Sunglasses are one of those accessories that we all love to use while taking walks, driving, attending events (daylight events of course), playing sports in the sun (beach volleyball and football, jogging) or taking selfies.
You’ll find that you’re constantly taking them off and putting them back on; and with all this frequent use, smudges, dust, dirt, grease, hair oils, sweat, make-up and dead skin cells from different surfaces and points of contact accumulate on your sunglasses. Chances are, loose frames, lost screws and scratched lenses are also experienced from all this daily use.
Our first instinct is to moisten the lens with our breath and then wipe them on our shirts or with a napkin. Rather than helping, this gross practice can smear dirt spots and scratch the lens because our shirts are likely filled with dust (we can’t see).
Taking care of your sunglasses can be achieved with these tips, keeping them in good condition.
Use a liquid soap like clear dish washing soap that doesn’t have added lotion because this will end up coating the lenses with a milky film. Soap removes the body oil and smudges from not only the lenses but also from the screws, hinges and the nose pad.
What you need: Warm running water, dish soap (such as Fairy) and a lint-free cloth or microfiber cloth or lens cloth (lint-free cloth is a cotton or linen fabric with the nap raised on one side).
- If possible, remove your lenses before you start or go ahead and clean as a whole.
- Rinse sunglasses under the warm running water; ensure it’s neither too hot nor cold.
- Using the mild dish washing soap, apply this gently all over your sunglasses with your fingers concentrating on areas that are exposed to your skin (nose bridge and end of stem). Employ a microfiber cloth and a bristled toothbrush to dislodge heavier grime in cracks and crannies as build up is likely to occur there.
- Rinse the sunglasses delicately with warm water to remove all the soap and dirt.
- Dry using the lint-free or microfiber cloth.
Lens cleaner spray can take the place of soap and water, that’s if you’d rather avoid the hassle of a sink and soap. Just be sure the spray is safe for anti-reflective and coated lenses. Use the lens cleaner to wipe after.
Always store your sunglasses in a sturdy case when not in use.
Check the screws and frames on your sunglasses regularly, there’s a good chance the frames will get loose (applies to both premium or budget glasses) and the screws might fall out; once those screws falls out, you’ll never find them. If you do loose them, check with an optician for spares. If not, try pushing a thin piece of wire or stretched out staple into the screw hole and wrapping it around the inside frame with a small plier.
For loose frames, heat up the arms in a bowl of boiling water for a couple of minutes to get them soft. Gently reshape them with your finger tip once they are soft to get them to the desired snug fit. Be careful not to snap them, be as gentle as possible when reshaping.
Try not to do the following while taking care of your sunglasses.
Never use chemicals like ammonia, bleach, vinegar or window cleaner on your sunglasses. These chemicals will gradually strip the coating off your lenses.
Don’t wipe your sunglasses with paper towel or tissue, their pulp and wood content can scratch your lenses.
Don’t rub your lenses on your shirt (whatever type of shirt). The probability of you doing this regardless of the warning is very high because we don’t always have a lens cloth on us all the time. The scratches this creates are not always evident right away.
Using saliva is not only unhygienic, it doesn’t really work well.
Do yourself a favour and make a habit of taking care of your sunglasses to protect your style and practical accessory. A few minutes every few weeks is more than enough time to make them last longer.