Healthy living: Glasses edition

Living with poor eyesight is difficult, and sometimes even expensive.

The worst feeling in the world is waking up and noticing the broken, twisted remains of what used to be your glasses lying underneath you. For those of you who are experiencing severe eye strain, here are some little-known tips about maintaining your glasses (and your eyesight).

Are you an athlete? If your vision’s good enough, you may want to avoid wearing your glasses while playing sports (or try using contacts instead). Aside from the obvious “ball-to-face” risks, there’s a little-known risk that comes with sweating heavily with glasses. If the frames are light enough, they’ll fall off your face easily; if they’re heavy (like plastic), they won’t fall as easily, but when they do fall off your face it’s more likely that they’ll crack.

What’s worse is that if your glasses fall off of your face, the lenses can get scratched or warped. This isn’t likely to happen in hot weather as long as your face stays basically stationary; it only happens if you’re moving quickly.

Keep your glasses clean! A lot of people use pieces of clothing to wipe off glasses in the day-to-day, but this can easily scratch your glasses, and isn’t recommended for long-term wear. Instead, use a microfiber cloth or one of those little glasses wipes you can get at your eye doctor. For tougher substances (like fingerprints or pizza grease), use a special glasses cleaner (I have a homemade recipe for it on the bottom that can also be used as a window cleaner!). Also keeping your glasses in your glasses case will make your life easier if your vision’s as poor as mine is.

This recipe can also be used to clean windows, mirrors, and, if the proportions are adjusted for bacterial cleaning needs, removing stubborn stains from drinking glasses. Vodka is better for your skin than Windex, it won’t make your house smell like a chemical factory for hours, and it’s safe to use near your face!

A pair of well taken care of glasses. Graphic by Kate McHugh.
A pair of well taken care of glasses. Graphic by Kate McHugh.

Grandma’s Vodka Glass Cleaner Recipe:

1/4 cup of vodka (doesn’t matter what brand – get the cheap stuff)

1 cup of water (diluted preferably, but tap also works)

1 squirt bottle

3 tablespoons of lemon juice for scent


1/8 cup dishwashing detergent (approximate)

Mix the vodka and the water together in a squirtbottle. (Shaking it works.) Add in the lemon extract for scent (though you shouldn’t do this if you plan to clean glasses with this, as the eye area is very sensitive to citrus smells).

If you want to do dishes, add the dishwashing detergent a little at a time until you can see it bubble. Depending on what type of vodka you use, it may take more or less; some vodka bubbles up more quickly than others.