How To Clean Polarized Sunglasses? Step-by-Step Guide For The Best Results

Reviewed by:
Samuel Wallace

So, you’ve invested in a pair of polarized sunglasses, a stylish yet functional accessory that shields your eyes from the sun’s glare. But those lenses aren’t going to stay pristine forever. 

It’s not uncommon to see fingerprints, smudges, and saltwater splashed everywhere. You’re not just seeking to swipe away grime; you’re on a quest for the most effective, least damaging cleaning methods.

The following is your go-to guide for keeping your shades in pristine condition. Here, we’ll probe into the dos and don’ts, debunk myths, and offer you tried-and-true strategies for crystal-clear vision.

The Risks of Neglecting Proper Cleaning

  • Loss of Functionality: Failing to clean your polarized sunglasses regularly can lead to a decrease in their glare-reducing capabilities.
  • Reduced Longevity: Dirt and grime can accumulate, leading to scratches that permanently damage the lenses and reduce their lifespan.
  • Compromised Visual Clarity: Smudges, fingerprints, and other residues can obscure vision, making the sunglasses less effective.
  • Bacterial Buildup: Not cleaning the sunglasses can lead to bacterial growth, which is not only unhygienic but can also lead to eye infections.
  • Warranty Risks: Improper cleaning methods can void the manufacturer’s warranty, leaving you without a fallback if the sunglasses get damaged.
  • Increased Repair Costs: Neglecting regular cleaning can lead to issues that require professional repair, adding unnecessary costs.
  • Reduced Resale Value: If you ever decide to sell your sunglasses, a well-maintained pair will fetch a higher price compared to one that shows signs of neglect.
  • Aesthetic Decline: Over time, scratches and stains can make sunglasses look old and worn, reducing their aesthetic appeal.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Polarized Sunglasses

Pre-Cleaning Preparations

Wash Your Hands: Before touching your sunglasses, make sure your hands are clean to avoid transferring oils or dirt.

Initial Cleaning

1. Blow Off Dust: Gently blow on the lenses to remove any loose dust or particles that could scratch the lenses during the cleaning process.

2. Rinse with Warm Water: Run warm water over the lenses to remove any remaining dust and loosen any stuck-on grime. Avoid using hot water as it can warp the lenses.

Cleaning the Lenses

1. Use a Microfiber Cloth: Gently wipe the lenses with a soft microfiber cloth in a circular motion. This cloth is specifically designed to not scratch your lenses.

2. Apply a Lens Solution: If needed, use a lens cleaning solution. Make sure it’s a solution recommended for polarized lenses to avoid damaging the coating.

Advanced Cleaning (Optional)

1. DIY Cleaning Solution: If you don’t have a lens cleaning solution, you can make your own by mixing a tablespoon of mild soap in a cup of lukewarm water. Use this solution to gently clean the lenses with a non-abrasive sponge or cloth.

Rinsing and Drying

1. Rinse Again: Rinse the lenses under warm water to remove any soap or cleaning solution residues.

2. Shake Off Excess Water: Gently shake the sunglasses to remove excess water droplets.

3. Air Dry or Use a Lint-Free Cloth: Let the sunglasses air dry or gently pat them dry using a lint-free cloth. Avoid using paper towels or tissues as they can leave lint and potentially scratch the lenses.

Common Mistakes to Avoid While Cleaning Polarized Sunglasses

Materials That Can Scratch Your Lenses

  • Paper Towels: These are too coarse and can leave scratches on your lenses.
  • Clothing Fabric: Using your shirt or any fabric to wipe your lenses can cause micro-abrasions.
  • Tissues: Similar to paper towels, tissues can be abrasive and leave lint behind.
  • Hard Sponges: Non-abrasive sponges are recommended; avoid steel wool or hard scrubbers.

Chemicals That Harm Polarized Coatings

  • Acetone: Commonly found in nail polish remover, acetone can degrade both lenses and frames.
  • Household Cleaners: Products like Windex contain chemicals that can react with the lens coating.
  • Alcohol or Ammonia: These can strip away the lens coating and should be avoided.
  • Hot Water: Extreme temperatures can also affect the lens coating, avoid using hot water for cleaning.
  • Saliva: Not effective and unsanitary; it doesn’t remove smudges effectively and adds germs to your lenses.

How Often Should I Clean My Polarized Sunglasses?

You should clean your polarized sunglasses at least once a week for general maintenance. However, if you’ve been in environments with dust, saltwater, or excessive sweat, it’s advisable to clean them immediately after exposure to maintain optimal lens quality and longevity.

Wrap Up!

Polarized sunglasses, with their specialized lenses, offer a unique advantage in reducing glare and enhancing visual clarity. However, their distinct nature also demands meticulous care. 

Proper cleaning and maintenance not only ensure clear vision but also prolong the lifespan of these valuable eyewear pieces. 

From using the right cleaning tools to understanding the nuances of their care, every step is crucial. In essence, to maintain the efficacy of your polarized sunglasses, clean them at least once a week or immediately after exposure to harsh elements. 

By doing so, you’ll enjoy the benefits of glare-free vision for years to come.