reading glasses on wooden background

Tips on getting the longest mileage out of your spectacles or sunglasses.

If you’re like me, some of the best moments you can have with a new pair of spectacles or sunglasses is when they’re new. On top of the excitement of adding a gorgeous new piece to your eyewear wardrobe, the feeling of wearing a frame that’s perfectly adjusted for maximum comfort and so pristinely clean is a precious pleasure.

But then, the everyday takes its toll and smudges, dust and grease start appearing on the lenses… the frame gets bent a bit (or a lot!) out of shape… and suddenly, they’re not so fun any more. You could swing by your optician and get them cleaned in an ultra-sonic cleaner or even buy one for home use, but it won’t solve any misshapen issues. Follow our guide to taking the best care of your glasses, and you’ll find that the little TLC things add up to helping them—and you!—feel great for the long haul.

Always Use a Lens Cloth
Your optician will always provide a micro-fiber lens cloth in your spectacle case with your glasses (big-name and high quality collections usually provide a branded one)—use it! Lens surfaces are very sensitive, and materials of rougher textures are liable to scratch them, and scratches add up to blur your vision.

To take even better care of your lenses, pre-moistened lens cleaning tissues also provide anti-fog and anti-static protection, come in packages that make them easy to bring on the go and don’t cost very much. These lens-cleaning liquids are also available in spray form, which you’ll then dry with the lens cloth after squirting onto your lenses, but they are not as convenient as the tissues.

Give Your Glasses a Bath
A little bowl of warm, soapy water, a few swirls, wipe dry with your lens cloth, and voila! You’ve washed the dust, grease and (for the ladies) make-up that have accumulated on your glasses (for more expensive frames, consider buying a lens cleaner. Do this whenever necessary or about once a week, and a gentle soap like regular dish detergent or hand soap will be kinder on your frame. A few drops of vinegar will help remove stubborn stains. This will also prevent rusting, corrosion and any general wear-and-tear if your spectacles aren’t constructed to withstand these as well.

If you don’t have to wear your now-clean glasses right away, let them dry off on their own, and if there are any water stains on the lenses, wipe them off easily with your lens cloth.

Handle With T.L.C.
Untie the laces before taking your sports shoes off. Get a regular oil change. These are little things we know we should do to save inconvenience in the long run and extend the life span of things we use daily, but also the easiest to forget! But once you’ve made it a habit, it becomes automatic—remember, once it was not second nature to click on seat-belts while in a car.

Most of us take our glasses on and off off with one hand in one easy swoop, but each time we do that, we’re slightly tweaking the fit of the frame, and these add up to an eventual loosening of the screws or its entire shape. Use both hands to wear or remove your glasses, holding the frame at its strongest parts—its front or its temples.

It may seem like silly advice, but judging by how many patients we get needing repairs because of these oversights, we’ll have to share it again: always leave your glasses somewhere, well… visible! Placing eyewear on chairs or a busy spot like a kitchen counter is an invitation for them to be sat on or be involved in some kind of accident. Also, always leave them out of the sun, like in the garden or on a vehicle dashboard, as high temperatures can inspire your frame to get more flexible than you bargained for and melt or lose its shape.

Rest In Peace
Always rest your glasses folded up and flat, or open and standing stably. Lots of wearers need to replace their lenses more often than necessary because of scratching from placing their spectacles face down.

And yes, we know how comfy and easy it is to push your glasses up on your forehead or head, and yes, we know sometimes you do it because it looks really cool. However, this stretches the temples out of shape and changes the fitting of your frame, not to mention invites all sorts of grease from your hair and oil from your skin to smudge on your lenses and spectacles. No offense—we’re sure you keep your personal hygiene at a very high level, but your eyewear would be much happier to be put where they belong. Consider accessories such as eyeglass chains or spectacle cases that can be slipped onto a bag strap or your belt if you like your spectacles easily accessible.

For more information regarding how to take care of your eyeglasses, please visit About.com.