Do you want to make a low-cost cleaner for your eyeglasses?
Are you afraid to use alcohol-based cleaners on your expensive eyeglass lenses?
This homemade eyeglass cleaner is surprisingly cheap and easy to make.
Why Alcohol Free?
Many eyeglasses today are manufactured with some sort of coating on the lenses. These coatings include anti-scratch, anti-reflective, and anti-fog coatings.
The manufacturers of these coatings generally do not recommend using alcohol on a regular basis to clean your eyeglasses. Ammonia and many window-cleaner products are a no-no as well. What they do recommend is soap and water.
Cleaning Crizal or Other Coated Lenses
The Crizal website has a section on how to clean and maintain your eyeglasses. On this page they recommend cleaning the glasses in the sink with plain dish soap.
What’s Wrong With Using Dish Soap?
Although dish soap will work, I find that a thinner cleaner is less messy and much easier to rinse off. Some dish soaps also contain petroleum products, which we just don’t need for eyeglass cleaning.
What About Touch-Up Cleaning?
Crizal also has a cleaning FAQ page about cleaning coated lenses. This page states that you can use a microfiber cloth to clean your glasses when it is not convenient to wash your lenses.
I believe they mean that you can clean the glasses dry without using a lens-cleaning solution, but only if you have a high-quality cloth.
Their FAQ also states that an alcohol-based cleaner can be used occasionally, but is not recommended for daily use.
Recipe For Homemade Eyeglass and Lens Cleaner
This recipe is about as gentle as it gets. It should be safe for all eyeglass coatings. It is also easy to make.
We need just two simple ingredients:
- Additive-Free Baby Wash
- Distilled Water
Don’t use a baby wash that has things in it like shea butter or cocoa butter. These moisturizers will leave a hazy residue on your glasses. We don’t want that.
Containers and Cloths
We also need some containers to put it in. I chose an 18 oz Arrow water bottle to store my cleaner in.
You will also need some of those little fine-mist spray bottles. It is nice to have more than one. You could leave one at work, put one in the car, and have one by the sink.
If you need a good microfiber cleaning cloth, see our recommendation for The Best Microfiber Cleaning Cloth For Camera Lenses And Eyeglasses.
Mixing It Up
Measure 2 cups of distilled water and pour this into the container of your choice. If you are going to use a funnel, make sure it is clean. We don’t want any grit or debris in our eyeglass cleaner.
Now pour 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of the baby wash into the container. This comes out to a 1 to 8 ratio of soap to water.
Mix the cleaner by turning the bottle upside-down then back upright several times until you don’t see the baby wash swirling around in the water. This is a better than shaking since it doesn’t make as many bubbles. Once it is mixed up you can fill up your little bottles out of the big bottle.
The neat thing about using an 18oz water bottle is that you don’t have to measure the baby wash. The 2 cups of water and the 1/4 cup of baby wash equals exactly 18oz. So all you need to do is put in your 2 cups of water, then fill the bottle the rest of the way with baby wash!
Can I Use Tap Water Instead of Distilled Water?
If you will be using this mixture to wash your glasses in the sink, then yes, you can make it with tap water.
On the other hand, if you want to use this at your desk or on-the-go, I personally would use distilled water. Tap water may contain impurities or sediment. Since there is no rinse, I feel better using pure water.
It is important to label your bottles so that other people know what is in the bottle. Since this is a clear cleaner, we don’t want anyone mistaking it for water and taking a drink!
It is a very safe mixture but it probably doesn’t taste very good.
For more information, see our article about labeling homemade cleaners.
2 Ways To Use This Cleaner
This is the best way to clean your eyeglasses because you can rinse off any grit or dirt before you start wiping the lens. This helps prevent the formation of fine scratches.
First, rinse the glasses to remove any contaminants or particles. Then spray the lenses with the cleaner and clean them with your finger. Finally, rinse them off under the tap and dry them with a clean microfiber cloth.
You will find that this cleaner is much easier to rinse off than a thick dish soap.
Spray & Wipe Method
This is where you spray the cleaner onto the lenses and then immediately wipe it off with a cleaning cloth. This method works, but can eventually lead to fine scratches that give the lens a hazy appearance. If you get new glasses every 2 years or so, it may not matter.
I have found that it works better if you have two cleaning cloths. Use one to clean and the other to dry and polish. It is hard to get a good polish with just one cloth.
How Much Does It Cost?
You can make a little over a gallon of this cleaner for around $2.50.
The cheapest store-bought eyeglass cleaner that I could find is $2.88 for an 8 oz bottle. This works out to $46.00 per gallon!
I was shocked to learn this and had to recheck my math.
I then went online and found some of the “good stuff” that was $275.00 per gallon !
$275.00 per gallon for a product that is water, rubbing alcohol, and soap !
My friends, we are in the wrong business !
I hope you found this article helpful and feel free to leave your comments or feedback.