How To Clean Sunglasses, The Best Way

You just bought a nice pair of sunglasses, high quality, and it look really good on you. It was not cheap, but your eyes are worth it. Your significant other says it looks great and you get a lot of compliments. But even more importantly, you get serious eye protection with several features including UV protection, anti-reflective coating, mirror coating, scratch resistant coating, blue light filtration coating. Each coating gives you added protection. Technology has come a long way. Coatings cost money but they are worth it for sure.

Smiling, you notice a few smudges on the lens. Looks like cleaning time. You grab your alcohol base eyeglass cleaner along with a cotton cloth. As you point the cleaner spray toward the lens you ….

Wait!! Don’t do it. You’ll thank me later.

Cotton cloth has tiny fibers in the fabric that can make fine scratches on the lens, unnoticeable to the untrained eye. Eventually these scratches accumulate over time creating a visual haze that is impossible to remove. Have you ever had sunglasses that you could not see clearly though anymore? Thought so. It is very common. The same problem occurs from other types of material, including paper towels, shirt fabric, and tissues. Think of materials like these as fine-grit sandpaper, ready to scratch away.

So what should you use for cloth instead?

We strongly suggest using a microfiber cleaning cloth. It is by far the best glasses cleaning cloth for eyeglasses. This is because it is lint-free and will not scratch your lenses. It can also trap and remove debris and dust in a safe way. It can also remove body oils which can smear your lenses. You should hand-wash the microfiber cleaning cloth frequently. Having said this, there is one other thing you need to do, seen in the next section.

Throw away the alcohol base eyeglass cleaner.


Yes, throw it away. It has alcohol in it which will damage the lenses. This includes all your very beneficial special coatings on them. Alcohol is one of the many types of chemicals that will cause your glasses, sunglasses, and any coatings on them irreparable harm. Alcohol can cause yellowing, cracking, and it removes protective attributes of the screen coatings. If the lenses are polycarbonate, alcohol can seep in and cause the lenses to crack under stress.

There are more harmful liquids that you should be aware of also.

What else should you not use on your sunglasses?

You should also stay away from the below:

Window or glass and mirror cleaner




Lemon juice

These and many other types of liquids can strip away your coatings and cause them to peel or degrade. So many eyeglass cleaners are in the market with these harmful ingredients. Don’t ask me why. Most people wear their coating off in 1 year or less when using these products. Under no circumstances should you want to use these on your sunglasses. You would do well to stay away from them.

It is not even advisable to exhale onto the lenses. The famous camera maker, Nikon, specifically advised against breathing on the sensitive glass elements of its cameras to clean them because harmful acids in the breath can damage the coatings on the lenses.

Then what is the best eyeglass cleaner for coated lenses?

It is rare to find a cleaner that really cleans and protects your lenses and coatings with proper ingredients which will allow your sunglasses to function beautifully for many years to come. We are glad to find such eyeglass cleaner made by Outlaw Eyewear. Best of all, it's in a new, easy to use gel form.

This cleaner is specially formulated to not only clean, but to also maintain the Anti-Reflective and Anti-Fog lens coatings on both regular and prescription glasses. A nice feature in itself.

Tactical Lens Cleaning Gel Spray

This is the most popular eyeglass cleaner, a next generation cleaner in a gel formula that doesn’t splash and eliminates overspray waste. It was an immediate hit with customers. Outlaw just came out with a new batch in a blue color. It is made to be safe and not strip off Anti-Fog and Anti-Reflective lens coatings. Protection that anybody would want to keep secure.

Sunglass Maintenance, Deployment Kit

This kit is everything you need for a road trip. You even get a Microfiber Cleaning Cloth with your spray. It comes with the following:

  1. Lens Cleaning Spray
  2. Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
  3. Replacement Nose piece with screw
  4. Optical Screwdriver for nose piece and hinges

Here is the best way to clean sunglasses

Step 1

First thing you should do is rinse your sunglasses in lukewarm water. Not hot water because excessive heat can wear out your coatings too. This will safely remove any particles on the surface of the lens.

Step 2

Spray some of the cleaning gel on the front and back of the lenses. Lightly spread it all over, both back and front with your fingers and wait one minute for the solution to settle into the surface. Then gently wipe the lenses with the microfiber cleaning cloth.


That’s it. If you do that on a regular basis, such as daily, you will ensure long premium performance of your sunglasses, saving yourself a trip to the sunglass store to buy new sunglasses due to damaged sunglasses needing replacement.

I recently wrote an article covering the best military sunglasses on the market, which the Outlaw came out on top. Having been so convinced by my own research, I personally came and bought a very nice set of sunglasses for myself from Outlaw with several very useful additions including Anti-Reflective, Electric Blue Mirror, and Scratch Resistant coatings. Wanting to protect my investment, I opted to use the Outlaw Lens Cleaning Spray regularly. As a result, it has kept my sunglasses in tip top shape.

James Rainwater

Editor of Critical Crow Magazine

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