How to Clean Eyeglasses That Are Cloudy

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Anyone who wears glasses knows that irritating moment when your glasses get cloudy or smudged and you start reaching for your shirt to restore your vision.

We have all done it. We all know how bad it is to clean our glasses this way, but in the moment, you do it.

Luckily, you don’t need a microfiber cloth and special solutions to clean your eyeglasses the correct way. In fact, all you need is a regular cotton cloth and dishwashing soap.

The main reason why using your shirt to clean your glasses is bad is due to the dust and other debris that is on your shirt which can leave scratches on your lenses. Any regular kitchen dish soap will do the trick and is far more effective than the expensive cleaning liquids sold by optometrists.

Even with the right tools, there is still a right and wrong way to clean eyeglasses that are cloudy. Let’s take a look at how you can clean yours to perfection without leaving scratches.

Clean Eyeglasses That Are Cloudy

How to clean eyeglasses that are cloudy

By following these easy tips to clean cloudy eyeglasses, you can avoid scratching your frames or lenses. You can also use the following steps to clean safety glasses, sunglasses, goggles and sports eyewear.

Items you will need:

  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Lint-free cloth or towel
  • Warm water
  • Cotton towel
  • Microfiber cloth

Step 1: Clean your hands

Wash your hands properly and dry them thoroughly before you start cleaning your eyeglasses. Ensure that they are free from anything that could transfer to your glasses lenses such as grime, dirt and lotion. Wash your hands using lotion-free dishwashing liquid and dry them using a lint-free cloth or towel.

Step 2: Rinse your glasses

Place your eyeglasses under slow flowing lukewarm water to rinse them. This removes dust, dirt and other debris, which helps prevent scratches on the lenses as you clean them. Do not use hot water as this can cause damage to the coating on your lenses.

Step 3: Wash the glasses

Put a small amount of dishwashing soap on each of the lenses. Bear in mind that dishwashing liquid is very concentrated, which means you only need a little bit. Place one drop on your fingertip and rub it into each lens, cleaning both sides. Ensure that the dishwashing soap you use does not have any moisturizer or lotion in it.

Step 4: Clean the glasses

Gently clean all parts of your glasses, including the temple ends that go behind your ears, the nose rest or pads and the frames. Don’t forget to clean the area where the frame meets the lens, which is a common place for dust, skin oils, dirt and other debris to accumulate.

How to Clean Eyeglasses That Are Cloudy

Step 5: Rinse your eyeglasses

Rinse the frame and your lenses thoroughly. If you do not rinse all of the dishwashing soap off, you will find that there will be smear marks on your lenses when drying them.

Step 6: Check your lenses

Shake your glasses gently to remove as much water from the lenses as possible. Carefully check the lenses to make sure that they are clean.

Step 7: Dry your eyeglasses

Gently dry your frame and lenses using a lint-free cloth or towel. Make sure the towel is clean and has not been washed with any fabric softener, as this could leave smears on your lenses. A cotton towel that you use for cleaning glassware is a great choice. Make sure that the towel or cloth is dry and clean. Dust, dirt, and other debris caught in the towel’s fibers can leave scratches on your lenses, while lotions, softeners, and skin oil will leave smears.

Step 8: Check your lenses again

Inspect your lenses for smudges, steaks and clouding, and remove any remnants using a clean and dry microfiber cloth. You can buy a lint-free microfiber cloth at a photography store or at your optometrist.

If you need to do any touch-up cleaning while you are out and about but don’t have the supplies listed above, you can purchase disposable, pre-moistened lens wipes. These wipes have been specifically formulated to be safe for use on eyeglasses.

Searching for eyeglasses? We reviewed the best eyeglasses for you: Best Eyeglasses Comparison.


There is nothing worse than trying to look through eyeglasses that are cloudy and smudged. However, wiping your lenses with the wrong material can result in scratches, which are more annoying than temporary clouding and smudges.

Your glasses are vital to ensure you can see the world around you. Spend time each evening or morning caring for them in the correct way so that your vision is not obscured by scratches

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