How to Care For Eyeglass Lenses with Anti-Reflective Coating

By Jennifer Blair

Eyeglasses that feature lenses with an anti-reflective coating are designed to reduce the glare from surrounding lights. The coating helps improve your vision while wearing the glasses and make your eyes more visible to those you are speaking with. While there are benefits to these types of glasses, lenses with the anti-reflective coating require a little more care when you're handling them. If you are too rough with your glasses, you may wind up damaging the lenses and impairing your vision along with them.

Reading glasses laid on desktop.
credit: Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images
Avoid setting your glasses down lenses first to prevent scratches in the coating.

Get a Case

While your glasses' anti-reflective coating can help prevent glare, it also makes scratches and nicks more obvious on the lenses. Protect them well when you're not wearing them. Don't throw them in your pocket or bag without a hard-shell case to prevent damage. If you're taking your glasses off momentarily, always set them down with the lenses facing up to avoid accidental scratches.

Use a Cloth

When smudges or streaks appear on your glasses, grab some type of cloth to wipe them away – but don't use any old napkin or tissue that might be lying around. Rough materials can scratch the anti-reflective coating. Choose a microfiber cloth designed specifically for glasses to ensure that you don't ruin the coating.

Get Them Wet

No matter what type of cloth you use to clean your glasses, do not wipe them when they're dry. Without lubrication, dirt or debris on the surface of the lenses or in the cloth can scratch your glasses. Wet your lenses with warm water before wiping them with a microfiber cloth. For stubborn smudges or dirt, use a cleanser specifically for eyeglasses or a mild liquid soap. Avoid harsh products, such as window cleaner, bleach, alcohol, ammonia or even vinegar, which can damage the anti-reflective coating. Rinse the lenses with warm water before drying with a clean, dry microfiber cloth. Pre-moistened lens-cleaning cloths work well when you're on the go.

Handle with Care

Even if you keep the anti-reflective coating on your lenses clean and scratch-free, you can ruin your glasses if you don't handle them carefully. When you're removing and putting on your glasses, always use two hands. Don't push them back on your head instead of removing them or you may misalign the frames. This will affect your eyesight as well as your appearance.