brown, green, hazel, yellow, orange….) eyes.
The downside is that if you do get smudges or smears on the eyeglass lens then they are more visible, but what better way to encourage you to keep your glasses clean?!
Two top tips from experts:
- Wash your microfiber cloths at least once a week. A clean cloth is a clean lens.
- Also remember to clean the frames, especially at the hinges which can otherwise accumulate grease.
Your glasses will be crystal clear in no time!