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My Eyeglass Lenses are Scratched! Here’s Why:

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

Sometimes people reach for lousy solutions to clean their lenses. Window cleaner, hand soap, alcohol, and paper products are not the best choices for today’s sophisticated lenses and coatings. Ask yourself this question: Would you go out and wipe your car’s finish with a dry kitchen towel? Of course not; you would scratch your car’s paint job.

An image of someone cleaning their glasses with a microfiber cloth.

For optimal cleaning, today’s high-tech lens coatings require lens care products that include the following:

Surfactants - To keep your eyeglass lenses cleaner, use a cleanser formulated with surfactants or surface-acting agents. They allow a lens cleanser to spread and wet the lens surface, making it easier to dissolve dirt and grime.

Alcohol - Most people think that alcohol in a regular glasses cleaning solution is the primary cleaning agent, but this is not true. The small amounts of alcohol used in a professional lens cleaner act as a drying agent so that the solution will not leave spots.

Microfiber - When used with lens cleaner, these cloths absorb and wipe up oils while simultaneously holding dirt and particles deeper within the fibers and away from the lens surface. Remember, those bits of dust and dirt can easily scratch your lenses.

For the best care, avoid the following:

Paper products: Paper towels, tissue, and even store-bought lens wipes can grind dust and fibers into the lenses, leaving scratches. If you have faint, circular scratches in your lens, it is from incorrectly cleaning them.

Glass cleaner: These highly corrosive products can quickly damage your lenses and coatings. They are not made for anything but glass.

Soaps: It is common for popular soaps to have other ingredients like lotions and perfumes, which work against you. A few mild dish soaps are fine to clean lenses, but most “extra strength” dish soaps are powerful enough to slowly disintegrate lens coatings. Anything designed to “remove grease” will remove a lens coating over time.

Clothing: Using your t-shirt may be tempting to wipe off your lenses, but clothing can have particles of dirt in it that can leave fine scratches on your lenses.

Alcohol: Full-strength alcohol can damage your lenses with long-term use and should be avoided.

It’s time to forget the “old school” ways of using glass cleaner and tissues. Use a quality lens cleaner and a microfiber cloth. Never wipe your glasses without first rinsing them to rid the lens of dust and debris from our environment. If you have questions about how to clean your glasses, please stop by and let us assist you.

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