Woman wearing sunglasses sitting on a cliff

How to Clean Sunglasses the Right Way

You spend so much time choosing the right sunglasses. They are not just a fashion statement; they protect you from the world. But knowing how to clean sunglasses correctly ensures they last longer and perform better. Your sunglasses do so much for your eye health so you want to give them the best care possible. 

Choose Your Cloth Wisely 

Blue Microfiber Cloths

For some of us, cleaning sunglasses entails grabbing the bottom of our shirts and wiping to remove smudges. While that barely works, did you know it could further damage your sunglasses? Your clothing contains fibers which can create microscopic scratches even in scratch-proof sunglasses. Over time, the tiny scratches damage the lenses, making them dull and damaging protective coatings. This method is not how to clean quality sunglasses.

Napkins and tissues aren’t the best way to clean sunglasses, either. Paper products are made from the pulp of wood and create a lot of residue. So they not only scratch your glasses, they leave lint. And unfortunately, residue and lint attract dust mites. So, if hypoallergenic, but stylish sunglasses are important to you, wiping your glasses with napkins, tissues, or paper towels is something you want to avoid. 

Microfiber cloths are the best way to take care of smudges. Microfiber is a man-made material that is spun as fine as silk and won’t scratch your lenses. It is also hypoallergenic, anti-microbial, and quickly wicks away water, preventing water spots. If you’re looking for how to clean your sunglasses daily, always have a microfibre cloth on hand, but make sure to keep it clean from dirt and dust.

Cleaning Solution Isn’t Always the Answer 

Cleaning sunglasses and blue light glasses with everyday cleaning products can be more harmful than helpful. Glass cleaners may give your windows a brilliant shine, but they contain ammonia, which can remove protective coatings. Even organic glass cleaners, like vinegar, can cause damage to your lenses.

Rubbing alcohol is especially dangerous to quality sunglasses. It can deteriorate acetate, which can cause some frames and lenses to fall apart. Rubbing alcohol is not the best way to clean metal sunglasses, either. While alcohol won’t damage a metal frame, even the smallest amount can damage the lenses. Rubbing alcohol can damage even polycarbonate lenses, so it’s not worth the risk. 

The only cleaning solutions for sunglasses are those explicitly sold for glasses and sunglasses. But be careful to read the fine print! Make sure you use a cleaner formulated for glasses with UV protection and polarized lenses

How to Deep Clean Sunglasses

Person holding sunglasses up to the sun

Your sunglasses are luxury accessories and offer stylish eye protection for any lifestyle which means they get exposed to dust, pollution, face oils, make-up, and sunscreen. A weekly deep cleaning is a must to keep your glasses looking their best. 

Step 1

When cleaning your sunglasses, you want to ensure they are dust-free. The slightest bit of dust can cause microscopic scratches, so start by using a microfiber cloth or a soft toothbrush to remove excess dirt and dust.

Step 2 

Run your sunglasses under warm water. Take special care never to use hot water on glasses. Hot water can ruin protective coatings, and in the case of aviator-style sunglasses, hot water can cause the frames to bend, affecting the fit. If you know you have hard tap water, room-temperature distilled water can help prevent mineral deposits. 

Step 3 

Use a small amount of dishwater detergent. Don’t use hand soap or any soap with moisturizers because it will put a film on the lenses and make smudges worse. And don’t use an antibacterial soap, as its alcohol will break down protective coatings. Degreasing dishwashing detergent is how to make sure your sunglasses are clean and free of oils. 

Step 4

Use a soft bristle toothbrush to clean the hardware. Unfortunately, dead skin and oil can collect on the hinges and your rims. And that “gunk” can cause breakouts. While this is an essential step for all sunglasses, take extra care with square sunglasses. Unwanted debris tends to collect in corners.

Step 5

Rinse your sunglasses gently. A strong water stream can loosen the lenses. This step is critical if you have bold fashion frames. These frames tend to have irregular lens shapes that need extra care to retain their shape. 

Step 6

Dry to reduce water spots. While you can use a Microfiber cloth, the best way to dry your glasses is with compressed air. Compressed air is a hands-free way to dust electronics. It is also the best way to reduce smudges when cleaning your sunglasses. No matter how dry your hands, your skin contains oils that create smudges. 

Protect Your Privados

Woman wearing bold fashion sunglasses.

Sunglasses are a wise investment. They protect your eyes from the elements and keep them looking young. Knowing how to clean your sunglasses protects your investment and keeps your investment protecting you! 

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Author Bio

Laura spent nine years as a police detective before she decided to leave the force and follow her dreams of starting her own eyewear business. Privado Eyewear was founded in 2020 and specializes in providing masterfully crafted luxury eyewear designs at affordable prices. Laura’s commitment to gender-neutral styles and quality craftsmanship ensures that Privado consistently delivers top-quality products everyone will love.