Do you ever stop what you’re doing and realize you can barely see out of your glasses? Sometimes it seems that no matter what you do, those smudges just won’t go away. Fortunately, though, all you have to do to keep your glasses clear and spotless is follow a few simple rules and keep the right supplies on hand. Here are a few tips on how to clean glasses and kiss those smudges goodbye (but don’t actually kiss them, because that would just make your lenses dirty again).

Keep Your Clothes Out of It

Your shirt or pants might be the most convenient fabric nearby. Here’s the problem: using them to clean glasses is a terrible idea. Certain coarse fabrics (wool, for example) won’t clean your glasses very well and could even scratch the lenses. Furthermore, your clothes carry dust and debris that can prevent your glasses from getting truly clean.

Most opticians will provide you with a microfiber lens cloth when you first get your glasses. It’s a good idea to keep your glasses cleaning cloth on hand so you can give your glasses a good, safe clean whenever they need it.

Table the Towel

Towels — especially paper towels — are too rough to clean your glasses. It may be convenient to reach for a paper towel in the restroom or the kitchen. But just like your clothes, towels can scratch the surface of your lenses. Your lens cloth knows how to clean glasses better than any other fabric, so remember to trust it when it comes to keeping them clear and free of scratches.

Glasses Cleaner Can Save the Day

Water works pretty well when you need to clean your lenses. However, sometimes you encounter extra-difficult smudges that don’t go away even after a thorough bath in the sink. For these times, make sure you have a bottle of good cleaning solution that’s specially designed for lenses. There are also different times of cleaner for different types of lenses. Safety glasses cleaner is especially important for those who work in construction or other fields that require eye protection.

Leave the Scratches Alone

Sometimes, we have to deal with something even worse than smudges on our glasses: scratches. You may think you can get the scratch out with a little elbow grease. But trying to buff out a scratch when cleaning glasses can cause further damage to your lenses. Unfortunately, if you’re dealing with a scratch on your lenses, the best solution is to wait for the next pair.

Handle with Care

Now you know how to clean your glasses effectively, but it’s also important to know how to keep them from getting dirty in the first place. If you have glasses for reading or long distance and don’t need them in all situations, avoid using them in unnecessary situations where they might get dirty (in the kitchen, doing yard work, etc.) When you take off your glasses, grab them by the feet rather than the lenses to avoid smudging. When setting your glasses on a hard surface, place them with the lenses up.

How to Clean Glasses: Summing Up

Cleaning glasses is important for your vision, and it helps to make sure your prescription glasses and sunglasses give you top-shelf performance for a long time. Always have your glasses cleaning cloth at the ready, and safety glasses cleaner can also help you keep your vision clear in situations where your eyes need extra protection. If you handle your glasses properly and you’re always prepared to give them a good cleaning, you can say goodbye to annoying smudges for good!