Timely tips for cleaning eyeglasses and sunglasses

In this age of stylish eyewear, dirty glasses are a real no-no. They completely detract from what you are looking at, and the way people look at you! Here's how to keep them clean.

Timely tips for cleaning eyeglasses and sunglasses

1. General cleaning

  • Wet cleaning is better than dry cleaning. Most of us have grabbed a tissue or pulled a handkerchief out of a pocket to wipe our glasses, but that can smear dirt around and scratch the lenses.
  • Dirt particles are hard, whereas lenses are soft and getting softer. Almost all lenses today are plastic, and plastic lenses are especially susceptible to scratching.
  • For an everyday clean, move the glasses around under running water and then dry them with a tissue or a clean microfibre cleaning cloth made especially for glasses.
  • Microfibre cleaning cloths are washable and can be bought at some supermarkets or from an optometrist.
  • Packaged, single-use towelettes made for glasses are also effective cleaners and are more convenient when you're on the move.

2. To remove oily smears

  • Pick up a specially formulated lens cleaner at a pharmacy or from an optometrist and follow the package instructions. These cleaners are ideal for all cleanings, so use them at least periodically if not every time you clean.
  • Using water alone will not remove oils.
  • Even mild dishwashing liquid can damage coatings over time, and harsher cleaners (including anything with ammonia) can damage them immediately.
  • Lens cleaners may seem like an unnecessary expense, but they will help to prevent your lenses getting cloudy and scratched, which will prolong the life of your glasses.
  • The best lens cleaners leave behind a thin film, a kind of instant coating, which further brightens the lenses.

3. To clean the frames

  • Mix a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid in 500 ml (2 cups) of water.
  • Dip a clean, soft toothbrush into the solution and gently scrub around the frame, the nosepiece and the earpieces, avoiding the lenses as much as possible.
  • Rinse under running water and dry with a clean cloth.

4. Got a screw loose?

  • Next to dirty lenses, the most common and annoying problem is having a screw loose in one or both arm hinges of your glasses.
  • If a screw comes loose repeatedly, you need something more than a screwdriver. A thread sealant will solve the problem — you will need to visit a hardware or automotive shop to buy one of these.
  • Put a drop on the tiny screw before screwing it into the hinge, and it will hold.
  • A very small drop of clear nail polish will also do the trick, although it may not last as long.
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