November 26, 2019
“There are few things in life more frustrating than picking up my recently acquired eye wear only to find the lens smudged with an oily fingerprint or, worse still, scratched! What’s the solution?” asked a friend. I promised I’d help him set his life straight.
Well friend, firstly, let’s put things in to perspective – there are PLENTY of things in life worse than this… much of which I probably can’t help you with! But, for slightly scratched or dirty lenses you came to the right place!
We’re assuming you don’t have every optician’s secret weapon – an ultrasonic optical cleaning bath – so, instead we’ve created a formula. Follow these steps and, in most cases, you’ll be well sorted in moments!
This may sound a little pompous, but don’t overlook the fact that your eye wear – sunglasses and particularly optical – are finely crafted medical instruments. Use a lotion-free soap to remove dirt and natural oils from your fingers. Then dry thoroughly.
Turn on a gentle flow of cold water and rinse eye wear under the tap. Why? It’ll remove dust and larger pieces of detritus – any of which could end up scratching the surface of your lens. Also – why not hot water? This good damage the coating on your lenses.
Remember to only use a tiny amount! Most detergents are made for cleaning far larger (and dirtier) objects than your lenses! Why lotion-free? Because lotion is oil. You’ll end up adding smears to your lenses rather than removing them!
There’s no better way of doing this than by simply using your own freshly cleaned (and now oil-free) finger tips! A gentle rub, ensuring the detergent gets in to area around the edge of the lens – where it meets the frame.
Your hands and your glasses will now be one soapy mess. But that’s a good sign!
Again, under cold water, rinse the lenses and frame – being careful not to touch the lenses with your fingers at any point from now onwards!
The glasses to remove excess water. And yourself… if you must.
Use a lint-free cloth. One that hasn’t been washed using a fabric softener (this will simply reapply oil to your lenses). Do not use a paper towel or tissue – they feel soft to our touch, but at microscopic level the paper fibers are fine and coarse enough to damage delicate optical coatings!
Hold them up to the light. Looking good? Job done. A few rogue streaks? Give them a little rub with a microfiber cloth (available from photography stores, and opticians too!)
What about specialized eye glass cleaning sprays?
They’re good! They’re the ideal solution (pardon the pun) when you’re away from home or in a particularly challenging environment.
I’ve always used my shirttail and a bit of saliva to clean my glasses. Works okay for me!
Well, I fear you are not alone in this… but we don’t recommend it. Your shirt fabric is likely to scratch your lenses over time, and is certain to remove any fine optical coating. As for using saliva to clean anything – I believe the days of ‘spit and polish’ passed in the 1950s. Get a purpose designed spray, or use soap and fresh water instead.
I have a proper scratch on my lens! I heard toothpaste works a treat in removing scratches. Have you tried it?
We’ve heard the same – and we know others who’ve tried the toothpaste technique in the paste. In fact, years ago it could have worked nicely but, well, they’re selling us the wrong kind of toothpaste these days! If you can find a non-gel, non-abrasive, and non-whitening toothpaste, it might just work. Instead, follow our top tips from removing scratches from glasses yourself:
STEP ONE: Follow our stages 1 to 8 of our lens cleaning guide above!
STEP TWO: Make a thick paste using baking soda and water. Spread the paste on the lenses using a microfiber cloth.
STEP THREE: Rub the paste in to the lenses using a circular motion.
STEP FOUR: Rinse.
Um, basically, that’s it!
In truth, this technique only works for the smallest of scratches and anything more significant may require repair or restoration by your professional optician – and at MAGRABi, we’ve got a team dedicated towards delivering help for your Quick Fixes… find out how here! But remember, some scratches – even those on lenses which are described as ‘anti-scratch’ – simply can’t be removed. Let’s be honest, glasses don’t last forever, and we do have a responsibility to look after them as best we can!
So, a final word – look after your eye wear it will look after you! In the context of cleaning and protecting eye wear – invest in a good eye wear case… and remember always to use it!