The most effective and safe way to clean your glasses

The most effective and safe way to clean your glasses

Taking care of your eyeglasses is crucial, not only for clear sight, but also for maintaining the durability and aesthetics of your everyday accessory. There are plenty of solutions existing for generations, such as a common microfiber cloth, some newer ones as cleaning solutions in combination with a brush screwdriver, and even ultrasonic cleaning devices. You certainly used the first option (and probably still using it), but are the other options worth trying? Is it safe to use for glasses? And what about your skin?

Today, let’s take a closer look into each of the options and discover hidden dangers as well as unleash significant differences in the quality and safety of cleaning. Fasten your seatbelts, we’re taking off! 

Conventional Cleaning Methods at a Glance

What is the first thing you do when your glasses lenses start looking dirty? Right, you pull out the cleaning cloth out of your pocket, grab a napkin from the table, or even simpler – quickly rub the lenses with your t-shirt. While it may appear harmless at first, such a cleaning routine could cause quite some damage. 

Paper towels, napkins, toilet paper (don’t tell me you never used toilet paper, come on) as well as other paper products are made with rough fibers, and even though they feel soft, their surface is abrasive enough to leave micro-scratches on the lenses. Additionally, if any of the mentioned items already spent some time in your pocket or somewhere inside your bag, it’s likely accumulated lots of dust and dirt within its tissues. As a result, your lenses will get an even layer of tiny scratches, adding up one on top of the other every time you decide to clean the lenses. In the end, the transparency of the glass will gradually decrease, leading to a “foggier” sight, potentially worsening your condition. 

But hey, we are here not to scare you! Rather, educate and show the broad variety of existing alternatives that will keep your glasses clean and vision – crystal clear!

Advice 1: When using a cleaning cloth on a regular basis, try to limit its exposure to dust & dirt. To do so, get yourself an air-tight zip-lock bag (just placing it inside the glasses case isn’t the best idea, as it does not really eliminate the problem) and store the cloth there when not in use.  

Advice 2: Do not use the same cleaning cloth for more than half a year (considering you wear glasses every day). No matter how well you try to preserve it, it will still accumulate dust, dead skin cells, and skin oil, eventually reducing the quality of cleaning. You of course can try to wash and reuse it, however, unfortunately, the vast majority of cleaning tissues are not washable. After contact with water and drying, the tissues inside may get harder and cause damage to your lenses.

Chemical cleaners: worth it?

Using glasses cleaning cloth might be a good on-the-go solution, but sooner or later you’ll find your glasses are getting oily, and just rubbing them with a tissue does not really solve the issue. That’s where chemical cleaners come in handy. With just a few drops of the mystery solution, you are likely to get a much more prominent result. Alcohol-based cleaners will quickly dissolve oil and help remove stubborn stains from the surface. 

While this might be a great thing to have for everyone, striving to get a streak-free shine, the convenience of quick-fix chemical cleaners comes with hidden risks that are worth a closer look.

First, let’s start with the potential risks these solutions can cause to your glasses:

  • Deterioration of Frame: If you are the lucky owner of an eco-friendly wooden frame, chemical solutions are probably not for you. Wood, no matter how well it is coated, sooner or later will corrode under the influence of chemical solutions. However, if your frame is made of metal, this still may be the reason to avoid chemical cleaners. Harsh chemicals may corrode the metal if it is exposed to the environment or decrease the protection of the coating if your frame is painted/coated.

  • Damage to the Lenses: the frame is not the only thing at risk. Certain chemicals can cause damage to the lens material (especially ammonia, bleach and acetone), leading to the incidence of cloudiness, scratches, or even structural weakness. In simple words: Look for products with clear lists of ingredients free from harsh chemicals, or better still avoid the use of the products and use natural alternatives wherever possible.

  • Damage to the Coating Protection: Lenses with coating are in even greater danger, as the coating material, especially when already scratched, can be destroyed very quickly when in contact with chemical solutions (even ethanol/isopropyl alcohol in high concentrations can cause permanent damage). The anti-reflective, anti-scratch, and UV-blocking layers can wear down and lose their efficacy, shortening the overall life of your lenses.

Risks to Health:

  • Skin and Eye Sensibility: Harsh chemicals may irritate your eyes, and in some cases, cause an allergic reaction to sensitive skin around them. When ignored over a long period of time, a simple irritation can quickly progress to complex symptoms of an allergic reaction.

  • Long-term health implications: Chemical cleaners became popular not so long ago, and most of them contain compounds that have not been studied comprehensively regarding their long-term health effects (specifically relating to eye health). Continuous exposure to some of them may cause breathing- or hormone-related chronic health problems.

Does it mean you should not use the chemical cleaners ever again? Well, of course not. Make sure to stay away from those, compositions that contain ammonia, acetone, bleach, or ethanol/isopropyl alcohol (in high concentrations).

What about ultrasonic cleaning? 

In a few years, ultrasonic cleaning devices for glass cleaning started gaining popularity. The basic idea is quite straightforward: you keep your glasses clean with minimal effort, no manual rubbing, and no extra effort.

Ultrasonic cleaners work by exploding small bubbles of air inside the liquid, that the ultrasonic tank is filled with (in most cases – just water, but you can also add soap for better cleaning). Once these small bubbles explode, the freed power gently removes the stubborn dirt and oils from the nooks of your glasses without scratching the lens or damaging the frame. This is one of the easiest ways to keep your glasses clean while investing minimum effort, but it also has its drawbacks.


  • Thorough but gentle cleaning: Ultrasonic cleaning is much more effective than manual scrubbing and at the same time is significantly more gentle to your glasses, and, specifically, lenses.

  • Eco-friendly and Safe: For the majority of cases, it is enough to use just water. You can add some mild detergents, such as soap, to intensify cleaning, but there is absolutely no need to use any harsh chemicals to achieve the desired result.

  • The ultrasonic cleaning process is intensified by adding an anti-fog wipe after the cleaning, ensuring that the lenses are completely clear and remain fog-free for continued vision throughout the day. The combination of ultrasonic cleaning, followed by an anti-fog wipe, makes a holistic solution for glasses care and seems like a routine that cannot be missed by one who wants to give the best possible glasses care.


Unfortunately, not all ultrasonic cleaners are suitable for glasses. Some of them may offer a good level of cleaning but cause significant damage to your spectacles over time.

  • Ultrasonic cleaners with a frequency higher than 45,000Hz should not be used for glasses. Higher frequencies are likely to damage the frame and lenses. 

  • It is also not recommended to use ultrasonic cleaners for lenses with coating. While most of the coatings can easily withstand the frequency of up to 45kHz, if your coating is already worn off a little, ultrasonic waves are likely to worthen its condition. Make sure to double-check with the manufacturer of the glasses if yours can be cleaned with ultrasound.

  • Ultrasonic cleaners offering less than 45kHz won’t really clean anything. They are much cheaper than the alternatives, but this investment won’t pay off (unless you just want to store glasses in there with no intention of cleaning them).

Logical Conclusion (with a little bonus) 

You anyhow will keep using the glasses cleaning cloth, we know that. Just please, make sure you use the one that is made for glasses cleaning instead of grabbing any random piece of cloth and rubbing your lenses with it. If you want to get a really special one, consider checking our mfa Anti-Fog Wipe – it looks and feels exactly like your regular cleaning cloth, only this one has a cool feature: apply it and your lenses won’t fog up anymore. And (!) it is made for glasses, so it won’t scratch or damage your lenses in any way.

We also would recommend staying away from chemical cleaners. An ultrasonic cleaner is a costlier, yet 100% healthier solution. So, if you are ready to bring your cleaning routine to the next level – get yourself an ultrasonic cleaner. Luckily, we have one. It was designed in close collaboration with professional opticians, and it remains our bestseller for several years, serving tens of thousands of customers across the globe. Also, it is extremely well-built, nicely designed, and comes with a warranty. 

If you finished reading up till this point, first – thank you, that matters a lot! Now, as promised, here is your little bonus: get 10% off our ultrasonic cleaner with the code SMART. Because you for sure deserve it! Enjoy! 

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