Mother and daughter with eyeglasses

You just paid a small fortune for new eyeglasses. On top of the cost for prescription lenses and fashionable frames, you opted for Anti-Reflective, Anti-Scratch and UV Coatings too. 

Mother and daughter with eyeglasses

After all, eyesight is a precious thing and it’s only wise to do all you can to protect it, right? Absolutely! But here’s the deal: You may be destroying your investment one cleaning at a time.

More: How to Save a Bundle on Prescription Eyeglasses

Modern-day lens coatings for eyeglasses are revolutionary in the way that they protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, but also provide comfort for your eyes. And these coatings are fairly durable. Just know that Anti-Scratch does not mean 100% scratch-proof. It only somewhat helps to prevent minor scratches that can easily happen to a regular lens.


Think of the following as “never-ever” ways to clean eyeglasses because they can break down the coatings—stripping them of their qualities and leaving a mess instead.

Wood pulp in paper towels and facial tissues and the tiny fibers in shirt fabric can make fine scratches that will eventually create a kind of visual haze that’s impossible to remove. Think paper and fabric as extremely fine grit sandpaper. 

  • window or glass and mirror cleaner
  • ammonia
  • bleach
  • vinegar
  • lemon juice
  • toothpaste
  • paper towels
  • facial tissues
  • exhaling onto the lenses
  • your shirt

Now that we have the worst things you can use to clean your eyeglasses out of the way, here are the best things to clean and protect your eyeglasses to maintain their beauty and increased longevity.

Related: Prescription Eyeglasses at Bargain Prices


  • water
  • dishwashing liquid
  • rubbing alcohol
  • microfiber cloth
  • lens wipes


Follow these steps for cleaning eyeglasses and sunglasses:

  1. To start, run your glasses under lukewarm water. Don’t use hot water because it will decrease the lifespan of some lenses with coatings.
  2. Put a small drop of dish soap—blue Dawn is ideal—on your fingertips. Gently rub on both sides of the lenses and the nose pads. The best way to clean eyeglasses at home is with dish soap. Even the American Optometric Association recommends it.
  3. Rinse with warm water, and gently dry with a clean, microfiber cloth. Use light touches. The microfiber cloth leaves no lint, so your glasses should be perfectly clean.
  4. Use individually-wrapped lens wipes to keep your eyeglasses clean throughout the day. Or a spritz of rubbing alcohol from a spray bottle followed with a microfiber cloth.

close-up of person's hand cleaning eyeglasses with cloth

Related: Best Inexpensive Microfiber Cloths


Feel like your glasses have been through a lot and need a deep clean? Consider investing in an eyeglass cleaning machine for periodic deep-cleaning that gets all the gunk and grime out of the hinges, nose piece, all those crevices—all without harming the protective coatings*. This maintenance step is crucial to keep your eyeglasses’ longevity and clarity.

With any ultrasound cleaning machine like this UKOKE Ultrasonic Cleaner (about $40), always use clean lukewarm water even if the directions call for hot water. The high temperature can actually warp your frames and lens coating. While tap water is OK, filtered water is highly recommended.

Follow other instructions provided with the machine and in 10 minutes, your eyeglasses’ deep-cleaning will be complete. So amazing!

*Caution: Ultrasound cleaning is not recommended for eyeglasses with scratched lenses.