Once, a very long time ago, I bought lens wipes. The smallest available size for order was a two-pack, containing hundreds and hundreds of individually wrapped wipes. For months after they arrived, I'd diligently restock my glasses cases, pocketbook, and gym bag every couple of days.
For a time, they were my superpower. My glasses lenses, formerly as foggy as a San Francisco spring, became clear as the day I'd first worn them out of Lens Crafters. Looking into the faraway sky and accurately identifying whether or not there was a cloud was suddenly my specialty. Rainy days were no match for me. A grease-splattering recipe? I had it covered. I'd even offer the wipes ostentatiously to others—at first, glasses-wearing family members, then friends, then, near the end, even passersby.
Until, one day, I couldn't find the wipes. I'd just moved, and in the shuffle from one apartment to the next, I must've misplaced the remaining scores of them. Exhausted from carrying my bureau 20 city blocks and dispassionate about anything that wasn't eating takeout on my new apartment floor, I put it on my to-do list for the next day, and promptly fell asleep eating dumplings.
You can guess what happened the next day—and the one after that.
Flash forward to earlier this summer. My old ways (a microfiber cloth that's seen better days and a compulsive, yet completely ineffective, series of polishings) had been reigning supreme to no avail. Humidity and temperatures were at all time highs.
And when I had to sear seven Porterhouse steaks in a steamy kitchen for a story, all in one afternoon, it was enough to make me finally crack. I polled my family members, ran some tests, did an internet deep dive, and finally, arrived at a new method for keeping my glasses clean. It requires only products I already have, and can be performed anywhere with dish soap (hi, free office supplies).
How to Clean Glasses
Rinse your glasses under warm water. Aim for a temperature that's noticeably warm to the touch, but which allows you to you can hold your fingers under the water indefinitely without burning them.
Grab your dish soap, and add a small amount (roughly a drop)—avoid citrus scents—to each lens.
Use clean fingertips to gently rub the lenses and the frames. Get the fronts and backs of the lenses, and don't forget about the nooks where your glasses' frame curves.
Rinse off the soap with more warm water.
Softly rub the lenses and frame dry, using a microfiber cloth.
Have a trick for keeping glasses smudge-free? Let us know in the comments!
Ella Quittner is a a writer at Food52. She covers food, travel, wellness, lifestyle, home, novelty snacks, and internet-famous sandwiches. You can follow her on Instagram @equittner, or Twitter at @ellaquittner.