Can You Use Isopropyl Alcohol To Clean Glasses Lenses?

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From protecting the eyes from the elements to being in contact with natural oils and sweat from your skin, your glasses endure a lot. Unfortunately, this exposes them to dirt, dust, and grime buildup. However, regularly cleaning your glasses lenses helps keep your vision clear and may prolong their lifetime.

You can clean your glasses lenses using a solution of 70% isopropyl alcohol diluted with water and a few drops of clear dishwashing liquid soap. Spray the solution onto the lenses and frames, then buff dry using a clean microfiber cloth. However, it may damage coated lenses.

Having dirt, grease, or grit stuck on the glasses is irritating and may cause eyestrain or headaches. Not cleaning your glasses also increases the chance of bacteria growing near your eyes and nose. Ensure to give your glasses a light clean daily and the frames weekly.

Can You Clean Eyeglasses with Alcohol?

Eyeglass cleaner, hand spray cleaning glasses for clear vision and remove Sweat stains

Yes, you can clean eyeglasses with alcohol. But you must use a specific alcohol-to-water ratio to avoid damage to your lenses.

Most lens labs use a solution of 70% isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol and 30% water plus a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap (on Amazon) to clean their eyeglasses and sunglasses. Spray this solution on the lenses and frames, then wipe dry using a clean microfiber cloth.

Rubbing alcohol offers a wide range of benefits, including:

  • Alcohol kills disease-causing germs like bacteria and viruses.
  • It is safe to use on high-quality lens materials.
  • Isopropyl alcohol is safe on metal and plastic frames.
  • It is easily accessible at your local department or grocery store.

Does Isopropyl Alcohol Damage Eyeglasses

Isopropyl alcohol (on Amazon) can be too harsh for some lenses, so it is best to avoid alcohol-based cleaners.

Prescription glasses often have special protective coatings like anti-glare on their lenses. Cleaning such eyeglasses using rubbing alcohol risks removing the layer.

Failure to dilute the solution in the correct ratio can also cause the alcohol to break down the plastic coating on your eyeglass frames. Before cleaning your glasses with isopropyl alcohol, apply a small amount of the solution on the tip of the temples to check if the alcohol solution will damage the frame material.

What Can You Use to Clean Your Eyeglasses

There are various alternatives to using alcohol on your eyeglasses. While some need water, others don’t. Some of the best alternative options to alcohol for cleaning glasses include:

Avoid dry cleaning your glasses if they have dirt or debris because the particles will scratch your lenses. Only dry clean glasses if they have smudges or smears.

How to Clean Your Lenses

It would be best if you did not use ammonia-based lens cleaners. Multiple coatings on your lenses make them vulnerable to ammonia and other chemicals commonly used in cleaning products.

The easiest way to clean your eyeglass lenses is by using warm water and mild soap, such as dishwashing liquid that does not contain a lotion ingredient. Use clean fingertips to wash the lenses carefully, then rinse the lenses in cool water and dry them gently using a soft towel.

Alternatively, you can use a cleaner designed specifically for lenses to spray both sides of your lenses. If you don’t have a microfiber cloth handy, you can use tissue without moisturizer to clean your eyeglasses and then dry them with another dry section.

You can also use pre-moisturized wipes that are ideal for use on eyeglasses lenses. Avoid using everyday household cleaners to wash the lenses since most contain harmful elements such as ammonia.

It’s best to avoid drying your lenses with anything other than a microfiber cloth. Paper towels, shirttails, and dishtowels may scratch the lens surface.

Cleaning Your Frames

Cleaning eyeglasses with microfiber cloth

Cleaning your glasses frames and nose pads using lotion-free soap and drying them with a microfiber towel can do the trick. But if your glasses are covered in a thick layer of filth or dust, you may need a soft toothbrush.

Here are some simple steps for maintaining the integrity of your glasses frames and lenses through routine cleaning:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water. If you start with dirty hands, you will almost certainly end up with dirty frames.
  • Bathe the glasses gently using warm water and lotion-free soap. It’s crucial to give the frames a thorough rinsing and remove any remaining bubbles before drying them.
  • Use a microfiber cloth to pat the glasses dry.

Although the coarse cotton fibers of everyday clothing may feel comfortable against the skin, they may cause significant damage to your glasses.  

When to Consider Professional Cleaning

Consider professional cleaning services if your glasses have accumulated a lot of grime over extended periods. Eyeglasses with well-maintained frames and no blemishes are ideal candidates for professional cleaning. With a thorough cleaning and new nose pads, old glasses can appear new.

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