Can You Use Windex To Clean Eyeglasses?

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Since they are constantly exposed to the elements and natural oils or sweat from the skin, eyeglasses inevitably get smudged or cloudy. Dirty, cloudy, or smudged glasses may cause squinting and eyestrain, which beats the purpose of wearing eyeglasses. Cleaning the glasses regularly keeps your vision clear and helps increase durability.

Although it cleans windows well, Windex is not appropriate for cleaning your eyeglasses. It has chemicals that strip the protective coating of the lenses. Windex also removes the anti-reflective coating and can damage plastic lenses. It leaves a thin layer on glass, which is harmful to the eyes.

Simply wiping your eyewear using your shirt won’t clean them properly. Instead, wash your eyeglasses using warm water and lotion-free liquid dishwashing soap for best results. While cleaning glasses is essential, using the correct procedures avoids damage.  

Can You Use Windex to Clean Your Eyeglasses?

Happy executive cleaning eyeglasses with disinfectant at office

No, it would be best if you didn’t clean your eyeglasses using Windex. Windex (on Amazon) is excellent for cleaning windows, but there are various reasons to avoid using it on eyeglasses. It can damage the lenses and make it impossible to see through them.

Eyeglasses are often costly, and using Windex on them can make you invest in a new pair sooner than anticipated. Avoid this costly mistake by cleaning your glasses with the right products. Use warm soapy water or a commercial eyeglass lens cleaner to clean eyeglasses safely.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Windex on Your Glasses

Maintaining the cleanliness of your eyeglasses is essential because it preserves the quality of the eyewear and the health of your vision.

Windex does a great job on glass windows and chrome surfaces. However, there are various reasons why you shouldn’t use Windex on your glasses.

Windex May Damage the Glass

Although your eyeglasses’ lenses may resemble window glass, they are made from a completely different material. However, it would help if you never used Windex on your eyeglasses.

Windex contains harsh chemicals such as 2-phenoxyethanol, sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate, isopropanolamine, ammonium hydroxide, and sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate. These components can permanently damage the lenses and any coating they may have.

The chemicals in Windex can also damage or strip the plating on the frames.

Windex May Strip the Lenses of Their Coating

Many eyeglasses today come with anti-reflective coatings. The lenses’ anti-reflective coating blocks reflections and improves night-time visibility.

Robust cleaning solutions like Windex can remove the anti-reflective coating on your glasses. However, Windex can destroy your spectacles and make them unusable. Because glasses with an anti-reflective coating are expensive, you should avoid using Windex.

So, What’s the Best Way to Clean Eyeglasses?

Cleaning eyeglasses properly helps avoid scratches or permanent damage. If your glasses are dirty, smudged, or cloudy, use the following handling and cleaning tips to preserve the integrity of your glasses:

Step 1: Wash Your Hands Thoroughly

Wash your hands with soap and water before cleaning your glasses. Hand washing ensures you won’t spread any additional dirt or smudges onto the lenses.

Step 2: Use Warm Water

Gently wash your glasses in warm water, not hot. Since hot water may damage special lens coatings like the anti-glare or anti-reflective coating, warm water is best.

Step 3: Clean Eyeglasses Using Lotion-Free Liquid Dishwashing Soap

Put a small amount of hand or dish soap on each fingertip. A grease-cutting, lotion-free dishwashing liquid like Dawn (on Amazon) is your best option for cleaning eyeglasses.

You can also use a lotion-free handwashing soap if you don’t have any dish soap on hand.

Step 4: Lather Up the Eyeglass Lenses

Rub the liquid soap gently on the lenses, temples, nose pads, and bridge of your spectacles. If your glasses have too much dirt and grime, you can use a soft toothbrush to scrub and get rid of dust from hard-to-reach crevices and hinges.

Step 5: Rinse the Glasses

Rinse your hands and glasses thoroughly by running them under a gentle stream of warm water. This will help wash away residual dirt.

Step 6: Use a Dry, Clean Towel to Dry Your Hands

After cleaning your glasses, dry your hands on a lint-free towel, so you don’t re-introduce dust particles.

Step 7: Wipe Your Eyewear Down with a Clean Microfiber Cloth

The closely knit strands of a microfiber cloth make it ideal for cleaning fragile objects like eyeglasses. Microfiber fabrics are plush, absorbent, lint/dust-proof, and excellent at trapping oils and liquids.

As with any fabric, your microfiber cloth (on Amazon) will get dirty and need to be replaced or washed regularly. Microfiber cloths should be washed by hand using a light soap that does not include chlorine and then dried naturally.

If you’re in a hurry, you may machine-wash your microfiber cloth with similar colors and materials and a bleach-free detergent, but we recommend hanging it up to dry. Fabric softeners can coat the fibers in your microfiber cleaning cloth, reducing their efficiency.

Cleaning Eyeglasses While on the Move

It’s a good idea to pack some lens cleaning wipes (on Amazon) for your glasses in case they get smudged on the go when you are far from a sink and dish detergent.

Use a lens cleaner (on Amazon) spray and a cleaning wipe to remove any stubborn dirt or debris from the lenses before cleaning them. Before cleaning the lenses, remove any visible dust to prevent scratches.

Check if the lens spray is safe for coated lenses if your lenses have a specific coating such as AR coating, UV protection, or anti-scratch.

While these wipes are convenient, they shouldn’t replace the more thorough cleaning of your glasses. Use water and dish soap with a few drops of isopropyl alcohol to wash your eyeglasses periodically.

After How Long Should I Clean My Glasses?

Woman hands cleaning glasses with tissue at home

The obvious answer is that you should clean your eyeglasses whenever they are dirty, but as a general rule of thumb, it’s best practice to clean your prescription eyeglasses once a day or each time you use them.

This cleaning schedule will keep the eyeglasses clean and clear of bacteria and ensure they are in good working order the next time you need to put them on. Ultrasonic cleaning of your glasses is recommended once every six months.

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