aviator sunglasses

How to Clean Your Sunglasses Properly

Ever get those smudges on your shades that just won't come off no matter how much you rub them with your shirt? Or do you just toss your sunglasses on any surface, risking scratches and damage over time? Caring for your sunglasses properly is key to keeping them looking stylish and working well for a long time. In this article, you'll get the inside scoop on the right ways to clean your shades, store them safely, fix any minor damage, and avoid common mistakes that can shorten their lifespan. With these pro sunglass care tips, you'll keep your shades lookin' fly and protect your investment in quality eyewear. Who knew there was so much to learn about keeping your sunglasses in tip-top shape? Read on to pick up some new habits that'll have your shades looking crisp and new-in-box worthy for many seasons to come.

Storing Sunglasses: Dos and Don'ts

To keep your shades in tip-top shape, you'll need to properly clean them. Here are the steps:

Lens Cleaning

Gently wipe down each lens with a microfiber cleaning cloth, like the one that came with your sunglasses. If you don't have that, a soft, lint-free cloth will work. Apply light pressure and wipe in circular motions, starting from the center and working your way out.

For stuck-on grime, you can dampen the cloth slightly with water or a specialized lens cleaning solution. Make sure the cloth is not soaked, just damp. Never use any strong chemicals, abrasive cleaners or paper products like paper towels which can scratch the lenses.

Frame Cleaning

Use a dry microfiber cloth to dust off and wipe down the entire frame and any accents like logos or embellishments. Pay extra attention to nose pads, hinges and any tight corners where dirt and oils can build up.

For plastic or metal frames, you can dampen the cloth to tackle tough to remove residue. Gently blot to dry any remaining moisture and prevent water spots. Avoid submerging the frames in any liquid.


Keep your sunglasses in a hard case when not in use and store them in a cool spot away from direct heat or sunlight. This helps prevent scratches, dents, warping and sun damage which can shorten the lifespan of your shades.

With regular lens cleaning, frame wiping and proper storage, your sunglasses can continue looking and functioning like new for years to come. Treat your shades well and they'll return the favor by protecting your eyes in style!

Fixing Minor Sunglasses Damage at Home

Keeping your shades in tip-top shape means storing them properly when they're not on your face. Here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind:

Do: Keep Them in a Hard Case

The best way to prevent scratches and damage is by using a hard case. A soft case won't cut it and can still allow your glasses to get crushed. Look for a case specifically designed for sunglasses storage.

Don't: Toss Them in Your Bag or Console

Throwing your sunglasses into your bag, backpack or car console is a recipe for disaster. They can easily get scratched, bent or broken rattling around with your other belongings. Always put them in a designated sunglasses case or compartment.

Do: Keep Them out of Extreme Heat or Cold

Excessive heat or cold can cause the frames and lenses to warp or crack over time. Avoid leaving your sunglasses in very hot or cold places like the dashboard of a car. Room temperature is best.

Don't: Clean Them with Harsh Chemicals

Some lens cleaners and solutions contain chemicals that can damage lens coatings or frames. Use a microfiber cloth and lukewarm water or a specialized lens cleaner designed specifically for sunglasses. Avoid using any abrasive cleaners.

Do: Inspect and Clean Regularly

Get into the habit of inspecting and wiping down your sunglasses after each use. Look for any signs of damage or dirt and clean the lenses and frames. This will help maximize their lifespan and keep them looking like new for longer. A little TLC and preventative maintenance can go a long way.

Following these simple rules will help you get the most out of your shades. Your eyes (and wallet!) will thank you. Keep ‘em clean, keep ‘em safe, and keep ‘em fly!

Avoiding Common Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Shades

Uh oh, your favorite shades got a little banged up. Before you panic, try some DIY fixes first. Many common issues with sunglasses can be repaired at home without a costly trip to the optometrist.

Scratches on the Lens

Light surface scratches on the lens can often be buffed out using toothpaste or metal polish. Gently rub the paste onto the lens using small circular motions. Rinse well with water and dry with a soft cloth. Repeat until the scratches are less noticeable. For deeper scratches, you may need to have the lens replaced.

Loose or Broken Temples (Side Arms)

If the temples (side arms) on your glasses feel loose or one has come detached, don’t worry - you can reattach them at home. Use a small screwdriver to tighten the tiny screws that connect the temples to the frame. If a temple has broken off completely, you may be able to order a replacement part from the sunglasses manufacturer or an eyeglass parts store and attach it yourself using the existing screws.

Bent or Warped Frames

Gently bend the frame back into shape using your hands. Hold the sunglasses at the point of the bend or warp and carefully apply even pressure to coax the frame back to its original shape. Work slowly and check your progress in a mirror. You can also try carefully heating the frame, which will make it more pliable - but make sure not to overheat the frame or lenses.

With some patience and the right tools or parts on hand, you can get your shades back in working order without a costly replacement. However, for any damage to the actual lens or extensive frame damage, it’s best to have your sunglasses checked by an optometrist to ensure maximum protection and vision safety. Your eyes deserve the best care, so don’t take any chances!

Sunglasses Care FAQs

Improper Cleaning

Your sunglasses face a lot of abuse from dirt, oils, and grime each time you wear them. Cleaning them regularly is key to avoiding scratches and keeping the lenses clear, but be very gentle. Don’t use any harsh chemicals, abrasive cleaners, or rough paper products like paper towels which can scratch the lenses. Instead, use the microfiber cleaning cloth that came with your sunglasses or a very soft, lint-free cloth and some water or eyeglass cleaning solution. Make sure to wipe each lens carefully in a circular motion, then dry them with another soft cloth to prevent water spots.

Tossing Them in Your Bag

It’s tempting to just throw your sunglasses in your bag or the cup holder of your car, but this exposes them to scratches and damage. Always store your sunglasses in a hard case when not wearing them. A case protects the lenses and the frames from impacts that could bend or break them. For extra protection, look for a case with separate lens compartments or pockets. When in your bag or pocket, the case prevents other items from resting directly on the lenses which avoids scratches.

Forgetting About UV Protection

The whole point of wearing sunglasses is to protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays, so don’t neglect their UV protection. Over time, the UV coating and filters in sunglasses can start to break down, reducing their effectiveness. As a general rule, you'll want to replace your sunglasses every 1 to 2 years to ensure you're still getting adequate UV protection. Higher quality sunglasses may last a bit longer, up to 3 years, but it's best to check with the manufacturer's recommendations. Your eyes are too important to risk, so if your shades are getting up there in age, it may be time for a new pair.

Not Repairing Damage

If your sunglasses become damaged through normal wear and tear or an accident, don't continue wearing them without repairing them first. Scratches, cracks, or dents in the frames or lenses compromise both their functionality and safety. Take them to an eye care professional as soon as possible for an evaluation and repair or replacement. It's not worth risking your vision by wearing damaged shades. Protecting your eyes should be a lifelong priority.

Roger Sarkis