Tricks to Clean Dirty Eyeglasses

There are many tricks you can use to clean a pair of eyeglasses.
There are many tricks you can use to clean a pair of eyeglasses. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

If you wear eyeglasses, seeing clearly is important. Since eyeglasses -- especially prescription eyeglasses -- can be expensive, it's critical to maintain their upkeep and clean them correctly. For example, using a dry tissue to clean lenses can leave small scratches on the glass from the harsh woven fibers in the tissue or from abrasive sediment already settled on the lenses. But there are other tricks you can use to successfully clean dirty eyeglasses.


If there is a light coating of dust or loose particles on your eyeglasses, use your breath and blow hard on the lenses. The forced air might blow the dust or sediment easily off the lenses. If this doesn't work, continue blowing on your lenses at slightly different angles, but be careful not to spit. This cleaning method will only work if your eyeglasses are not extremely dirty and simply need to be dusted off.

Tap Water

Run your eyeglasses under cold tap water. The pressure of the water should be about moderate and will likely loosen any dust or dirt particles on the lenses, rinsing them away down the sink drain. This method, unlike rubbing with a dry tissue, will not scratch your lenses. If the water alone does not take care of the problem, find a gentle, non-abrasive liquid soap and apply a drop to each lens. Rub the soap on the lens with your damp fingers and rinse clean under tap water.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is a good cleaning agent since it is highly acidic and will dissolve any oils left behind from your fingers while easily loosening dirt particles cemented to the lens. To clean, rub a few drops of white vinegar on your lenses, rinse under cold, running tap water and let dry. White vinegar is a good alternative to use over a household cleaner like Windex, which contains a chemical called ammonia that may permanently discolor lenses.


Use a microfiber cloth to wipe away dust and dirt on your eyeglass lenses. Microfiber can be bought at any drugstore and is an ultra-soft fabric that will not leave lint behind on the lenses. Unlike other types of fabrics or disposable paper cleaning products that must usually be wet before cleaning, microfiber can be used in a wet or dry state.

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