How Do You Clean Your Eyeglasses?

How do you clean your eyeglasses? I’m not talking about sanitizing them, I mean just getting the lenses perfectly clear of smudges and the skin oil that seems to migrate onto them.

My system is cheap and simple, if tedious. I’ve hung onto this roughly eyeglasses-sized plastic packaging that mushrooms come in. I fill the bottom with water, add a couple drops of dishwashing detergent, and let the glasses soak for a few minutes. Afterwards I rinse them off, then carefully dry them with a paper towel. The drying is the tedious part, trying to get to the edges of the lenses without stressing and breaking the delicate frames.

In Japan I’d first encountered an ultrasonic eyeglass cleaning machine at an optician, and when I got back to the ‘States, I tried cleaning a pair of eyeglasses with the ultrasonic cleaner I use for machine parts. It destroyed the polycarbonate lenses.

Since then I’ve been on the lookout for an easy, cheap way to clean eyeglasses, and falsely hoped this might be it:

Looks to be a bit of a letdown; $30 gets you a spring-loaded cylinder–is the spring necessary? Can we not agitate by hand?–and a small bottle of cleaning solution. Most of us already have dishwashing detergent on hand, and it seems to do the job just fine. I’m not seeing any true value or innovation here.

What I think most of us want is some easy way to clean the lenses, from edge to edge. I know some of you spectacled, detail- and UX-oriented designers out there have to have a better system than I do–please share it.