Have you ever wondered if you could clean your glasses with something other than the steam from your hot breath and the hem of your t-shirt? Maybe you considered using rubbing alcohol to cut through the oils from your skin and fingers. But, is cleaning your glasses with straight up rubbing alcohol safe for the integrity of your lenses?

Yes, you can clean your glasses with alcohol. However, it must be done with a specific ratio of alcohol to water so as to not damage your glasses lenses. A 70% alcohol and 30% water solution is safe to clean your glasses with. 

Read below to find out what else you need to know before using this solution on your glasses.

About Using Rubbing Alcohol to Clean Your Glasses

Most lens labs use the same 70/30 solution on their lenses and frames. It is then buffed dry with a clean microfiber cloth.  

However, not all glasses are the same. Read below to find out several reasons why rubbing alcohol is good, and bad, to use on your regular glasses or sunglasses. 

Reasons Rubbing Alcohol is Good to Use

Here are three reasons why alcohol is good to use to clean your glasses:

  1. It kills germs and removes bacteria build-up. 
  2. It has been proven to be safe on lenses and frames
  3. It is easy to pick up at your local grocery or department store.

Now that we know why rubbing alcohol is a good idea to use for cleaning your glasses, let’s take a look at why it might be a bad idea to use.

Reasons Rubbing Alcohol is Bad to Use

Here are two reasons why alcohol is bad to use to clean your glasses:

  1. Using rubbing alcohol on lenses that are coated, such as with anti-glare, can cause damage to the finish. 
  2. If the solution is not diluted properly the alcohol can begin to break down the plastic coating on frames. 

Now that you know why it’s good and bad to use, let’s go over how alternatives you can use to clean your glasses.

Alternatives to Using Alcohol

There are a few alternatives to using alcohol to clean your glasses. Some of the ones listed below involve water and some don’t. Any will work well depending on what type of dirt you are trying to remove.

Here are a few alternatives to alcohol you can use to clean your glasses:

  1. Lotion-free dishwashing detergent (wet use)
  2. Microfiber cleaning cloth (dry or wet use)
  3. Lens cleaner spray 

Note: Never dry-clean your glasses if there is actual dirt on them. The grains in the dirt can scratch your glasses lenses. If there are smudges or smears, then a dry-cleaning is fine.

Lens Cleaner Spray

Usually, lens cleaner spray will come in a kit that also contains the microfiber cleaning cloth. For example, the Croakies Eyewear Care Kit has everything you need to both clean your glasses lenses and repair your glasses if they were ever to get damaged. These come in multiple colors, so you can choose which one you would like.

Lens Cleaner Sprays for Coated Lenses

There are also lens cleaner sprays made specifically for coated lenses. Some of the top ones are listed below. 

Lens Wipes$2.99/ 8 ozFlents Wipe ‘N Clear Eyeglass Lens Cleaner
Eyeglass Lens Cleaner Spray Kit$9.54/ 2x 8 ozCare Touch Eyeglass Cleaner Spray Kit
Eyeglass Lens Cleaner Spray Kit$12.95/ 2x 8 ozOptix 55 Lens Cleaner Spray Kit

There are things you do not want to use on glasses. Read on to find out more.

Things To Not Use on Your Glasses:

There are several items that you never want to use on your glasses. A lot of these are things that lots of us have used on glasses before.

Here is a list of things to not use on your glasses to clean them:

  1. Paper towels
  2. Toilet paper
  3. Your shirt tail
  4. Household cleaners (such as Windex or All Purpose cleaners)

These can either streak your glasses, scratch them, or leave them full of lint.


So in conclusion, you can use rubbing alcohol to clean your glasses as long as the solution is 70% alcohol and 30% water. If your glasses have a coating on them such as glare resistance then you have to use a specific cleaner in order to protect the coating. If in doubt, you can always use a lotion free dish detergent and warm water to clean them.