When the lenses of your glasses get streaky and dirty, chances are nothing will distract you from cleaning them. How you go about cleaning them, however, may determine how long your glasses last and how well they serve you. Your glasses could be getting damaged and not living up to the promises that were made when you bought them just because you're washing them with hand soap. Read on to learn all the problems that this process can cause.
Hand soap is a little bit different from other forms of soap. Most hand soaps contain disinfectants and moisturizers or oils in order to nourish skin after hands have been washed.
Disinfectants don't really pose a problem for your glasses, but the moisturizer will. Regardless of the type of moisturizer your hand soap contains, it may leave behind a chemical film on your glasses. This film can make your glasses get dirty faster because the slight stickiness of the moisturizer will cause dust, lint, and dirt to stick more readily to the surface of the lenses.
Another big problem with washing your glasses is that you're likely going to damage the protective coating on your glasses.
When you got your last pair of glasses, chances are you had some kind of coating applied to the lenses: maybe an anti-scratch coating, or a UV-ray repellent coating. In any case, hand soap can break down these coatings and cause them to flake, chip, or simply come off. The money you spent on a lens coating may have been for nothing if you've been readily washing your glasses in the sink.
Lastly, keep in mind that your glasses should ideally never get wet. Most glasses have metal hinges which aren't immune to rust. Exposing your glasses to water by washing them in the sink could cause these joints to rust, preventing you from opening and closing your glasses easily. Alternatively, hand soap can break down lubricants, so any kind of lubricant that was put in the hinge of your glasses may wear down more quickly due to washing.
Washing your glasses isn't a good idea, and if you've been doing it for a while, you should consider a new pair of spectacles. If you need to clean your glasses, stick to a microfiber cloth and professional eye glasses-cleaning solution. Talk to your eye doctor if you have questions about the cleaning process or prolonging the life of your glasses. Companies like Northwest Ophthalmology can give you more information.