Proper Care for Eyeglasses: Tips for Frames and Lenses

In recent years, eyeglasses have regained style points, even among people who could wear contact lenses instead. In fact, I just bought a pair of glasses last month, hoping to get in on the tail end of the geek chic look. At any rate, anyone who has purchased eyeglasses recently can tell you that they’re quite an investment, especially if you pick a pricier frame and need high-quality lenses (thanks, God, for that severe farsightedness). Given the cost of eyeglasses and the amount of time for which most people keep a prescription pair, it’s important to care for them properly. Here are a few tips on taking care of both the lenses and the frames.

LENSES

Proper Care for Eyeglasses: Use a micro-fiber cloth specifically designed for eyeglasses. When the cloth is not in use, keep it in its casing (most come in a clear plastic sleeve). A cloth that lies out collecting dust will only rub those little particles on your lenses. To care for your lenses with the cloth, you need to care for the cloth too.

Proper Care for Eyeglasses: Soap and warm water makes an effective cleaning duo for eyeglass lenses. The same dish soap you use on drinking glasses will work splendidly on eyeglasses. I recommend Dawn, but that’s not based on anything other than brand loyalty.

Proper Care for Eyeglasses: Instead of soap and water, you can also use a commercial eyeglass lens cleaner. Often, when you get new glasses, the optician will send you home with a complimentary bottle. This liquid is specially formulated for eyeglass care and is different from windex and other, more harsh home cleaners – so don’t substitute.

Proper Care for Eyeglasses: Don’t use just anything to wipe your glasses dry. I cringe when I see some of the things people use to dry their lenses – linings of jackets, paper towels, wool sweaters, bath towels, tissues, even toilet paper! The surfaces of these items are too harsh for eyeglass lenses. Even if you have had your lenses specially coated to prevent scratching, there is no such thing as 100% scratch-free lenses. If you use paper towels to dry your lenses every day for a year, they’ll end up scratched no matter how they started. Should you find yourself stuck in public without anything appropriate, a soft t-shirt is the best substitute – especially over paper towels.

Proper Care for Eyeglasses: Some retailers, Target included, sell disposable pre-moistened lens cloths that are easily totable. While they’re not the most efficient from a packaging standpoint (and fairly expensive), they are specially designed for eyeglasses and worth keeping in a purse or a bag.

Proper Care for Eyeglasses: Help! I got paint on my glasses! First, calm downâÂ?¦.unless you dropped them into the paint can, you should be able to remove some spots without damaging your glasses. Use a neatly filed fingernail and gently scrape the paint flecks off the lenses. While not ideal, it’s the safest thing you can do. Chemicals that remove paint from hands and clothing should never be used on eyeglasses.

FRAMES

Proper Care for Eyeglasses: Don’t store your glasses in extreme hear extreme cold. Especially if you wear plastic frames, prolonged exposure to severe temperatures can compromise the integrity of the frames. Many plastic frames are made by injecting liquefied plastic into a mold, and these types of frames, while adequate for regular wear, are not meant to be left in hot cars or freezing toolsheds for extended periods of time.

Proper Care for Eyeglasses: Frames are likely to get loose from regular wear. In order to prevent slippage (and worse, “fall-offage”), you’ll want to tighten the arms with a tiny screwdriver. Most drugstores and optical centers sell appropriate tool kits, though if you’re afraid to futz with your eyeglasses, just stop by the place you bought them and ask for a quick adjustment.

Proper Care for Eyeglasses: Use a hard-cover glasses case. These days, most new pairs of glasses come in “hardshell” cases to help ensure their safety if dropped. While not foolproof, these cases are better than the soft kind. Also, be sure that it stays tightly shut – you can always do a test drop without glasses inside to see how the case holds up.

Proper Care for Eyeglasses: Buy a strap for special situations. If you can’t wear contacts and need to do something physical, invest a few bucks in a glasses strap that connect the arms around the back of your head. They’re not high fashion accessories, but many of them have a sporting look for improved appearance.

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