6 Tips to Remember While Cleaning Your Shades
March 20, 2023
Keep Your Shades in Top Shape with These Easy to Follow Tips
The right pair of sunglasses can take you from throwing shade to lighting up the party, but smudgy, scratched lenses are a dim proposition. To make the most out of both your personal style and the lifespan of your sunglasses takes a combination of day-to-day care and occasional maintenance. Learn these six handy habits to keep your sunglasses clean and scratch-free as long as possible.
Plus, learn some common cleaning mistakes to avoid so you can get the most out of your sunglasses, maintaining their style and shape for years to come.
1. Use Plain Dish Soap
Because Sometimes Basic Is Best, Especially for Your Sunglasses Lenses
Natural oils from the skin and eyelashes cause day-to-day smudges, so you’ll need a gentle degreaser. We’re also constantly touching our sunglasses, and taking them on and off. If you put your sunglasses on your head, you know that your hair can also contribute to the grease factor. Not to mention when you put them down, or shove them into a purse, it’s super easy for them to pick up dirt.
Consider your everyday dish soap as your go-to sunglasses sprucer-upper. First, give your hands a good wash to ensure you don’t accidentally transfer any dirt or oil to the lenses. Then thoroughly rinse the glasses with warm water, and apply a drop or two of lotion-free soap to the lenses as you rub them between your fingertips under a running faucet. We suggest lotion-free plain dish soap because it’s designed to degrease your dishes, so it will work wonders on your sunglasses lenses too. Staying away from additional ingredients like soap (and even scent) ensures that you’re not inadvertently creating more film that you’ll just have to remove from your lenses later on.
As you work the soap onto the glasses, try to go in a circular motion to ensure you reach every part of the lenses. Finish up by drying them with a clean microfiber cloth. Opt to use a new cloth or one that has not been previously washed and dried with a fabric softener, since that can also leave another layer of residue.
You can wash your sunglasses right in the kitchen sink (or any sink!) with just dish soap and clean microfiber cloths.
2. De-Grease Those Frames
Don’t Forget the Rest of Your Shades Need to Be Cleaned off as Well
While dish soap can easily de-grease the lenses, your frames, temple tips, and nose pads also call for occasional attention to keep them hygienic and looking fresh. Though less noticeable, those natural oils collect on the frames, too.
Reach for a disinfecting wipe to kill germs along the non-lens portions of your shades, all while giving them a fresh-off-the-rack shine. Just make sure the wipe is bleach-free to avoid damaging the material in the frames. Alternatively, you could also take a toothbrush or other small, soft brush and gently brush around the frames, nose pads, and other crevices around the frames to loosen dirt and grease. Make sure you check the area where the frame holds the lens in place, as this is notorious for accumulating grime.
Another overlooked area that could always use a good cleaning is the ear hinge. Since these are in constant contact with your head and hair, there’s a very good chance they have grease build up. Either go over them with your disinfecting wipe or give them a good clean with your dish soap from step one.
3. Practice Scratch Prevention
Because Preventing Scratches Is Much Easier than Dealing with Them
Everyone needs a great summer adventure, but sometimes you venture a little too hard and dirty up your brand-new shades. Instead of spending your day Googling “how to remove scratches from sunglasses,” take a few easy, preventive measures and perform a little every-so-often maintenance.
After a day at the beach, run your sunglasses under a stream of clean, warm water before giving them a once-over with a microfiber cloth. Otherwise, those tiny sand particles can scratch your shades. Chlorine can also damage shades, so give them a quick clean water rinse after taking a dip in the pool, too. Avoid cleaners that contain alcohol, ammonia, vinegar, or bleach, as these can chemically degrade the anti-reflective lens coating.
If your glasses have a case or a protective bag you can store them in, make sure you do. This is especially important if you plan to keep your glasses in your purse, your bag, or anywhere else where they are at risk of getting scratched and dinged-up. Cases protect the lenses of your glasses from scratches, and can also prevent breakage if someone happens to sit on them or they fall.
However, if you do happen to get a small, shallow scratch in the lens that isn’t very deep you could try removing it yourself.
- Clean your glasses using the soap and microfiber cloth method we discussed above.
- Mix a small amount (one tablespoon) of baking soda together with water to create a paste.
- Apply the paste directly to the small scratch with a cotton ball using a circular motion to cover the entire scratch. Use gentle pressure to ensure that the mixture covers the entire scratch.
- Rinse the lenses with water to remove all of the paste and clean your glasses one more time.
4. Invest in a Cleaner
Consider Picking up a Device Designed to Clean Your Sunglasses, Just like the Professionals
If you're a hardcore accessories enthusiast, an ultrasonic jewelry and eyewear cleaner is a solid investment.Try a combination of clean water and ultrasonic waves to deep clean your sunglasses. Soundwaves form tons of small bubbles, which rapidly implode with enough energy to gently remove even the tiniest debris from every nook and cranny of your sunglasses. As high-tech as that sounds, all you’ve got to do is fill the device with water, close the lid, and press a button to get started.
5. Avoid Storage Mistakes
Store Your Sunglasses the Right Way
A longer life for your sunglasses may even mean a healthier life for your eyes, which makes it extra important to steer clear of common storage mistakes. When storing your glasses, always place them lens-side up to avoid scratches. Steer clear of putting your sunglasses lenses side down, and remember to fold the ear hinges in when you’re ready to store them. Keeping them on a shelf, desk, drawer, or dresser is a great way to prevent them from getting knocked around and ending up on the floor. If you use a sunglasses case, make sure it has a soft, anti-scratch lining.
Resist the temptation to keep your sunglasses on your car's dashboard as well. Sunglasses may love the summertime, but extreme temperatures can affect the shape of plastic frames over time. Unless you have a case, it’s not a great idea to store your shades in your purse or bag without protection either. They’ll move around and get jostled, and are at a high risk of getting scratched by other objects or worse, falling out and breaking.
6. Ward Off Warping
Even Small Changes to the Care of Your Glasses Can Keep Them from Warping
A hot window dash isn't the only thing that can cause misshapen frames. Always remove your sunglasses with both hands and avoid wearing them on your head. These habits may seem small, but both can cause frames to become misaligned as they subtly bend the shape of your shades. Sunglasses are meant to be worn on the bridge of your nose and on the ears so they can protect your eyes from UV rays and glare. Plus, we think this is the way they look the best, naturally.
What to Avoid When You’re Cleaning Your Shades:
- Don’t use your shirt to clean your lenses, or other random items such as paper towels, tissues, etc.
- Don’t use saliva either!
- Don’t put off cleaning your glasses until they’re extremely dirty, instead take the time to care for them as a part of your routine
We want your sunglasses to look good and protect your eyes for as long as they can. With the proper care and by following these tips, we have a feeling you’ll be enjoying your Knockarounds for a long time to come.