How to clean sunglasses | Top tips
Just like your eyeglasses, your sunglasses need the same love and care to protect their longevity. Treat them like you would your grandma – handle with care. There are right and wrong ways to clean your sunglasses, including the correct materials to use and maintenance tips to employ to avoid stains or scratches.
We’ve put together a step-by-step guide on how to clean your sunglasses so they come up as sparkly as Elton John’s every time.
In this article
- 🕶 What products to use when cleaning your sunglasses
- 🙅♂️What not to do when cleaning sunglasses
- 🧽How to clean sunglasses with special lenses
What should you use to clean your sunglasses?
😎For daily cleaning: The microfiber cloth
For beginners. There’s nothing better for quick daily cleaning of your lenses and sunglass frames than a small microfiber cloth.
These remove dirt, smudges, and fingerprints from lenses and frames of your sunglasses in seconds. They’re discreet, easy to slip in your pocket like a secret message, and their texture allows glasses to be cleaned with the risk of any minor scratches other soft cloths can cause.
How to clean sunglasses with a microfiber cloth: 3 easy steps
- Remove the dust and coarser dirt from your sunglasses by blowing lightly on them, before rinsing under lukewarm water.
- Then, use the microfiber cloth to gently wipe down the lenses and frames. Gentle circular or back-and-forth motions will help remove smudges and fingerprints.
- Carefully check there are no streaks or residue on the lenses. If there are then repeat step 1 and 2.
💡 HORUS X Top Tip: Not all rags are created equal. The higher the density of the microfiber cloth, the higher its quality and effectiveness. At Horus X all our sunglasses come with one of these cloths; a little freebie from us to you!
💦For removing stubborn fingerprints that just won’t budge
You’ve levelled up! No longer will a gentle wipe down budge these greasy fingerprints. Think of them as the mini bosses of the sunglasses cleaning world. Just like mini-bosses in games, they need a little extra oomph.
Here’s how to remove stubborn fingerprints from your sunglasses:
- Use a cleaning spray: Spray the surface of each lens inside and out.
- Use a microfiber cloth or wipe soaked in cleaning product: Using either the wipe or microfiber cloth, wipe each lens using small circular movements. Make sure you’re holding the glasses by either the temples or frame to avoid getting more fingerprints on as you go.
- Make sure the glasses cleaning solution is fully absorbed.
This might all seem really straightforward, but let’s be honest, some of us are a little muckier than others. If your sunglasses look more like they just went a few rounds with Chun-Li, then it might be better to dive straight into deep cleaning your sunglasses.
🧼 For deep cleaning: Soapy water
And now for the ultimate boss battle: the fight of the sticky, mucky and overall disgusting sunglasses. Glasses collect dirt. If you don’t keep them regularly cleaned that dirt gets harder and harder to shift and soon a microfiber cloth just won’t do the trick. Rather than cleaning your sunglasses, you’ll just find yourself spreading the dirt around faster than Demolition Derby.
In the case of these deeper stains and marks, the use of soapy water is a simple and effective way to clean your sunglasses.
Follow these steps for how to clean your sunglasses:
- Wash your hands, you filthy animal
- Rinse your glasses under lukewarm water
- Add a drop of dish soap to each glass
- Spread the liquid by "massaging" the sunglasses
- Rinse with lukewarm water
- Dry with your microfiber cloth
To make sure there are no streaks left, check the lenses under a light. Don’t then start picking or scratching any stubborn stains that remain – just repeat the above process until you have sparkly clean sunglasses.
👨⚕️Going in for the deep cleaning kill: Visit an optician’s
It’s a bit of a heavy-handed option, but if you have the time and money, a professional can clean them for you.
More than just your eye exam guru, opticians also are equipped with ultrasonic cleaners that will effectively wipe away all dust and dirt from any glasses, sunglasses, polarized sunglasses, or other types of lenses.
This cleaning consists of immersing the glasses in a container with water, and letting the ultrasounds it utilizes do their job. These will take off the dirt and debris, even that encrusted in the recesses of your glasses.
Another bonus of visiting an optician to clean your cloudy glasses or sunglasses however, is that they will also take the time to examine their overall condition. You can find out whether you made S rank or not.
This can help maintain your sunglasses over time as they’ll detect issues like loose screws, make any necessary adjustments or find and correct minor damage. This lets you take the appropriate measures to preserve the life of your glasses.
P.S: You can also go full out and buy your very own ultrasonic cleaner. It’s a bit pricey for a one-off clean but if you regularly take your sunglasses into construction sites it would probably be worth a go!
What not to do when cleaning sunglasses
Just like in gaming, equipping the wrong gear can end in disaster. It’s important to know the best practices to avoid when cleaning sunglasses so as to not damage your lenses:
- ❌ Avoid dry cleaning: Using a dry cloth to wipe down your glasses may seem convenient, but it can damage the lenses. Dust and dirt particles present may scratch the surface when rubbed with a dry cloth, unless it’s microfiber.
- 🚿 Avoid too hot water: Although lukewarm water is generally recommended for cleaning your glasses, hot water should be avoided. Hot water can damage coatings applied to lenses and frames, such as hydrophobic coatings or those on anti-reflective glasses. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your glasses.
- 🧻 Use a proper cloth, not a tissue, towel or the bottom of your t-shirt: When cleaning your sunglasses, avoid using inappropriate materials such as tissues, paper towels or even your t-shirt. We know how tempting it is to grab that cotton edge and rub it all over your lenses, but these materials may contain rough fibers or particles that can scratch your sunglasses. Instead, use a microfiber cloth specially designed for cleaning glasses.
- 🧴 Avoid aggressive cleaning products: The most popular suggestion online is usually multi-purpose cleaners or alcohol-based products, but we strongly recommend you don’t listen to the internet on this one. These products can be too aggressive and damage the treatments applied to the lenses, as well as the frames ruining your glasses longevity and durability. Avoid the use of these products and favor gentle solutions specially designed for glasses.
Cleaning sunglasses with special lenses
🕶 How to clean your polarized sunglasses
Polarized sunglasses allow us to protect our eyes against sun rays’ that try to use stealth mode. By that we mean, sun rays that bounce off surfaces like snow, or a calm body of water, as these can sometimes be more dazzling than direct rays themselves.
These polarized sunglasses are therefore most effective when used for water or winter sporting activities.
As such, polarized sunglasses are more likely to be put to the test than conventional sunglasses. Washing them and keeping them clean however, is no more complicated than any other type of sunnies.
- If your polarized sunglasses have come in contact with salt water, rinse them as soon as possible in lukewarm fresh water. Salt or sand can indeed scratch and wear the lenses of glasses.
- High performance sportswear mostly has anti-odor materials that contain silver. These materials are often abrasive to spectacle lenses, so always keep them in their case when not in use.
Otherwise, follow the steps above for effective cleaning, no matter your sunglasses type.
👓 How to clean sunglasses with anti-reflective lenses
Sunglasses with anti-reflective treatment unfortunately and annoyingly accentuate any speck of dirt on your lenses, making it ten times more visible. That means anti-reflective sunglasses often end up cleaned more frequently than average.
This can be dangerous; because the slightest scratch can screw up the anti-reflective coating on the glass. That’s why we’ve actually dedicated a whole article to how to clean your anti-reflective glasses, which is luckily just as relevant for your sunglasses.
But to recap:
Wash your glasses in warm water with a touch of dishwashing soap. Soft concentric circles across the lenses are perfect for weekly or monthly maintenance. And remember, always dry with a microfiber cloth!
How to clean sunglasses or eyeglasses: Final thoughts
Whether they’re for sun protection or to help you see better, or even to protect against blue light; all glasses follow similar methods for cleaning.
Just like your other glasses, your sunglasses deserve care and attention so you can keep wearing them all summer long. Make sure to keep them properly stored in a glasses case when not in use to increase their longevity (and make them easier to find).
After each use, always give them a quick wipe with a microfiber cloth or specialized wipes. You can even make your own with some simple ingredients: just combine water with a few drops of soap or dishwashing liquid.
With proper maintenance, your vision will be better than Geralt’s.