For anyone that wears them, they know that keeping reading glasses clean is a constant battle. Always taking them on and off, packing them around in a pocket or purse, or keeping them around your neck all result in smudges on lenses and a build up of who knows what on the frames.
Here are three sure fire tips for keeping your reading glasses clean and looking good:
1. Use a cleaning spray or mild soap for the lenses. To really lift off some of the smudges on lenses you need some sort of solution that will lift off the grease or dirt that is on the lens.
A lens cleaning spray that is ammonia free is what you want to look for and is available at most optical retailers. Simply spay both sides of the lenses and wipe with a clean micro fibre cloth.
Keeping in mind that the majority of reading glass lenses are made from some form of plastic (CR39 or polycarbonate) and may have coatings, you will want to avoid using any harsh soaps or cleaners. Definitely avoid using anything like Windex or other glasses cleaner that contain ammonia.
2. Micro fibre is best. Micro fibre cloths provide the best material for cleaning your lenses and they can be used either with cleaning spray or dry by themselves. The advantages of micro fibre are that the soft fabric will not scratch, they are lint free, and they can be washed for repeated use. Simply hand wash and hang to dry when it needs a clean. Keeping a few micro fibre cloths laying around the house or work is a great idea as you will find that the more they are around the more you will use them.
In a pinch, cleaning your glasses with a soft cotton cloth is fine as long as it is clean. Using something dirty is what can scratch lenses. Also, avoid using paper towel, Kleenex, or anything else made from wood fibre. We especially cringe at the idea of using those moist towelette style lens cleaning cloths that are in individual pouches. First off, they are a wood fibre material, and secondly the single use design of the cloth and package just don't make sense for the environment.
3. Sometimes you need the deep clean. Especially with metal frames, over time things can really get a little out of hand.
I'm sure many of you have seen the build up of green "gunk" around the nose pads, as shown in the picture. This is mainly caused from oxidation from dirt being combined with oils and fluids from your skin. I have a rule of thumb: if the nose pads are starting to turn green, it's time for a clean. Seriously, it can get pretty gross.
For a deep clean I suggest a good soak in some warm soapy water using a mild soap such as Palmolive dish soap. Let that warm water do some work to loosen things up. Then get in the hard to reach areas around the nose pads with a couple of Qtips. In some cases, it may be necessary to have the nose pads changed. This can easily be done inexpensively at an optical retailer.
Remember, your glasses are front and centre on your face and they provide an immediate first impression. You go to great lengths to wash your clothes, style your hair, and making yourself look presentable, why not give a little of that treatment to your reading glasses.