How do I make my eyeglasses super sparkly?
August 9, 2017 6:12 AM   Subscribe

I wear glasses. I follow the cleaning instructions given to me by my optometrist--a thorough going over with little wet wipes for optics and then some reasonably vigorous swipes with a dry microfiber cloth. But this isn't good enough.

What happens is that I get some cruft built up along the edges where the lens meets the frame. I am very, very blind, and even the thinnest lens I can afford protrudes from the edge of the frame. So there's always a lip there. I've tried using gentle dish washing liquid and warm water to get all that gunk out, but it doesn't work. And the problem with the gunk is that if I adjust my glasses I will frequently dislodge gunk that ends up on the lens. But somehow, when I get them cleaned at the eye doctor's after a readjustment, all this crap is gone when my glasses are returned to me. WHAT ARE THEY DOING AND HOW DO I DO THAT THING? (Note: I can't use anything like vinegar that could disrupt the non-optional anti-scratch coating on my lenses.)

posted by xyzzy to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Could you try something like a camera lens brush? That ought to get into the little gap around the edge of the lens in the way a cloth can't.
posted by pipeski at 6:16 AM on August 9, 2017

I have not tried them, but I think you may be after an ultrasonic cleaning gizmo.
posted by pompomtom at 6:19 AM on August 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

Can you use a q-tip/cotton swab/cotton bud around the edge? Or a microfiber cloth wrapped over a q-tip if you're concerned about the q-tip being too scratchy?
posted by mskyle at 6:33 AM on August 9, 2017

Seconding a sonic cleaner. They're not that expensive on Amazon.
posted by padraigin at 6:45 AM on August 9, 2017

My optician told me I should be swishing my glasses in soapy water, but that was inconvenient. The last thing I do in the bathroom every morning after I shower and brush my teeth is to wash my glasses. I rinse them under warm running water, use a little liquid soap (the non-abrasive kind) on my fingertips, and make sure I swipe around the edges and not just the surfaces. I then rinse them under more running water and blot (not wipe) them dry with a cotton washcloth I have on the towel rack for this purpose.

For occasional mid-day cleaning purposes I (carefully) use a microfiber cloth but using actual soap and water has been the best thing.
posted by fedward at 6:47 AM on August 9, 2017 [6 favorites]

I wash my glasses in warm water and liquid soap (Dawn dishwashing liquid is highly recommended by a number of sources including my optician although I have yet to remember to buy that shit ffs it's been years) and then dry with a very soft all cotton towel. On the rare occasions I am reduced to using lens wipes and or a microfiber cloth, I end up feeling like I'm going blind. They just don't work for me. This may be due to the fact that I have anti-glare coating on all my glasses. Anyway, washing them regularly prevents the accumulation of any gunk.
posted by janey47 at 6:47 AM on August 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

Hello fellow four eyes! I know exactly what you're talking about.

Those ultrasonic cleaners are the real deal and what they use at the big chain places. I know because I went with my friend to help him pick out frames and watched them clean his old glasses in one (and then they did mine but obviously I couldn't see that.) We actually have a small sonic cleaner for airbrush parts and I wish I'd thought to spring for a bigger one that could fit glasses. They aren't that expensive and might be worth it to you.

Okay here's the trick I use to clean the protruding edge of my lenses. I'm lazy and have been blind since I was six so seeing through clean glasses is an unusual treat but I try to do this about once a month. If you go to a really good aquarium supplies store, or a miniature hobby shop, or a bunch of other weird specialist stores, or maybe just a really awesome hardware store, you should be able to find a medium soft bristle flexible pipe cleaner brush, preferably a set of them that goes from large to teeny tiny. Get the set because once you have them you will be amazed at how often you use them, but the teeny one is for my glasses. Test the bristles on an old pair of glasses to make sure it's soft enough not to scratch anything. Just use after a soak in very hot water, and really get down in those crevices. Bend the brush into the curve of your lenses so you can sort of pull it along the edge and get lots of surface area at once. Don't forget to clean out the hinges on the earpieces.
posted by Mizu at 6:58 AM on August 9, 2017 [4 favorites]

Another dish soap user here. I keep diluted dish soap (dawn etc.) in small squirty bottles by various sinks. Procedure is:

- rinse glasses under cold running water to swish of any particles
- squirt on a little of the dish soap on both sides of the lenses
- rub gently with finger tips under cold running water
- dry with old (multiple wash/dry cycles) cotton cloth. Old cotton towels work a treat for me

My lenses have all the coatings, including anti-scratch and anti-glare. I wash them at least several times a day.
posted by carter at 7:16 AM on August 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

I use hot water and a drop of Dawn- works a dream.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 7:24 AM on August 9, 2017

Warm water & dish soap once a day, running the glasses under running water washes off a lot of that gunk. I keep alcohol wipes in my handbag for spot use when out & about & at my desk a tiny spray bottle with lens cleaning solution in and a microfibre cloth for drying. It takes a combo of all three to keep me happy I hate smudges on my glasses. I use my fingernails under a damp microfibre to clean that little crevasse between lens & frame.

I too have all the coatings on my glasses and they're still going strong after 2 years.
posted by wwax at 8:07 AM on August 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Do you have plastic frames that completely encircle the lenses? If you do, you can apply gentle pressure with your thumb on the lens next to the nose piece, and pop them out. Then you can clean out the glurm completely. Then, pop the lens right back in and clean the lens. Voila! No special tools or cleaning materials needed.
posted by headspace at 9:07 AM on August 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

I shower in mine. Dry with microfiber.
posted by at at 9:52 AM on August 9, 2017

Another daily washer here. Soap, running water, and a very clean cotton cloth to dry. Half of getting that gunk off is preventing it from building it up in the first place.
posted by quince at 9:57 AM on August 9, 2017

I have a bunch of the fluffy "car wash" microfiber towels stashed everywhere, and they're very effective for cleaning lenses (and screens), with or without lens cleaner. I wash 'em with my regular towels without fabric softener to retain their effectiveness. These towels also make great Swiffer cloths.
posted by Autumnheart at 11:23 AM on August 9, 2017

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