Why are my glasses always dirty? Top Cleaning Tips
After a long day, my glasses are always dirty. It becomes so commonplace you don’t even notice the flecks and smudges of dirt initially. Then the build-up gets so bad you suddenly realize you’re squinting like someone just asked you why Henry Cavill made the perfect Geralt.
But how and why do our glasses get so dirty? Is there a reason and is there anything we can do to prevent our glasses from looking like they’ve just tried out Tough Mudder on their own?
In this article:
- Why are my glasses always dirty?
- Why is it important to keep your glasses clean?
- How to clean glasses effectively: Our top tips
- Our bonus tips: what not to do
- How to end the blight of dirty glasses: Final thoughts
My glasses are always dirty: Why?
Your eyes aren’t dirtier than anyone else’s (depending on what you’ve been Googling… 👀).
So, how do your glasses end up so dirty, when you spend your whole life trying to keep them clean?
Don’t worry you’re not alone, glasses get dirty surprisingly quickly and it’s something all lens wearers have to deal with.
After all, it’s an item that spends all day touching your skin; and being touched if you’re particularly fiddly.
Here are just a few things that can quickly lead to dirty glasses:
- 💄 Makeup: Unfortunately, foundation and glasses don't go well together.
- 👆 Fingerprints: You may claim to never touch your glasses… but we all know you do really.
- 💦 Sweating: This can cause your glasses to fog.
- ❌ Poor cleaning techniques: When our glasses are dirty, our first instinct is often to clean them with our clothes. Big mistake! This only spreads the dirt even more, and you also run the risk of scratching your lenses.
- 🌧️ Rain, pollution, dust, the subway: Basically, existing in any weather or environment will inevitably cause some dirt to get on your glasses.
- 😙 People: Whether it's a friend who wants to test your glasses to see if they fit or someone who crushes your glasses while giving you a kiss, all of these situations don't help your glasses stay clean.
In short, it's a bit like the entire planet is conspiring to dirty your glasses.
So, should living with dirty glasses be inevitable? Luckily no. There are ways to get rid of this stubborn dirt and finally see clearly. But first…
Why is it important to keep your glasses clean?
Reason one: To see!
But of course, that’s not all. There are other benefits to keeping your glasses clean. A sparkling clear eyeglass lens also:
- 👀Reduces digital eye strain and protects from harmful blue light. When your glasses are dirty, your visibility is decreased. As a result, you squint, strain and stare to try and make out the same details you could see perfectly with clean lenses. This forces your eyes to work twice as hard leading to the eye fatigue your glasses exist to combat in the first place! So, clear glasses = better eye health.
- 👓 Extends your glasses life and helps you avoid scratches.
- 💩Prevents you from looking dirtier than Austin Powers’s browsing history. Our faces and fingers are covered in natural oils that encourage the growth of bacteria. Touching your frames let’s these bacteria accumulate and grow, making your glasses dirty.
How do you clean your glasses effectively? Our tips
Here are some super simple methods for keeping your glasses clean:
1. 🧼Warm water & dishwashing liquid
This is THE technique to effectively remove all the grime and dirt that’s accumulated in your glasses’ frames.
Effective cleaning steps:
- Wash your hands.
- Run your glasses under lukewarm water (NOTE: Not ice cold like Todoroki, or boiling hot…like Todoroki).
- Apply a drop of dish soap to the glasses.
- Gently rub it in with your fingers.
- Rinse your glasses (again with lukewarm water).
- Dry them with your microfiber cloth.
This is the simplest, fastest and least expensive way to keep your glasses effectively clean for longer. Plus, dish soap is also a good degreaser.
2. 👌Microfiber cloth
This is probably the most important tip for cleaning your glasses. Use the small microfiber cloth provided when you buy glasses to gently rub smudges from your lenses. It’s much more effective than the bottom of your shirt.
That’s because microfiber cloths have microscopic fibers that significantly reduce marks and help capture dust and dirt.
- Before using your microfiber cloth, make sure it’s clean.
- Gently wipe the glasses in small circular motions. And that’s it!
HOWEVER, if your microfiber cloth is dirty all you’ll achieve is spreading the dirt across your lenses like booze on a nightclub floor. Always remember to keep your microfiber cloth clean and stored well.
3. 💧Glasses cleaning sprays and wipes
This solution is well known, and for good reason – it’s super effective!
You can easily track down sprays and wipes in stores or online. You can even make your own homemade, eco-friendly and effective glass cleaner alternative at home.
- One firm pump of spray on both sides of each lens.
- Clean in circular motions with a microfiber cloth.
- Repeat until stain-free!
4. 🥸Your opticians
If none of these tips work and you still find your glasses are smudged and dirty, you can always go for the nuclear option and visit the opticians.
They’ll be able to deep clean your glasses thanks to ultrasonic cleaners that will be way more effective than any other method you have at home.
In addition to this professional cleaning job, the ultrasonic cleaner will also be able to detect any issues with your lenses, nose pad, and frames so as to improve their longevity.
Special Note: We don’t discriminate. All these steps are also super effective if you’re looking to clean your gaming glasses too.
Bonus info: What not to do
Now that your glasses are more transparent than Pinocchio’s lies, you should also learn how not to make things worse.
- 🧻 Use kitchen roll, tissues and absorbent paper: These papers or tissues cause scratches and leave marks. And despite what urban legends say, scratched glasses can’t actually be fixed or repaired. That’s why you should always and only use a microfiber cloth.
- 👕 Use your dirty old shirt to clean your glasses: It’s quick, practical and right there. But using your clothes will just result in the grease spreading over your lenses. Also if that fabric is particularly scratchy or abrasive it can damage the lenses and any treatments that may have been applied to them (like anti reflective coating). Lose this habit and (once again) stick to a microfiber cloth.
- ☀️ Expose your glasses to heat: Accidentally leaving your glasses on top of a radiator, in full sunlight or in a heated environment like dashboard of your car can cause the frames to warp and damage the glass.
- 🚿 Clean them with hot water: Remember, we said lukewarm only! That’s because hot water can strip away or damage any special coatings applied to the frames and lenses.
- 🏬 Use certain specialized cleaning products: They may be specialized but they’re often not really different to the eco-friendlier methods we’ve already suggested. These more expensive cleaners can also be expensive and cause waste, especially if they’re single use like wipes often are.
- 🧴 Use household products: Multi-purpose cleaners or products with alcohol and acetone in them are aggressive and can damage treatments on your glasses lenses and frames. There are only two household products we’d recommend using: dishwashing liquids and white wine vinegar.
How to put an end to dirty glasses: Final thoughts
There you have it! With these cleaning techniques, you can solve a huge issue in your life and keep your glasses clean for longer.
Having clean glasses isn’t so complicated after all, so there’s no reason you can’t use these methods right now.
Take your time to fit regular cleanings into your routine, a daily quick wash and a weekly thorough going over, and your glasses will stay clean and your vision sharp for longer.