How to Clean Your Sunglasses: the Do's and Don'ts
Sunglasses Guide

How to Clean Your Sunglasses: the Do's and Don'ts

When your Sunskis arrive in pristine condition, you may be hesitant to take them out at first. Getting dirt on those perfect sunglasses is like getting a scuff mark on your white sneakers, right?

The thing is: Sunski sunglasses were designed with your adventurous spirit in mind. They’re stylish but built to suit your active needs. Whether it’s a bike ride through a little wind and sprinkle, a dusty climbing trip, or a day by the pool, your Sunskis crave the action just as much as you do.


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You need eye protection, so don’t leave them behind. With this guide to how to clean sunglasses, you can take your shades from grimy to shiny in no time.

How to Clean Sunglasses at Home

The best time to clean your sunnies is when you’re in the great indoors.

Make sure your hands are clean first, then turn on the tap with lukewarm water. After rinsing the lenses, add a drop of Dawn or another lotion free soap to your finger. Gentle dish soap helps to remove body oils from the screws and joints, prolonging the life of your glasses.

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Dig into the areas that are most grimy first–like the nose bridge or the tips of the stems. Use a soft toothbrush or a microfiber cloth for excess grime. Then, rub the soap on the lenses with your fingers. 

Finally, rinse the soap and dirt off, and dry your lenses with any lint free cloth that hasn’t been in contact with fabric softener or a dryer sheet (which may leave scratchy debris.)

Lens cleaning liquid with a microfiber cloth also works well for sunglasses with less “trail spice”, but make sure the cleaner you use is OK’d for coated or anti-reflective lenses. 

How to Clean Sunglasses on the Trail:

If you’re out adventuring, odds are you won’t have a lens cleaner or a cloth on hand. If you need to clean your glasses on the spot, you can rinse them with some water gently squeezed from your water bottle–but be sure not to touch the lenses, as your hands can add more smudge and rub the dirt particles in more, causing scratches. You can also carry disposable lens wipes, like these

Sanitizing for COVID-19:

The good news is, there’s some speculation that wearing glasses can prevent you from touching your eyes and can serve as a protective layer against COVID-19. But because your sunglasses are close to your eyes, they’re a key item to keep disinfected during the pandemic. 

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Luckily, the advice for keeping germs away is the same as above: just wash your lenses with warm water and a drop of dish soap. And don’t do the breath technique, as it’s always unsanitary. You can sanitize the frames (not the lenses) with a disinfectant wipe, but avoid products with alcohol or bleach as those can strip the frame’s coating. 

The Do's and Don'ts

Now that we've got some of the basics out of the way, let's break it down, so you know exactly what works and doesn't work when figuring out how to clean your sunglasses.

Don’t use chemical lens cleaners

The first, critical step of lens cleaning is getting off all the gunk and build-up. Your instinct may be to grab the lens cleaner but think twice about it. Many lens cleansers are made of harsh chemicals, like ammonia, which can do damage to the protective coating on your lenses. Even worse, these chemicals can be bad for your health and the environment.


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So what should you use instead?

Do rinse with fresh water

When curious how to clean your sunglasses properly, it’s that easy. Start the process with a simple rinse. As long as you avoid hot water, the lenses will be totally fine. Run your sunglasses under the faucet and let the freshwater wash away dirt, sweat, and anything else that could be caked on your shades after a full day of outdoor activity.


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Anytime your sunglasses come in contact with sunscreen, salt water, or chlorine, be sure to give them a healthy rinse.

Do use lotion-free soap, when needed

If you’ve just come off a long, muddy day on the mountain biking trails, or were caught in a mini sandstorm at the beach, your sunglasses may need a little something extra aside from just water. Look no further than the soap by the sink.


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Lotion-free, mild dish soap is safe for sunglasses cleaning. Light scrubbing with your fingers, followed by a warm water rinse, will do the trick just fine.

Don’t use harsh fabrics to dry your lenses

Now that your shades are dry, they’re ready to stow! Whether it’s in a microfiber pouch that came with your Sunskis or a hard case you have on hand, it’s important to store your sunglasses safely. Leaving them in the open puts them at risk for scuffs and scratches, by keys, pet paws, or anything, really. It’s also best if you can store them somewhere that isn’t too hot or humid, as that can damage lenses, too.

Plus, if you stow them away, they’ll stay clear and clean for your next adventure.


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For all your weekend getaway needs, the Travel Case has padded pockets to keep your shades safe and extra pockets for any other travel essentials

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Cleaning your sunglasses only takes a couple of minutes, but it can help you effortlessly transition from your day hike to your dinner reservations.

You should feel liberated to do whatever you want in your Sunskis. If they’re sturdy enough to stay on your head as you ride your bike or chase your dog through the park, they’re up for any challenge you throw at them. So don’t be afraid to get them dirty!


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More Sunglasses Tips

Looking for more tips on sunglasses care, sustainability, and shapes? Check out more in our sunglasses guide to choosing the best sunglasses for your face shape.