When you purchase glasses, they usually come with a microfiber cloth or two for cleaning the lenses. While excellent in a pinch, those little cloths just don’t always cut it. We wear our glasses a lot, and they can get pretty dirty. Lotion and oils cause smears and fingerprints, and dust can build up. Even lens cleaner can leave streaks. If you’re tired of the mess and want to give your glasses a deep clean but don’t know how, look no further.

The first step to cleaning your glasses is to clean your hands. If your fingers are dirty or oily, you’ll just make your glasses worse in the process of trying to clean them! Wash your hands with lukewarm water and a gentle soap that does not contain lotion or moisturizers (think Dawn dish soap). Once your hands are clean, carefully rinse your glasses in lukewarm water. This should wash any debris off the lenses that might cause scratches when you clean them. It’s important to not rub any dirt into the lenses, because there might be sharp bits that can scratch the glass surface.

Next, take a tiny drop of Dawn (or another oil and moisturizer free soap) onto your fingertip and gently rub the surface of the glass with it on both sides of the lenses, cleaning away any smudges. Rinse the glasses thoroughly, as any soap residue remaining will cause smearing when you dry the lenses off. Once you are sure that the soap is completely gone, take a gentle cloth (ideally microfiber, similar to something you would use to dry off fine glassware) and carefully dry the lenses, taking care to avoid smearing and fingerprints. Enjoy your now squeaky-clean glasses!

Sometimes, though, you won’t have time to do a detailed cleaning as the one outlined above. In cases like these, you can use glasses cleaner sprays. Just make sure that the spray works with the type of lenses you have, as some have protective coatings that certain sprays can damage. Use a generous amount of the spray to flush away any debris before you rub at the lenses. Avoid cleaning your glasses with your shirt or other clothing items, as these fabrics can scratch at the glass and leave fibers stuck to the lenses, causing more damage than help in the long run.