My life has gotten seriously better this year, and here’s why: I decided to finally take my eye doctor’s advice to wear my glasses as much as possible. Wearing glasses that often, though, also means my spectacles are often getting greasy, smudged, and streaked. After purchasing (and discarding) multiple spray cleaners, polishing cloths, storage systems, and gadgets, I’ve finally hit on the perfect arsenal for keeping my grimy glasses crystal clear (and right where I can find them) all day long.
My eyelashes are constantly brushing up against the lenses of my glasses, causing them to get filthy within an hour of putting them on. After a lot of trial and error, I can report with 100 percent certainty that the very best eyeglass cleaner currently on the market is made by Shield, and is available in a handy two-pack that includes a mini-bottle perfect for stashing in your purse or tote bag.
It cuts through oil like crazy and leaves zero streaks—even on lenses with hard-to-clean anti-reflective coatings. While most lens cleaners tend to just smear around the oil, this stuff cuts right through it (and removes it) while still being gentle enough not to scratch the lenses. And even if your glasses don’t get smeared and greasy like mine, you should still be cleaning them every few days—lenses, frames, and all. That cloudy, impossible-to-get-off film that gets on plastic or acetate frames? It’s actually the frames breaking down from body oils, hairspray, and environmental grime. This helps mitigate it.
Using the right lens cleaner is only half the battle—you’ve got to use it with the right cloth to really get things spick-and-span. Those tiny, silky squares that come with your glasses are a joke, but these soft, superabsorbent microfiber cloths are a magnet for dust and dirt—and are large enough to polish your glasses to a shine without touching them with your dirty hands, immediately undoing everything you just accomplished. Used in conjunction with the Shield cleaner, it’s a one-two punch that gets even the dirtiest glasses polished and clean. Note: These cloths come in a set of 40, which sounds ridiculous until you stash them all over to clean anything you can think of: your computer screen and keyboard, phone and tablet, even the light-up display in your car. Once they get dirty, toss ‘em in the wash and use them until they’re threadbare.
Using old-fashioned elbow grease to get your glasses clean regularly is practically mandatory, but it’s also a good idea to give them a whirl in this little glasses-cleaning robot every so often as a low-effort way to get them truly, sparkling clean. The directions say to use plain water, but I’ve had better luck filling it with a dedicated lens cleaner. The ultrasonic waves get the cleaner into every nook and cranny, vibrating out even stuck-on dirt that has managed to worm its way behind the hinges and screws of your favorite reading glasses or shades.
I’ve talked about these fuzzy eyeglass nests before, but it’s worth repeating. I learned about these from my grandmother, and now, instead of searching on the floor or somewhere under my pillow to find my glasses when I wake up, they’re always right where I put them—unscratched and unscathed, but most importantly, unsmudged. See, when you aren’t half-blindly grabbing your glasses by the lenses to pick them up off your nightstand, they stay cleaner way longer. Since using and loving it, I’ve bought two more—one for my office and another for my desk at home. (Though I opted for a subtle, plain leather-esque version for the office.)
I don’t own just a single pair of glasses—I have a proper collection of frames that match whatever I happen to be wearing that day, so storing them has become a bit involved. This fabric-lined, eight-slot storage case has a clear window, so you can find what you’re looking for at a glance, and the case is flat enough to slide into a drawer or slip underneath a cabinet.
I bought this stuff on a whim from my optometrist because my glasses would not stop sliding down my nose as I read in bed, which drove me nuts. It’s a tube of beeswax, coconut oil, gum rosin, and peppermint oil that you roll onto the clean nose pads of your glasses, which causes them to stay put on your nose while you read or work. It lasts for at least two hours and wears off naturally by the facial oils your skin produces.