Paper Towel to Clean Your Glasses? No!

If you wear glasses, you know you’ve done it. In a moment of desperation you’ve reached for that roll of paper towels that’s conveniently placed nearby and used it to clean the smudges off your glasses. Maybe you didn’t know this was a bad thing to do, or maybe you just didn’t have any choice, but at the end of the day cleaning your glasses with paper towels is a sure fire way to set yourself on the course to needing a new pair.

It’s Not Just Paper Towels

It really isn’t, it’s all forms of paper products. Toilet paper, facial tissue, and yes paper towels are all culprits that are used to clean glasses that are just bad for them. What makes cleaning your glasses with paper so terrible? Glasses, even those with a good coating, are susceptible to scratches. Scratches, needless to say, lead to a loss in efficiency and clarity for your glasses, making them less effective at the job they were intended to do, help you see better! It doesn’t matter how soft or smooth that paper may feel to your hand, to your glasses they’re as bad as sandpaper. Save yourself and your glasses by staying away from paper products.

While You’re At It, Avoid Vinegar and Ammonia, Just As A Start

Let’s put it this way, if it isn’t explicitly made for cleaning your glasses? Don’t use it. The caustic nature of ammonia and vinegar can cause you serious problems when applied to your glasses. Etching is the word used to describe when glass it eaten away by a caustic substance, but more importantly it’s just a way to say ‘chemical scratching’. We’ve already established scratches on your glasses are bad, so don’t use these cleaners, or anything else that isn’t specifically for glasses. Before you reach for that Windex? It’s ammonia based. All of these materials can also strip off the lens coatings, like that polycarbonate that’s there to help prevent scratches.

So How Do I Clean My Glasses

We are so glad you asked! There are a whole bevy of products out there that can be used to properly clean your glasses. Your optometrist is bound to carry a good supply of products especially intended for this purpose, including cleaning sprays and wipes. In the event that you find yourself faced with needing to clean your glasses and none of this is available? Try a little hand soap and water, preferably the pump kind. This isn’t ideal, but it can help in a pinch. Be sure to rinse your glasses thoroughly and dry with a microfiber cloth afterwards.

These steps will help you ensure that your glasses have a long life-time of helping you through your day. We know there are times when you feel like you just don’t have any choice, but you should try to avoid using anything not specifically designed for your glasses. It will save you money, and help you see better, longer, with your happy pair of glasses.

Dr. Paul D. Trapeni JrAt The Optical Shoppe, we're dedicated to optometry excellence under the guidance of Dr. Paul D Trapeni. Serving the Smyrna community since 1989, Dr. Trapeni is a trusted member of the community, bringing general and specialized optometry care to individuals and families throughout the area.