Make Your Own Eyeglass Cleaner

eyeglass cleaner 1b

l had two separate people in the same week ask me about a homemade version of eyeglass cleaner. The idea was such an obvious one…apparently TOO obvious…because I never thought of it. :-)

It was particularly timely though, because recently I’d been wondering about what would be best to clean my reading glasses when my microfiber cloth just isn’t cutting it. Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE my microfiber cleaning cloths! I was introduced to them right after I first started this blog, and I’ve been using them ever since.

For the most part, my reading glasses only need a quick cleaning with my microfiber polishing cloth and they are good to go.  But sometimes, especially if I’ve been doing a lot of cooking posts and my glasses have become a sticky, greasy, smeary mess, I find myself in need of a little something extra to cut through the gunk.

I started looking around for a homemade eyeglass cleaning solution and the answer was surprisingly simple. 1 part water, 1 part rubbing alcohol, 1 drop soap.

The water was a no-brainer, the rubbing alcohol was as well, (but I happened to be out of it, so I substituted witch hazel), and the drop of soap was open for interpretation.

eyeglass cleaner


eyeglass cleaner 1

I decided to try it a couple of different ways. One batch I made with 1 drop of Dawn dish soap….the second batch I made with 1 drop of Dr. Bronner’s castile soap. To be honest, I couldn’t really tell a difference.  They both did exactly what I was looking for them to do….they cleaned the layer of grime off my glasses. Then I was able to finish the job off with my handy dandy microfiber cloth and I could see clearly once again!

So that is my “recipe” for clean eyeglasses, be they for reading, sun, or whatever.

Homemade Eyeglass Cleaner

1 part water
1 part isopropyl alcohol (or witch hazel)
1 drop soap (your choice)
microfiber cloth

eyeglass cleaner 2

Mix together in spray bottle. Spray on dirty lenses. Wipe with microfiber cloth.


eyeglass cleaner 3

It’s gonna be a bright, bright, sun-shiny day!

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  1. Cathy says

    Jillee-We have well water. Should I use distilled water or does it matter? I spend a lot of money on eyeglass cleaner because every one in my family wears glasses. For a small 6 oz bottle it is $3. Can’t wait to make my first batch this week. Thanks so much

  2. says

    Cathy….I originally considered using distilled water…but decided it would be fine with tap water. I’m not exactly sure about well water…but I would think that in combination with the alcohol (or witch hazel) it should work just fine!

    I understand your plight…the person who originally emailed me about this also had a family full of eyeglass wearers! :-)

    • Selina says

      I love this for my laptop and iPad as well as my glasses. Although most times, my micro-fibre cloth is sufficient.

  3. says

    Did you look into if alcohol is safe for the lenses? I suppose I could just do a quick Google myself, but I was once told by an optometrist not to use Windex on my lenses, and I assumed it was because of the alcohol. It could have just been a ploy for me to buy their cleaner!!

    • Rose says

      I was also told no alcohol and I didn’t buy their cleaner. They told me hand soap and water.

    • Nicole C says

      It’s not a ploy – I’m a certified optician and alcohol is NOT a good thing to use on lenses that have Anti-reflective coating, eventually it will break it down and flake off – voiding its warranty. We always recommend using a drop of Dawn under running water and use a soft cloth to dry. No tissues – they are paper and will cause scratching.

      • Nicole C says

        Heather,I’m not familiar with the Eco brand, however, it should be fine, as long as it doesn’t have any hand moisturizers (lotions) because they will gunk up your lenses. The most important thing is to make sure they are always wet, then dry with either a microfiber cloth ( which can be laundered, just don’t use softener) or a cotton cloth. Good luck :)

      • Diane H. says

        The cleaner that came with my glasses has 3.5% alcohol in its ingredients. I bought my glasses from and the cleaner was free. It doesn’t seem like the would send it (or sell it in stores) if it included alcohol.

      • Pam says

        That’s what my optometrist recommends – plain old dawn (no added moisturizers or anything) and water, dry with a cotton tea towel. Dawn is works because it doesn’t leave a soap film.

      • eileen says

        I used dawn dishsoap on my anti-reflective glasses and it left the lenses cloudy. I was told not to use dawn dish soap for this reason

    • bettie says

      Ashton-alcohol can strip the outer hard coatings off your lenses. We use it only as a rare treatment for aerosols and such that have coated the lenses. Windex has ammonia, which is even worse-don’t use it. Water and a soft cloth are all you really need, but you can use (most) hand soaps as well. I do use the cleaner we sell at my office, but you don’t need to.

    • says

      The windex has “Ammonia” in it which will scratch plastic lenses. If you have a “anti-glare” coating on your glasses the alcohol could strip that too. You could use the soap, water and a splash of vinegar :)

    • Emma Carr says

      The alcohol is fine on regular plastic lenses. Windex isn’t good because of the ammonia in it. If you have any coatings on your lenses, such as Crizal, you should just use mild soap and water.

  4. Diana B says

    I used to wash my glasses with dish soap and it ended up clouding my glasses over time. Eye doc said not to wash with dish soap. Been using hand soap since. The milder the better.

  5. CTY says

    Sounds like a great solution (pun intended).
    For me though the micro cloths are out–for some reason I can’t stand the feel/texture of the cloth I get gooses bumps. I use a lint free paint cloth (which is a gloried square of a t-shirt).

  6. Diana Estep says

    Alcohol should not be used on eyeglasses that have coatings on them. It is funny that the eyeglass places want to sell you their cleaner that also have alcohol in them … My eyeglasses are $600 a pop & trying to find something that works that doesn’t contain alcohol is not easy.

  7. Michelle says

    Most eyeglass cleaners and wipes contain isopropyl alcohol so I guess it’s fine. Original Windex contains ammonia and your lenses probably are not glass but polycarbonate so it should not be used. I don’t know for sure but I’m also thinking that it could take off any of those expensive special coatings that you may have on your lenses as well.

    • Julie says

      The ammonia shatters the polycarbonate lenses. I learned that the hard way when the corner of one lens started looking like my glasses had been dropped & that they’d landed on that corner. Those glasses were never dropped. I was cleaning them with Windex & it’s like it caused the layers to separate creating the shattered look. I took them in to ask if they could be repaired in some way. After one look the lady said, “You used Windex didn’t you.” then she explained what happened. Costly lesson to learn.

  8. says

    Makes total sense to me. When in the kitchen, I just usually grab my bottle of hand sanitizer and it works like a charm… and, as you know, it’s main ingredient is rubbing alcohol.

  9. Karen says

    I kook fpeward tp makunh tgia yp”

    Wow! What a difference!

    Just cleaned my glasses with your Spec Cleaner & look! I can see the key board …

    Great stuff Thank You Jillee

  10. says

    WalMart carries cleaner in their optometry section. If you purchase any siz e bottle of cleaner, you get free refills forever. Just bring in the original bottle when it gets low and they will fill it up.

    • gayle says

      I used to do that also. I have checked with FIVE different Wal-Marts…they won’t refill….and have no idea what I am talking about. :(

      • Laurel says

        Today I asked at my Wal-Mart and they said they only fill the small 2 ounce size but they do refill.

    • Carol Dingwell says

      Also Costco. Buy their bottles and they fill for free too. Mine does say on the bottle not for the anti reflective coating. I tried that coating once and hated it so don’t ever get it on my glasses. Also I use this cleaner on my Kindle Fire screen.