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How to clean glasses and sunglasses

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Good sunglasses don't come cheap these days, and your favourites can get a lot of wear, especially if you are an outdoors type.

Sunglasses can be a vital part of an active lifestyle and can soon get to look grubby apart from daily wear and tear.

Even regular holiday sunglasses can get a lot of use. You are always taking them off and putting them on, pushing them back into your hair or leaving them around where they can pick up dirt and get smudged.

Sun cream, face and hand lotion, makeup, hair gel or hair spray can easily find its way onto lenses and into the crevices on the nose pads, hinges and arms.

There is an awful lot of advice out there on how to clean glasses, but unfortunately, a lot of it is misleading, and some is downright wrong.

The expert staff at AlphaSunglasses agree a few tips on the proper way to clean sunglasses are in order, so we've thrown in some advice on how to look after your eyewear and keep it a good condition for as long as possible.

The best option is to send your glasses away for a professional clean by experts in the field such as AlphaOmega Frame Repairs where they use ultrasonic sound to blow away all grime and debris from every nook and cranny. A top class clean and polish from AlphaOmega will leave your sunglasses looking and feeling just like new.

But if you think you can do it better yourself here are a few tips on what not to do if you want to keep your quality sunglasses in tip-top condition.

How not to clean your glasses

1. Do not blow on the lenses and wipe them with your shirt sleeve.

The first thing to consider here is that a smudge on the lens is probably oil-based. Breathing on the lens simply adds water in your breath to the mix, except water and oil don't mix so, by wiping it you are only spreading the smudge around the lens. Tiny particles of daily dirt and dust are almost certainly embedded in you shirt and other clothing and can create small scratches on the surface of your lenses.

2. Don't use paper napkins to wipe the lens.

Most paper products are made from woody cellulose which may not be as smooth as it looks and feels. The woody pulp content of paper may leave minuscule scratches on the surface of coated lenses which only attract more dirt and grime.

3. Don't use harsh cleaning fluids on your lenses.

Conventional household cleaning products often contain harsh chemicals bound in up microscopic granules. Their use can result in 'grinding' off any delicate coating, and anyway, they may be useful for window panes, but they are far too strong for lenses. This also applies to stuff like bleach and vinegar.

4. Don't wait for glasses to get really grubby.

A regular weekly clean will be much more effective than waiting until your glasses are too smudged to see correctly. Turn cleaning your glasses into a routine, and you will prevent them ever getting too grubby, ensure the glasses last longer and help to give all-around better vision.

5. Never rub your glasses with a dry cloth.

It's not a good idea to try and rub away smudges with a dry cloth, even with a clean microfiber cloth. The fabric will inevitably contain minute particles of dust and debris, and without any lubrication, it will do more harm than good.

How best to clean your glasses

1. Rinse your sunglasses in clear running tap water, preferably lukewarm until they are thoroughly wet.

2. Squeeze a small spot of mild washing up liquid onto the lens and rub your finger in a gentle circular motion over the whole lens

3. Use a microfibre cloth to rub any stubborn marks gently but make sure the cloth has not been washed using a fabric conditioner as this can not only harm the fibres but may leave nasty residues as well.

4. Use a soft toothbrush to gently tease out dirt and grime lodged in nose pads and crevices of the hinges. The groove in which the lens fits into the frame is notorious for the build-up of dirt as are those parts that have direct contact with the skin or hair such as nose pads and ear socks.

5. Gently rinse away the liquid using warm running tap water. The water should be lukewarm to the touch and not too hot.

6. Carefully dry the glasses with a lint-free microfibre cloth. Don't use towelling or similar materials as these can leave small fibres on the lenses and the glasses will need another rinse.

Regular cleaning with mild washing-up liquid will keep your sunglasses clean and in good shape, but it's not a bad idea to invest in some high-quality lens cleaner as well.

Everyday lens smudges can be cleaned away in a trice with a good lens cleaner and a microfibre cloth. Make sure though that the lens cleaner is safe to use on coated lenses. It should not contain more than 5% alcohol.

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