If you’re like me, your sunglasses go through a lot, and you’re always wondering how to clean your glasses lenses. Hot sauce spilled on them during a post-hike taco truck meal, mud splattered on them as your mountain bike splashes through a puddle, sunblock rubbed onto the lens after a day of nordic skiing.
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Luckily, Sunskis are built to last, and you can help them last even longer by keeping them clean. Here are the best methods for making your shades sparkle and shine.
What not to do:
Let’s start with the don’ts. Whether it’s sand from a surf day or sweat from a run, we’ve all tried getting mud off our lenses by fogging them up with our breath, and then rubbing them with our sweaty t-shirt or a napkin. There are a few flaws in this method:
- Saliva is unsanitary (have you heard of COVID?) and ineffective at cleaning.
- Fabric on clothing is full of tiny particles of dirt and dust that can lead to lens scratches.
- Paper products are made of trees, which are usually rough and scratchy. (I know from crashing into them on my mountain bike). Napkins, tissues, and the like will hurt your polarized Sunski lenses!
Cleaning Sunskis at home
The best time to clean your sunnies is when you’re in the great indoors.
Make sure your hands are clean first, then turn on the tap with lukewarm water. After rinsing the lenses, add a drop of Dawn or another lotion free soap to your finger. Gentle dish soap helps to remove body oils from the screws and joints, prolonging the life of your glasses.
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Dig into the areas that are most grimy first–like the nose bridge or the tips of the stems. Use a soft toothbrush or a microfiber cloth for excess grime. Then, rub the soap on the lenses with your fingers.
Finally, rinse the soap and dirt off, and dry your lenses with any lint free cloth that hasn’t been in contact with fabric softener or a dryer sheet (which may leave scratchy debris.)
Lens cleaning liquid with a microfiber cloth also works well for sunglasses with less “trail spice”, but make sure the cleaner you use is OK’d for coated or anti-reflective lenses.
Cleaning Sunskis on the trail:
If you’re out adventuring, odds are you won’t have a lens cleaner or a cloth on hand. If you need to clean your glasses on the spot, you can rinse them with some water gently squeezed from your water bottle–but be sure not to touch the lenses, as your hands can add more smudge and rub the dirt particles in more, causing scratches. You can also carry disposable lens wipes, like these.
Sanitizing for COVID-19:
The good news is, there’s some speculation that wearing glasses can prevent you from touching your eyes and can serve as a protective layer against COVID-19. But because your sunglasses are close to your eyes, they’re a key item to keep disinfected during the pandemic.
Luckily, the advice for keeping germs away is the same as above: just wash your lenses with warm water and a drop of dish soap. And don’t do the breath technique, as it’s always unsanitary. You can sanitize the frames (not the lenses) with a disinfectant wipe, but avoid products with alcohol or bleach as those can strip the frame’s coating.
Get back out there!
Our sunglasses do so much for us–they enhance our view of the world, our safety out on the trail, and even make us look cool–so it’s only fair that we return the favor by keeping them clean.
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