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Jun 11, 2020

Coronavirus Can Lurk on Eyeglasses—Here’s How to Properly Disinfect Yours

Just like you do with your hands, experts say that cleaning your glasses regularly with soap and water is your best defense against germs that cause COVID-19.

By Nashia Baker 

Regularly cleaning the most frequently touched surfaces in your home is probably a habit by now—it’s become part of our “new normal” in light of the coronavirus pandemic. But while you’re likely frequently disinfecting your doorknobs, light switches, and cell phone, there are some spots you might be forgetting. An important one? Your eyeglasses. According to Today, a study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection noted that coronavirus can live on glass surfaces for up to four days and on plastic and stainless steel objects for up to three days. To keep yourself safe and ensure your eyewear remains germ-free, Dr. Barbara Horn, president of the American Optometric Association, recommends those who wear glasses adopt a regular cleaning routine. “I’m certainly not saying glasses are the main culprit by any means, but you just always want to be careful—making sure you’re cognizant of the fact that glasses can transfer (the virus) and be aware of how to clean them properly.”

The first step to stop the spread of dangerous germs starts right when you come back from running errands or any other activity outside of your house. “Every time I walk in my home, the first thing I do is… wash my hands and then wash my glasses,” Dr. Horn said.

But how should those who wear glasses go about cleaning them? According to Dr. Horn, your best bet is to clean them with regular soap and water. Begin by rinsing off lenses with water, then add one or two drops of soap. Wash with a microfiber cloth and make sure to scrub the nose pads, frame, and earpieces, too.

Dry off the glasses with a washcloth instead of using paper towels—which often leaves scratches—or blowing on your frames since that can spread bacteria, Dr. Horn noted. Lastly, don’t forget to also wash your glasses periodically throughout the day for safe measure to avoid any buildup of germs.

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