How to properly clean your eyeglasses like they are delicate camera lenses

Originally published at: How to properly clean your eyeglasses like they are delicate camera lenses | Boing Boing


Much simpler:

Stick glasses in cup.

Fill cup with seltzer.

Dry with paper towel.

Buff with lens cloth.


There are treatments for OCD, y’know.


I have to do that much more often, almost daily. Bushy eyebrows are a thing.


I don’t recommend the ultrasonic cleaning on glasses, I’ve found they can damage lens coatings like UV cut, blue light reduction, and anti-scratch coating.


I suspect Tratt’s method is worse than soap and water, because he has to apply a significant amount of pressure to remove oils with his dry microfibre cloth. The pressure is what scratches, and brushing does not remove dust stuck in oil. The reason pro lenses aren’t washed with soap and water is they generally are not submersible.

I’ve been refining my glasses cleaning routine for the same reason as him: pressure during cleaning causes microscopic scratches which degrade night vision. As I get older and my prescription stabilizes, this saves me from buying new lenses every year.

Here’s my current system:

  • Water rinse glasses to wash away loose particles, without touching lenses.
  • Wash hands with hand soap or dish soap that rinses clean, to remove oils and cruft from hands.
  • Clean the wet lenses and frames with a drop of dish soap that rinses clean. Most dish soap these days leave behind hand-conditioning oils which leave a little haze; even the current original Dawn leaves a little residue. I tested a half dozen brands to find one that leaves no residue, which is go (Green Organics) dish soap from Rite Aid.
  • Make sure every part of the glasses including frames and temples have been cleaned of oil so that none will transfer from frame to hand or cloth. Use very light finger pressure so dust particles won’t scratch the wet lens.
  • Rinse with water. If you are using the right dish soap, you will not feel any squeaking because there will be nothing but water left, and it will bead up.
  • Shake the glasses to remove whatever water you can without touching.
  • Shake out a clean microfiber cloth to remove any dust that has fallen on it.
  • Dry the temples and nosepads with one end of the microfiber cloth. Move to a fresh part of the microfiber cloth and wipe the water beads off the lens, toward the nosepieces with hardly any pressure.
  • Every few cleanings, put the cloth in the “to be cleaned” pile, and break out a fresh clean cloth from a 10 pack.

TLDR: clean the lens perfectly with soap and water so you aren’t using pressure to remove haze with the drying cloth.


1: Huff on lenses
2: Buff lenses on sleeve
3: There is no three


Ferris Buellers Day Off GIF


I like to coat mine in a thin layer of walnut oil and bake at 425 for about two hours. I repeat four or five times if we’re building from bare glass but one round is good if they’re already seasoned. Then I use a good quality whetstone with about 25-30 passes per side.


I clean my very expensive glasses like I clean my camera lenses.

Breath on the glass and wipe them with my shirt or any cloth or paper towel.

My daily glasses get wiped with alcohol because germs.


Fascinating. Do you wear them while riding a bike through stop signs or while running bicyclists off the road? Do you have any suggestions about how to use glasses to keep trucks from running into the 11’8” bridge?


No but they are the perfect prescription to let me tell women just how their bodies actually work and to accurately distinguish between clips and magazines.


… and then I staple the bag shut, fold it over and staple it again.


Wow. Some folks have WAY too much time on their hands.


Just never, and I can’t emphasize this strongly enough, never clean your glasses with ketchup.


Yours has been essentially my method for a number of years now, just without a lot of the caution you seem to take. I’m not recommending this, but it has preserved my anti-reflective coating for a few years now.

  • Run both sides of the lenses under water for a few seconds
  • Put a little liquid soap on my fingers
  • Use said fingers to wipe both sides of lenses
  • Run lenses under water
  • Shake-dry glasses
  • Give my microfiber cloth a few hard shakes to remove any dust that’s landed on its the surface
  • Wipe-dry glasses with said cloth

Every few cleanings I’ll do a more extensive washing of the frames (again, soap and fingers) and hand-scrub the microfiber cloth with soap and hang it to dry.

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Just wipe them on someone passing by…


Of course not! Mustard only.


What kind of whetstone? Will 1000 grit be OK or do I need something more coarse?


While we’re playing out this bit I might as well commit fully:


I just ask the folks at Harbor Freight what they recommend!