the little things – how to care for your specs

I sometimes hesitate to instruct long-time eyeglass wearers, at their fitting appointments, in how to care for their new glasses, but we can all use little reminders and may not know everything, right? And, you are paying me to be the expert….so here goes.

With the purchase of new eyewear, I will provide lens cleaning spray and a microfiber cloth, or two. The lens spray is formulated with no alcohol, as that can damage your lenses…Big Fat Greek Wedding dad had it wrong, DO NOT USE WINDEX on your glasses! The alcohol can strip the protective treatments and damage your lenses. The lens cleaner I provide is designed to safely clean lenses with anti-reflective treatment, and I provide complimentary refills! So use it!

Sooo, why not just heavily breathe on them and wipe them with your shirt? Same thing, right? NO! Condensation from your breath isn’t enough to remove any dust particles on your lenses, and wiping them with your shirt will scratch all those fine pieces of debris into your lenses, causing scratching. Don’t use paper towels, kleenex or toilet paper either. Paper = wood…not lens friendly.

Here’s my absolute favorite way of cleaning glasses, even better than the spray and microfiber cloth – I usually do this once a week or so. Run warm water through the faucet. Lather up your hands with mild dish or hand soap, making sure it is free from lotions as that can smear up your glasses – use your soapy hands to rub the front and back of your lenses, the nosepads or bridge, the temples – get everything nice and sudsy, then rinse off completely, still using warm water. This will remove all oil buildup, dust, makeup, sunscreen, whatever else your glasses have collected. Then, take a clean dry cotton towel, I prefer non-terry as not as as linty. Dry them off and you’re good to go!

The cleaning spray and small cloth I provide are convenient for when you’re out and about, and don’t have a sink handy, for little touch-ups. But the soap and water really gets them sparkling! Also, insider tip – cloth baby diapers are amazing for drying your glasses and are what I use in the shop! Never used by any baby, just fyi. 😉

Now, what to do with all those tiny microfiber cloths you’ve accumulated? Are they smudging your glasses more than cleaning? They probably need a good washing as oils and dust will build up in them. Throw them in the washing machine with your laundry, just don’t use fabric softener, and let them air dry.

A few other things to know:

Never leave your glasses in the car. Extreme heat or cold can cause the lens material to expand and contract, thus damaging the treatments on the lens. It can cause something called crazing, which looks like a million tiny lines across your lenses and will majorly mess with your vision. Campfires, blasts of heat from the BBQ or oven can cause the same scenario.

Don’t put your glasses on top of your head. Ummm, confession. I do this. It’s just such a convenient spot to store them. But, it will stretch out your frames over time, causing them to slip. I can adjust them back into shape, but if you want them to hold their adjustment longer. don’t. do. it.

Try to use your case when not wearing them. Just. Do. It. Also, dogs like glasses. So keep them out of Fido’s reach. Or you might come crying to me….”my dog ate my glasses” is a sad phrase I’ve heard many times.

Happy glasses, happy life.