Caring for Eyewear

Following the suggestions for proper cleaning and storage below can extend the life of your lenses, and have the clearest view possible.

Cleaning:

Windex is for windows, not for your glasses. Do you know why it’s not good to use Windex on your glasses? Most lenses have protective treatments added such as UV or anti-glare. Cleaners containing ammonia, bleach or vinegar can strip away these treatments.


So what should you use to clean fingerprints, dirt, and make-up that may end-up on your lenses?  The AOA recommends warm water and dish soap.  If you think about it, it makes perfect sense.  If dish soap and warm water can clean pretty much anything (food, grease, and lipstick) from your finest china and stemware, why not from your eyewear?  All it takes is a drop of dish soap on your finger mixed with warm water, create a lather on the lens, then rinse. Be sure to give the nose and ear pieces on your frames equal attention when cleaning. Use a dry, clean, soft, cotton cloth to wipe dry.  The AOA (American Optometric Association) recommends daily cleaning of your eyewear using this method.

The necessity for in between cleaning of your eyeglass lenses is inevitable.  Natural oils from the face, eyelashes, fingerprints and airborne debris can leave regular build-up on lenses.  As it turns out, a sink, clean water, dish soap, and a clean soft cotton cloth are not always readily available.  So what should you do when you can’t do what you’re supposed to do?  Invest in a soft microfiber cloth (preferably one specifically for lens cleaning purposes),and keep it in your purse or desk drawer for these occasions.  A majority of lenses today are made with plastic, which scratches easily. Once you scratch the lens, the scratch is there forever and cannot be buffed out. The choice of what is used to clean your lenses is an important one. If you use anything abrasive it will scratch the surface of the lens, and achieve undesired results.  Kleenex, your sleeve, paper towels, and napkins are not recommended as they can leave debris or lint on the lens. Using a microfiber cloth will not leave debris. A microfiber cloth will remove residue very well without scratching the lenses. Microfiber cloths made just for eyewear cleaning are inexpensive, and can be purchased at retailers where eyewear or eyewear accessories are sold.

Storage:

In terms of storage method, most eyewear retailers provide some type of storage case with purchase.  A hard case, sometimes called a clamshell case, is your best bet.  If your eyewear did not come with a case, or came only with a soft case, hard cases of all shapes, sizes, colors and prices are readily available, or at retailers where eyewear is sold.  When purchasing a hard case it’s best to take your glasses along to be sure they will fit properly inside the case. When stored in a hard case, eyewear is protected against the elements, hairspray,and pets.

Taking the time to properly clean and store your eyewear will help you get the best performance and lifespan of your investment.

For more information on eyewear and vision care visit www.aoa.org.

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