What do you usually use when wiping off the oil and dirt from your eyeglasses? Do you just use your shirttails to give it a quick buffing? If so, you need to stop doing that and start cleaning your glasses properly using the eyeglass cloth that came with your spectacles.
Now, let us say you do clean your glasses properly using the right cloth of course. After a couple of days, the cleaning cloth itself got too dirty that it can no longer pick up dirt and oil. In such a case, you need to apply what you learn about how to clean eyeglass cloth well.
Do You Need an Eyeglass Cloth?
Yes. It is even essential to have a lot of them if you wear glasses regularly. Sure, you already get one, dinky piece of eyeglass cleaning cloth with your eyeglasses but do you still have it on you? Or did you lose it after just one week of use?
You most likely lost your eyeglass cloth but you are not particularly worried because you can just use any piece of cloth lying around the house to clean your glasses. If you are out of the house, you may be thinking that a handy dandy tissue or your trusty shirttail should be enough to do the job, right?
Wrong. You are only causing a lot of damage to your eyeglasses when you do that. What you are not seeing is the rough fiber of your cotton shirt not picking up the dirt on the surface of the glass but just pushing them around. The dirt and dust act as abrasives, scuffing up the surface of your eyeglass lens.
What Should You Use?
Ideally, you should use the soft fabric that came with your eyeglasses, but since most people lose that piece of cloth after a couple of days, the best choice is to use a microfiber cleaning towel. What is so special about this type of fabric that you can trust to clean your precious eyeglasses properly?
The secret of microfiber cleaning cloths is deep within the material itself. This fabric is a blend of synthetic fibers polyester and polyamerine and polyamide, with the former providing the structure and shape and the latter providing suppleness and absorbency.
When you look at a piece of microfiber fabric under the microscope, you will realize that it consists entirely of hundreds of thousands of fibers crammed together in such a small area. What makes it such an effective cleaning implement is that it has an awesome amount of surface area where the dirt and grime can stick to.
Furthermore, the microfibers are also frayed a bit at the ends, adding to more gripping power for cleaning purposes. Compare that to the closed and humongous fibers of cotton fabrics that do not truly pick up dirt, they push them all over the surface of the lens, causing hundreds if not thousands of microscopic scratches.
How to Clean Microfiber Cleaning Towels?
After a while of cleaning your spectacles, the tiny little microfibers in your microfiber towel will mostly be clogged with all kinds of dirt and grime that it could not pick up anymore. Even though microfiber cleaning towels are quite cheap, you should not be so wasteful that you throw them away when they get dirty.
Here are some tips and instructions on how to properly wash microfiber cleaning cloths:
Rinse them after every use
The neat thing about microfiber cleaning cloths is that they can pick up almost all dirt and debris from any surface and they hold onto them quite well. This makes them quite hard to clean when they are already chock full of dirt. To make laundering your microfiber cleaning towels much easier, you should rinse the towels right after using them.
This way, you do not have to force quite as much dirt out of the fibers later. Before you launder the microfiber fabrics, you should rinse them thoroughly so that you can get as much of the dirt out of the millions of microfibers inside the fabric. If you were to wash them immediately, there is a chance that a good amount of dirt is still left inside the fabric.
Use warm water when washing
Although some brands recommend using cold water when washing their microfiber products, it is best to use warm water instead. It is because the slight heat helps loosen up the grip of the fibers, making it easier to shake off the dirt and grime.
However, you should never use hot water as it can damage the delicate microfibers instead of just allowing them to fluff up.
Separate them from the others
You should never launder your microfiber cleaning towels separately. Microfiber cleaning cloths are designed to pick up everything, so when you throw them in with your other laundry items, they essentially become lint traps.
The millions of tiny little microfibers will all get clogged with lint and other debris that render the microfiber cleaning cloth practically worthless. So when you are washing your microfiber cleaning cloths, wash them separately from your other laundry items. Do not even think about putting them into a laundry bag as it will not help.
What Kind of Detergent Should You Use?
Never use powdered detergent. It will leave a powdery residue that will get lodged in between the microfibers of the cleaning cloths. It is best to use liquid laundry soap. The milder, the better. If you have a baby in the house, you can borrow some of the detergent used to launder your baby’s clothes. They should be mild enough for use on microfiber.
Furthermore, you should never use any bleach when washing microfiber fabrics. This will be too harsh for the microscopic fibers in the fabric. Avoid using fabric softeners on microfiber fabrics, too. This will damage quite a lot of damage to the sensitive fibers.
If, however, you want to give a bit of softness to your microfiber cloth, you can add vinegar to the rinsing water and rinse the fabric as usual.
How to Dry Them?
If you have to use the dryer, use the lowest heat setting or if possible, turn the heat off before tossing your microfiber towels into the dryer. However, it is best that you hang them outside to air dry, as this allows the fibers to fluff up naturally. You can allow them to dry under the sun as well, but do not let them sit under direct sunlight for more than an hour or so.
On microfiber fabric blends
Not all microfiber cloth cleaners are made the same way. Some are more absorbent than others. Understandably, those are much more expensive than the others. To find out which is which, you need to determine the textile blends of the microfiber cleaning cloths.
The blend is the fraction that you will find on the tag of the towel. The first number is the percentage of polyester and the second is the amount of polyamide contained within the fabric. The usual blends that you will find on the market are 70/30 and 80/20. As you can see, polyester is always a bigger percentage.
This is because this fabric is responsible for keeping the shape and texture of the towel. It is also very cheap to produce. On the other hand, the polyamide provides the fabric with suppleness and absorbency. A piece of microfiber fabric can have more than 30% polyamide but it will be a bit more expensive.
Also, because they have more microfibers, they are harder to keep clean. With that said, you should avoid the towels that advertise that they are 100% polyester. These towels do not truly have much to offer in terms of absorbency, so they are not fit for cleaning.
These days, there is not that much noticeable difference between 70/30 and 80/20 blends of microfiber cleaning cloth. It is all thanks to advances in manufacturing processes. Nowadays, the blends are only indicative of where the microfiber fabric came from.
The 70/30 blends usually come from Europe and other Western hemisphere countries while the 80/20 blends frequently originated from Asia, particularly from China.
Where do the best microfiber fabrics come from?
You cannot tell that much difference between microfiber fabrics from different countries. However, if you want to make sure that you are getting the absolute best, you need to do a bit of digging. The best microfiber fabrics come from the same manufacturing facility that their materials came from as well.
Who would have thought that there are so many things that you need to take into consideration when trying to learn how to clean eyeglass cloth properly? That small piece of fabric that came with your glasses plays a huge role in keeping them clean and away from serious damage.
Since you will be cleaning your eyeglasses often, you should stock up on extra microfiber cleaning towels. They don’t cost that much and you will be using them quite often so they are worthwhile investments.
Our PPE expert, Daniel Rocha, has been working in the industry for 23 years. He provides guidance to our content editor and writers so they may provide well-informed suggestions and tips for machinery and equipment.