How do I stop my eyeglasses from getting dirty so quickly?
November 23, 2007 2:51 PM   Subscribe

How do I stop my eyeglasses from getting so dirty in the first place?

I read previous questions about cleaning glasses. What I want to know is this: is there any way to stop them from getting so dusty in the first place?

I wear my glasses every minute I'm awake, and keep them in a case at night. I wash them using either just warm water and a soft cloth, or some of that spray stuff they gave me when I bought them. I wash them several times a day, and yet they're dirty again within an hour -- even when I'm not going outside and my toddler isn't grabbing them. I've worn glasses for over 30 years, most with anti-glare coating like these ones, and I don't remember a pair ever being such a smudge-magnet.

Is there anything I can put on them to repel dust? (A nice coat of Pledge, perhaps?)
posted by The corpse in the library to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Oh my god, don't use Pledge - but I'll assume you're joking about that.

The best thing I use to wash glasses is warm water and that foamy Bath & Body Works soap for the bathroom - works like magic. But I suspect what will help even more is if you keep the skin on your face really moisturized with some sort of lotion before you put your glasses on. What a lot of people think is dust is actually bits of flaky skin, especially this time of year when humidity is down and people's skin gets drier.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 2:59 PM on November 23, 2007

45 years I've been wearing glasses, and I've come to conclusion that it can't be done. You just have to get used to cleaning them regularly.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 3:02 PM on November 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

If they fog up at all, try using baby shampoo--that's a trick I picked up from playing Airsoft (paintball masks fog up really bad in the cold) and it works really good on my glasses as well.
posted by DMan at 3:16 PM on November 23, 2007

What kind of dirt? Dust or smudges? Sometimes my eyelashes will grow long enough to brush against the lens, and this can leave a smudge. The solution is to trim the eyelash. Or perhaps you have a lot of oily dust in the air?
posted by DarkForest at 3:31 PM on November 23, 2007

I clean my glasses with a bit of washing up liquid and a bit of water then polish it off with kitchen roll... that helps fogging, smearing a bit... (though there's a bit of a knack for getting them smear free in the first place.)

You might want to look out for a good quality lens cloth. If you can't get one from where you got your glasses try a photography shop
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:40 PM on November 23, 2007

Are your frames plastic? I notice that I get a lot more stuff stuck to my lenses when I wear plastic frames that sit right on the nose, rather than metal frames, that have separate nose pads. The dead skin, etc. seems to migrate very well onto the lenses with plastic frames.
posted by ssg at 3:48 PM on November 23, 2007

I got sick of my stupid smudgy glasses, and switched to contacts. I give them two thumbs up, and highly recommend it as a solution if your prescription allows it. Even with mild (uncorrected by contacts) astigmatism in one eye, the lack of smudging makes my vision so much better.
posted by anaelith at 3:52 PM on November 23, 2007

Most likely it's being caused by your anti-glare coating (even though you say you've had the coating before). There are about 5 or 6 different types of anti-glare coating, and each optometrist's office and/or optical lab has their preferences for which one they use. Some are more prone to smudging than others, and it gets worse as they age (glasses with anti-glare coating should be replaced after 2 years). Check with your optometrist or your optical lab and see if you can try a different "brand" of anti-glare coating next time.
posted by amyms at 4:02 PM on November 23, 2007

anaelith - how come you don't wear contacts that fix your astigmatism? A toric lens should do the trick, and you can now get them in every form of regular soft lenses including daily disposable. I wore regular ones for years because the self centering never seemed right but the new toric lens designs are much better.
posted by jeffmik at 6:21 PM on November 23, 2007

Try a drop of Dawn dish soap on each lens and gently rub it around under running water. Once rinsed clean, gently dry with a soft absorbent cloth. Your lenses will be stunningly least for a day.

I have to say, I've noticed that my current lenses seem to get unusually dirty, too.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:17 PM on November 23, 2007

As amyms says, the anti-glare coating is a smudge-magnet. Scratches also show up way more with the coating. I gave up on it with this last pair, and now my glasses stay clean for at least half a day.

I think exfoliating your face and using a good moisturizer helps. Also, not touching your face a lot, and not having bangs (hair on your forehead).
posted by bluefly at 7:30 PM on November 23, 2007

I have the same problem as DarkForest with long eyelashes. I wash my face several times a day and clean my glasses again before putting them on. Mostly works. You can also go to the optometrist and have the fitter adjust them if your smudges are a similar inside job. I had that done last week, and it's extended my wearing time between cleanings by probably 150%.
posted by phrits at 8:12 AM on November 24, 2007

My glasses get smudgy a lot as well. One thing that I recently figured out that has made washing them a little less annoying -- don't wipe them dry. The coating on mine beads water pretty well, so I just shake excess water off and then blow hard on them from both sides (each lens). That moves the water off the edges, and then I wipe around the sides of the lens to catch the droplets (the sides of the lens -- i.e. not on the lens surface at all). Easier/quicker than trying to wipe them off and get them streak-free.
posted by madmethods at 11:06 AM on November 24, 2007

Brand name or generic glass cleaner is good for that. You can wipe it with a "clean, well-washed, lint-free, cotton cloth". That means the tail of your T-shirt, or someone else's. Another good wiper is those expensive micro-fiber cloths from the camera store, but an old silk bouse whacked into hunks will work. Glass cleaner is alchohol based, and it will evaporate fast.
None of this will keep it clean longer, but it will make it dry faster after you get the fingerprints off.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 9:39 PM on November 24, 2007

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