Care and Cleaning of your Eyeglass Lenses

It only takes a second - a greasy fingerprint suddenly appears on your lens, debris and dust make it harder for you to see, or moisture creates film that fogs up your glasses. What now? Many of us grab the nearest thing - a tissue, our tie or a sleeve. Actually, none of these are ideal for your lenses. Proper care extends the useful life of your glasses - and ensures better vision.

Many eyeglass wearers are not even aware of the fact that improper cleaning is hard on their glasses. Take tissues for example: if you use one to clean your lenses, it picks up debris from the lens, which scratches the lens like fine sandpaper as you rub it. These fine scratches wear down the lens's surface and can create a permanent haze on the lens over time.

Consequently, your first choice for cleaning your lenses should be microfiber cloths. They remove grease and moisture without scratching your glasses or leaving marks. For regular cleaning, first place your lenses under running water to remove dust and rough debris. Next, add a pH-neutral dishwashing detergent to the water and gently dry the lenses with a microfiber cloth (never rub hard). Practical tools for your daily eyewear care include a special lens cleaning cloth, cleaning spray or pre-moistened lens towelettes. These will clean your lenses safely, thoroughly and will offer some anti-static effect, which helps your glasses stay clear longer because they do not collect as much dust and debris.

Cleaning recommendation: do not wash microfiber cleaning cloths at high temperatures, and do not add a fabric softener, as using one could cause your cloth to leave streaks on the lens.

Lens coatings with hydrophobic properties actually repel dust and oil, making it hard for dirt, dust or moisture to get stuck on your lenses. Not only will this cut down the amount of cleaning you need to do; it helps protect the surface of your lens.  

The fact is, scratches are impossible to remove from both plastic and glass lenses, once they are there. Prevention is best. If your glasses get scratched, you should replace them quickly. Although most people believe that the defect is only a cosmetic one, the light is actually diffused by the micro-fine scratch grooves, and can irritate your eyes.

To optimally care for your frame, we recommend you visit your Shopko Eyecare Center every six months for ultrasonic cleaning. Virtually all eye care practices offer this as a complimentary service. It takes only a few minutes and restores the original shine to your eyewear.

Remember: Your glasses need a home of their own. A hard case is the best place for your spectacles whenever you are not wearing them. If you lay them down and do not have the case handy, make sure that the lenses point upward.

One more thing: high temperatures (above 175 degrees) will damage even the sturdiest of lenses and frames. Plastic lenses especially should not be exposed to high temperatures or significant temperature fluctuations. These could have an adverse impact on the durability of an antireflective coating. Extreme temperature fluctuations may also cause ruptures due to the different structures of the lens material and coating. However, no negative effects have been observed in lenses while they are exposed to below-freezing winter temperatures.

Remember: Long exposure to sauna temperatures or to the summer sun on your car's dashboard is bad for both the case and the glasses.


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