To Smudge or not to Smudge?
February 23, 2013 11:39 PM   Subscribe

Recently started wearing eye glasses, and whenever I kiss my partner, his nose smudges my glasses. How can I avoid this?

I've worn contact lenses for 10+ years because I couldn't find any styles that suited me, even though buying contacts gets expensive and is rather high maintenance. Recently found some frames I like and got a deal online, and I love my new glasses! They look great and take no effort, and being able to take them off whenever I'd like to read is much less stress on my eyes. They are quite ideal in this sense.

Unfortunately when my partner kisses me, an oily smear from his nose is left on my glasses. This makes the lenses unclear, as well as creating a strange glare. This makes it rather uncomfortable to use my glasses until I can clean them with spray and cloth. Since my partner and I are affectionate, this can mean I clean my glasses anywhere from a couple times a day to >10 times a day. This annoys me. It is problematic because the lens width and height are much larger than average; they cover more area, making it harder to avoid nose/glasses collisions.

We have tried implementing a diagonal tilt rule when we go to kiss to avoid this, but that only happens when we remember, and rather dampens some of our spontaneity. This is the first time in my life I have worn glasses on a regular basis, so I have never had to deal with this. I have spent a couple days away from my partner since getting the glasses, and they have stayed clean all day. I am good at keeping them clean when left to my own devices, but need help avoiding residue from others.

Glasses wearers, how do you keep your glasses clean? I have read questions previously about cleaning lenses and keeping glasses dust free, but that is not what I am really concerned with. How do you avoid getting your glasses smudged/oily from your partner? What tips or strategies do you have to deal with this? Ideally, I want to continue wearing my eye glasses regularly, I do not want them to be smudged all the time, and I want to kiss my partner without worry. Thanks, hive mind!
posted by horizonseeker to Grab Bag (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Take off your glasses to kiss.
posted by Ideefixe at 11:40 PM on February 23, 2013 [9 favorites]

Ha! just wait til you have kids. Smudge-central. Easy answer? Carry a microfiber cloth with you. You can't stop the smudges, but you can remove them.
posted by percor at 12:07 AM on February 24, 2013 [4 favorites]

Or clean your partner's nose more frequently. That's a bloody lot of oil!
posted by taff at 12:11 AM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

All of the above.
posted by trip and a half at 12:40 AM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

After a while you start getting used to the smudges. I also carry multiple cleaning cloths with me at all times. Quite handy. Plus it looks oh so distinguished to take off glasses and clean them while having a philosophical discussion!
posted by ruhroh at 1:03 AM on February 24, 2013

I just use my shirt or pants to get them good enough and then in the morning I give them a proper cleaning.
posted by johnpowell at 1:15 AM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

This makes it rather uncomfortable to use my glasses until I can clean them with spray and cloth.

This is the sign of a glasses n00b. Just clean them with your shirt.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:48 AM on February 24, 2013 [18 favorites]

You need to learn the official glasses cleaning method. To wit: take your glasses off, breathe on them once (I don't know why really, but my mother always does it, so I do too), and then rub them clean with the hem of your shirt. Cotton works better for this than synthetic fabrics. Just don't do this in front of eye doctors, because they will freak out and tell you that you will scratch the lenses, just like they freak out if you ever take out your contacts in front of them without washing your hands first.
posted by colfax at 4:10 AM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

I've worn glasses full-time for years and never clean them on my shirt. Not because I'm afraid of scratching them, but because wiping them on my shirt does nothing to remove facial oil--it just pushes the oil around until the entire lens is coated in a smeary mess.

As for kissing, try sticking your chin out when you go for a kiss--extending the lower part of your face so your partner's face is just a tiny bit further from your glasses. Tilting your head also helps so that your partner's face isn't straight-on approaching your face and your glasses. But basically it's just a matter of adjusting.
posted by serialcomma at 5:41 AM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

We have tried implementing a diagonal tilt rule when we go to kiss to avoid this, but that only happens when we remember, and rather dampens some of our spontaneity.

The only way to fix this is with intensive training to create new "muscle memory" and cement this skill. You need to engage in frequent practice in order to fix the problem. I'd recommend scheduling dedicated make-out sessions a few times a week, just to make sure the habits really stick. It will be very challenging for both of you to have to kiss each other this much, but it's really the only way.

In all seriousness, this is a temporary problem. You'll both get used to the new way of doing things, and it'll become natural. I don't wear glasses, but any time I date someone who does, it takes me a little while to figure out how to kiss without bumping them. But then once I get the technique down, collisions decrease dramatically. It feels like a big annoyance now just because it's new, but both the bumping and the occasional wiping clean will become second nature, and in six months or a year, you'll forget that this was even a thing.
posted by decathecting at 7:01 AM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yes, that was the phrase I was looking for - a glasses n00b! And a very picky one, to boot. I had no idea that every glasses wearer dealt with this. I may seem overzealous to you, but you guys are all saints in my estimation.
posted by horizonseeker at 8:01 AM on February 24, 2013

Between kissing a human, kissing my cat, and my own stupid long eyelashes and eyes watering, I clean my glasses so frequently over the course of a day that I can't imagine what life would be like if I thought I needed to use glasses cleaning spray in order to clean them off. I've worn glasses for over 20 years, and I only ever had glasses cleaning spray when I first got the things. I, too, use the shirt method, and it works fine.

If it's a cleaning job that requires moisture, I generally just get a bit of water from the sink, though this is what breathing on the lenses accomplishes. If I didn't have a ton of smooth cotton shirts that don't scratch lenses, I would carry the microfiber cloth and just use that whenever.
posted by wondermouse at 8:03 AM on February 24, 2013

I usually just wash them (in the bathroom sink, soap, water, maybe toilet paper instead of paper towel) once or twice during the workday (no kissing at work, thank God). Have been picky about clean lenses since I started wearing glasses at age 6.

At home I do the same (though we mostly do the major kissing after glasses are already off, in bed).

I do recall that as a little kid any smudge would drive me NUTS and I had to stop immediately and wash them. After a while you can ignore a little bit.
posted by skbw at 9:09 AM on February 24, 2013

If the whole glasses cleaner and cloth hunt drive you crazy I found some nice little alcohol wipe thingys that come in a little packet like the wet wipe you get at KFC. Super easy to keep one or 2 in a pocket for a quick dog nose print, husband cheek print, OMG I got make up on my glasses for the third time today clean. I find trying to clean grease off with just a cloth or my clothes just smears it all around but the wipes work really well and work out pretty cheap if you buy them in bulk at something like Sams Club.
posted by wwax at 9:18 AM on February 24, 2013

One secret to being a happy glasses-wearer: buy a bunch (at least half a dozen) of microfiber lens cleaning cloths and ensure that there's one close at hand at all times. Using a shirttail will just smear the oil, IME; the microfiber cloths really do remove it.

And yeah, glasses smear. They just do.
posted by Lexica at 9:43 AM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

I started wearing glasses full-time a couple of years ago and I was really nuts about smudges and stuff. It drove me INSANE when my glasses had anything on them. You really do get less fussy, and you get more adept at getting them clean enough. I've also somehow got in the habit of lifting my glasses when I kiss my husband. I don't recall ever thinking about doing it, I'm not even sure when it became second nature, but I usually do. Nthing a microfiber cloth, I keep one handy most of the time, they work better than the hem of my shirt.
posted by upatree at 9:50 AM on February 24, 2013

I am super picky about glasses cleanliness. If you walk around with dirty glasses I am silently judging you and secretly wanting to offer you a cleaning cloth. It's not a matter of being a glasses n00b. Dirty glasses tolerators are in the same class as savages who touch computer screens with their fingers.

I can say that when I first started dating Mr. Fontophilic nose smudges were a constant problem. Its 7 years later and we've figured it out. I actually can't recall the last time we had a nose-smudge. It's a matter of tilting, and him being conscientious about it. It was pretty easy training, because as soon as it happened I'd have to take the glasses off and clean them usually while making fussy-grumpy sounds.

wwax, the name you're looking for is an alcohol prep pad. They can also be found around diabetic supplies in drug stores. I've got a box too, and they're much more convenient and economical than sprays or glasses wipes. And air-travel approved to boot.
posted by fontophilic at 10:00 AM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

fontophilic: "Dirty glasses tolerators are in the same class as savages who touch computer screens with their fingers. "

I want to smooch you in the most respectful, platonic way possible. OMIGOD YES. DO NOT TOUCH MY GODDAMN COMPUTER SCREEN OR I WILL KILL YOU.
posted by Lexica at 4:07 PM on February 24, 2013 [3 favorites]

Coming to echo ideefix. Just take them off. That is what my fiance does, and it actually is kind of fun for me. When he takes his glasses off I usually get excited because Glasses off = kisses!
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 4:46 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

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