How to clean polarized sunglasses

There are plenty of reasons people choose to wear polarized sunglasses, from glare reduction to better clarity. (Check out our full list of reasons why polarized lenses are important to learn more.) But do these special lenses require special care and attention? The quick answer is yes. Polarized sunglasses do have specific cleaning guidelines, especially if they are mirrored lenses. To keep your sunnies looking fresh and to protect optimal performance, follow some of our tips and guidelines below to safely clean your polarized sunglasses.

  • Rinse with warm water, especially after contact with salt water. Salt water can inflict serious damage your polarized or mirrored lenses. Just like that gritty feeling it leaves on your skin after a day on the water, salt can easily scratch and wear down your sunglasses. Even if your shades feel fine and dry, a gentle rinse will remove any abrasive residue before you wipe or rub them clean. Water will also help remove any stubborn dust or debris, like the beach sand we all love to hate.
  • Use a microfiber cloth to remove any smudges or fingerprints. Every pair of Rheos floating sunglasses comes in a microfiber pouch, so make sure you hang onto it! Try to avoid using your shirt or another fabric. Some apparel, particularly high performance sportswear, are made with anti-odor materials which often contain silver. This is essentially like sandpaper grinding on the lens so be careful! To avoid accidental scratching, stick to the microfiber pouch or cleaning cloth. Just make sure it’s clean, too. If needed, you can wash microfiber fabrics in your normal washing machine. Avoid detergents or fabric softeners with harsh chemicals.
  • Use a lens cleaner for stubborn smudges. We recommend sticking with lukewarm water and microfiber cleaning cloths as your lens cleaning go-tos, but sometimes there’s a smudge or smear that just won’t quit. While you might be tempted to grab the windex, chemical cleaners can slowly degrade the lens coating on your glasses. That includes polarization, mirrored lens coatings, and others like anti-glare, anti-fog and anti-scratch coatings. Look for a cleaner with a pH balance between 5.5 and 8, and don’t use any cleaners that contain alcohol.

Other ways to take care of your sunglasses:

  • Don’t leave them in a hot car! High heat areas like the dashboard of your vehicle can warp the frame material. If you need to leave your shades in the car during the summer, tuck them away in your glove compartment or center console.
  • Keep the shades in a pouch or case. If your shades are floating around without a protective sleeve or case, you risk scratching or other damage. They’ll last much longer if you carry a small pouch, like our microfiber bags, or even a hard case.

Your Rheos sunglasses are tough, but sometimes life is tougher. For better polarization performance and longer-lasting mirrored lenses, just follow these basic guidelines. Now that you know how to clean polarized sunglasses, your shades should last for years!