For years, I have cleaned my "plastic" lenses with water and then dried them with a piece of clean, all cotton, old T-shirt. No scratches, no problems. I've heard that you have to be extra careful with plastic and DO NOT use any paper on them because it is too harsh and may scratch.
My optician gave me basically the same recommendation for my anti-gare coatings that Pam received: Once a wee,k rinse your glasses with mild hand soap and then wipe them with a cotton towel. Works great for me.
He also recommended being sure to rinse the nose guards throughly, because they can easily pick oil from your skin, that you can then just as easily transfer to the lens. FYI, that oil just causes blurring, not damage. (Of course, if you "keep your nose clean" you won't have that problem -- grin.)
First, remove all dust/dirt from glasses by flushing with water. Shake cloth towel to free from any residue. If these steps are not taken the risk of harsh matter on the lens or towel is there and it will grind scratches on the lens. Next, I use a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water and wipe with a soft cloth towel, finding one that does not leave streaks may take some doing but you will, eventually. This process works great for me.
Be careful with rubbing alcohol as it can ruin your frames (especially if they are plastic).
I use Zeiss pre-moistened lens cloths. 50 in a box is $2.97 at Wal-Mart. Ea is individually pkg'ed so quite convenient....very nice for slipping in your purse or carry-on. Pre-moistened, non-abrasive lens cloths safely and quickly clean any lens especially those with anti-reflective multi-layer coatings. They clean effectively w/o leaving streaks or residue.
These might not be terribly thrifty or frugal but I also go for convenience and it is very much worth the price I pay for them. We are a family of 4 and 3 of us wear glasses! Often times I open one and clean both mine and my young son's. These are also sold at Sam's Club in a larger quantity for a little better deal.
I own an optical store. Don't EVER use harsh home-based cleaners such as alcohol or strong soaps on your lenses, it may strip the coatings (such as the tint, anti-reflection, anti-scratch) off. And don't use paper-based wipes (unless they are actual lens cleaning cloths) such as kleenex or paper towels; the fibers can be abrasive. Stick to soft cloths. When you buy your glasses, ask for a cleaning cloth; you really should be given one anyhow, but sometimes you have to ask! And using soap on some lenses will distort the clarity, esp, with anti-reflection coatings. It also shortens the coating life, causing 'crazing', which is minute cracks on the lens coat surface, which can cause vision distortion.
I just recently bought a pair of glasses and at $425, cleaning them can sure be an important question, so I asked and she told me that if my glasses are dirty, they have dirt particles on them. She told me to run water over them first to remove the particles before rubbing with a soft towel. Makes good sense to me! No matter what kind of fancy spray you are using, if you don't take a hands off approach and remove the particles first, you'll scratch them anyway. She also cautioned me not to use lens cleaners either because they are coming out with new plastics all the time and even they can put your lenses at risk. Mine are teflon coated of all things...seems teflon is getting into everything these days.
I purchased my glasses from LensCrafters and they have often cleaned my glasses with plain ol' rubbing alchohol. Also one of the technicians there told my that an old cloth diaper works well on glasses.
Just purchased new glasses yesterday. I was told that it is VERY important to use a cloth that was not washed with fabric softerner or dryer sheets. The optian cautioned me not to use a washing machine at all because other clothes in the wash might have residual fabric softener on them. She recommended that I wash my cleaning cloth frequenly with just water in the sink. Let dry flat.
For my husbands birthday I bought him a eyeglass cleaner from Sharper Image...its "GREAT" an it does a super job of cleaning his glasses. all you do is pop them into the machine an in just a few seconds they are cleaned just like when you buy them, they are also listed in their catalog and also on their website.
I run mine under hot water (both sides) and dry with a cotton handkerchief. Works great!!
If your glasses have an anti-reflective coating on it (like mine do), don't use soap or liquid detergent on them because those things can cause the coating to peel off. I learned this the hard way, unfortunately! So now, I purchase the commercial lens cleaner (mine was from LensCrafters). It's not cheap, but it lasts nearly forever. My 10 oz. bottle is still 3/4 full, and I've had it for 8 months already. You can purchase a small spray bottle from the drugstore, and refill it from the bigger bottle. My feeling is that it's more frugal to take care of my expensive glasses with the proper cleaner than it is to be stingy on the cleaner and ruin the glasses.
Also, use a 100% cotton cloth (like an old bandana or handkerchief) to wipe the lenses after spraying them with the cleaning solution. The cotton cloth won't scratch them like paper or synthetic fabrics can.
The techs at Spare Pair told me to use mild dish soap, just make certain to completely rinse all soap off before drying. They suggested either paper towel or the new micro-fiber towels -those are washable and Costco has a dozen at $10 in the auto-accessories section.
The Doc told me to use coffee filters to dry my glasses with they are lint free and do not scratch the glass or plastic lenses.
I have the same type lenses as you and I always use a liquid hand soap on mine. First I put some on my hands and rub soap into a lather and then I wash the lenses and rinse under running water. I then wipe clean with a silky cloth that I purchased from an optical store. They come in two sizes. One to carry in your purse and a larger one to use at home. These work great and last a very long time. I think they are well worth the little extra cost.
Rubbing alcohol in spray bottle works great and is very inexpensive.Wipe with soft cloth after spraying glasses.This works as well as more expensive glasses cleaner.
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