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The Best Way to Clean Sunglasses (Or Any Type of Glasses)

Published: 2023-10-23T13:08:17+0000 Updated: 2023-10-23T13:08:18+0000 Author: Abby Helgeson

Photo by Tamara Bellis on Unsplash

Sunglass Cleaning & Care Tips

Once you've invested in the perfect pair of sunglasses, cleaning them regularly is absolutely essential to maintain their clarity. Not only that, it is important to keep them clean in order to adequately protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Dirt, dust, and oils can accumulate on the lenses, hindering visibility and potentially damaging the coating. To keep your sunglasses looking pristine and functioning effectively, follow this comprehensive step-by-step guide for proper cleaning:

Our 10 Time-Tested Steps for Cleaning Sunglasses

  1. Gather the necessary supplies

    Before starting the cleaning process, gather all of the required items. You'll need a microfiber cleaning cloth, mild dish soap, lukewarm water, a sink or basin, and a protective case for your sunglasses to store them in once they're all clean.

  2. Rinse the sunglasses

    Once you've gathered your materials, hold your sunglasses under a gentle stream of lukewarm water to rinse off any loose debris and dust. It is important to make sure you avoid using hot water as it may damage the lens coatings or frames. Also, never use harsh chemicals or solvents.

  3. Apply a small amount of dish soap

    Put a tiny drop of mild dish soap on your fingertips and gently apply it to both sides of the lenses. A little bit goes a long way! Be sure to use a soap that doesn't contain harsh chemicals or abrasive particles that could potentially scratch the lenses.

  4. Clean the frames

    Dip the frames into the lukewarm, soapy water and use your fingertips to clean around the nose pads and arms where dirt and oils tend to accumulate. Handle your sunglasses carefully to avoid bending or damaging the frame.

  5. Clean the lenses

    Using your fingertips, gently rub the lenses in a circular motion to remove any smudges, fingerprints, or dirt. The edges and corners where debris may be harder to remove, so pay closer attention to these areas.

  6. Rinse the sunglasses again

    Once you've cleaned the lenses, run the sunglasses under a gentle stream of lukewarm water, ensuring all the soap is washed away. Repeat the rinsing process as necessary until no soap residue remains.

  7. Dry the sunglasses

    Carefully shake off excess water and then pat dry the frames and lenses with a clean, lint-free microfiber cloth. Avoid using paper towels or clothing, as these materials can scratch the lenses.

  8. Air-dry or use the cloth

    You can absolutely let your sunglasses air-dry on a clean, soft surface. However, to speed up the drying process, use the microfiber cloth to absorb any remaining moisture.

  9. Check for streaks or smudges

    This is the fun part! Now, hold your sunglasses up to the light and check for any streaks or smudges that might have been missed during cleaning. If you find any, start from the top and repeat the cleaning process as necessary.

  10. Store your sunglasses properly

    When your sunglasses are completely dry and free of smudges, it is key to store them in a protective sunglass case when not in use. This will help prevent scratches and keep them safe from debris.

Care Tips for Keeping Your Sunglasses in Tip-Top Shape

To make sure you keep your sunglasses in excellent condition and provide optimal protection for your eyes, it's essential to take good care of them. Avoiding the bad habits below that cause damage and following some simple care tips can significantly extend the lifespan of your sunglasses and keep you looking as stylish and put together as possible.

Proper Storage

One of the most common mistakes people make is tossing their sunglasses into bags, pockets, or the car without proper protection. To prevent scratches, dirt, and accidental damage. always use a sturdy sunglasses case to store them when not in use.


Regular cleaning is crucial to maintaining the clarity of your lenses. However, avoid using your shirt or tissue as they can contain abrasive particles that might damage the lens coating. Instead, use a microfiber cleaning cloth or lens-specific cleaning wipes to avoid scratching the lenses.

Avoid Touching the Lenses

Oils, dirt, and fingerprints can smudge the lenses and are harder to clean off, leading to decreased visibility. Whenever possible, handle your sunglasses by gripping the frames instead of touching the lenses. Nobody likes smudged lenses!

Don't Leave Your Sunglasses in a Hot Car

It sounds obvious, but high temperatures inside a car can damage the lens coatings and frame materials over time. It is an easy mistake, but always take your sunglasses with you or store them in the glove compartment or under a seat where they're shielded from direct sunlight.

Rinse with Water

If your sunglasses get exposed to saltwater, pool water, or sweat, rinse them with fresh water as soon as possible. These types of substances can cause corrosion or affect the lens coatings if left untreated.


If your sunglasses feel loose or tight on your face, avoid bending the frames excessively. Instead, let a professional optician make proper adjustments.

Keep Away from Chemicals

Avoid exposing your sunglasses to harsh chemicals like ammonia, bleach, or cleaning solvents. They can damage the lens coatings, frames, and nose pads.

No Sunglasses on Your Head

While it's really tempting to push sunglasses onto your head when not wearing them, avoid it at all costs. This can stretch the frames over time, leading to an improper fit.

Regular Maintenance

Inspect your sunglasses regularly for loose screws or any signs of wear. If you notice any issues, again, let a professional make the repairs to prevent further damage.

Avoid Dropping or Sitting on Your Sunglasses

Accidents happen, but try to avoid dropping your sunglasses or sitting on them. This can cause misalignment, bent frames, or even shatter the lenses.

Replace Worn-out Accessories

Over time, the nose pads and temple tips may wear out. It happens. Replace them when necessary to ensure a comfortable fit and prevent further damage to the frames.

Proper Handling During Activities

If you use your sunglasses during sports or outdoor activities, make sure to handle them with care. Not all sunglasses are made for a quick game of pickleball (or tennis, if you prefer). Look for specialized sports sunglasses with impact-resistant lenses for added protection.

Regularly Check UV Protection

Believe it or not, the UV protection of sunglasses can degrade due to wear and tear. Consider getting your sunglasses tested for UV protection by an optician every year or two.

By following these care tips and avoiding bad habits, you can keep your sunglasses in excellent shape for years to come. Remember that high-quality sunglasses not only protect your eyes but also enhance your vision and overall visual experience. Invest in a good pair of sunglasses, and with proper care, they will serve you well on many sunny days ahead.


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