Should You use Soft Water to Clean Your Eyeglasses?
Eyeglasses are an investment in your vision – and they can be costly to replace. Keeping their lenses clean and scratch-free is important to see clearly. Even the “scratch-resistant” lenses will get some scratches over time and with use. Maintaining that pristine clarity of the lenses for as long as possible can be a struggle. Few glass-wearers may know that hard tap water can lead to deterioration.
Should You Clean Glasses with Tap Water?
Tap water from the faucet is easily accessible, but it may not be the best water source clean your lenses. Tap water, especially in Nebraska and Iowa, is usually hard water. Hard water is water that contains magnesium and calcium from the ground, and it commonly known for leaving crusty residue around faucets, showers, and in other places around your home. While scale buildup staining (also known as “limescale”) will not collect on your glasses as it does on shower doors, hard water may leave hard water marks if it is not dried off completely with a soft, clean towel.
If you’ve ever washed your car with hose water and let it dry in the sun, you likely recall seeing the white spots on your clean paint finish. This is exactly what could happen to your eyeglasses and you’ll want to be sure to not allow hard water to dry on the lenses.
Can Hard Water Etch or Scratch Glass?
The calcium and magnesium particles in hard water cause many problems, but a quick rinse of tap water over your glasses usually isn’t going to scratch them. Depending on the amount of these minerals in your water, always using water to wash your glasses may damage the lens’ surfaces over time.
Hard water’s calcium originates from the underground bedrock the water eroded away as it moved through the ground. If you are unfortunate enough have an abundance of these tiny rock particles rubbing against your lenses often, it acts like sandpaper, slowly scratching the glass.
If your water comes from a well source instead of a municipal water supply, you may have additional contaminants in your water to be concerned with. Sediment like dirt may make its way into your tap water and could cause microscopic scratches and knicks, making your glasses appear cloudy.
Of course, the type of cloth you use to rub clean and dry the lenses is important. Your ophthalmologist or eyeglass clinic that provided you with your glasses will tell you the best type of cloth to use for cleaning. Typically, clean microfiber cloths are the best choice. But, any type of cloth washed in hard water tend to be stiffer (and scratchier) because the calcium minerals become embedded into the fibers of the cloth.
Is Bottled Water Safe to Clean Glasses?
Bottled water companies often claim their product is pure and clean, but has been proven that many of the top beverage brands simply fill their bottles with tap water. You may have also seen bottled water marketed as “Natural spring water” and their product has none or very little filtration prior to packaging.
Most eyeglass clinics will note that water is not the best liquid to use to clean your glasses.
Would Soft Water be Better for Cleaning Glasses?
If you don’t have actual eyeglass cleaner available but your glasses are dirty, soft water and a clean, microfiber cloth can do the job in a pinch. But, if your glasses have greasy spots, water won’t do much to clean it off the lenses. Grease and oily stains will stick to the cloth and spread it around.
Lens cleaning-specific sprays are a mixture of distilled water and a gentle cleansing solution formulated to disolve grease, so wipes off easily, without leaving a residue.
As we mentioned before, if the cloth you use is dirty or has dried harsh hard water minerals, it may damage the lenses. Be sure your cleaning cloth is washed in soft water.
How to Get Soft Water into Your Home
The most common and practical solution to get rid of hard water and the problems that come with it is to have a water softener unit installed in your home. The unit is made up of two parts – the media tank and a brine tank.
The clean water professionals at Futuramic’s can come out and evaluate how hard your water is, discuss your goals, and recommend the right type and size for your home. We evaluate your family’s water usage and needs. Once you choose the correct unit for your home, all the water flowing from your faucets will be free of excess calcium and magnesium – including your dishwasher, washing machine, and other water-using appliances. Hard water can actually damage water-using appliances!
What Type of Water Softener Will We Need?
Better home in your water begins when you call Futuramic’s Clean Water Center to set up a free water testing appointment by a member of our team. This water test will identify the hardness level of your water and any potential contaminants that may be present. We then may recommend a water softener system, a water conditioner, water filter, or possibly (if you have a big family or lots of guests) a twin tank unit to provide consistent quality water all hours of the day!
Soon you’ll be on your way to not only cleaner eyeglasses, but softer laundry, a better experience in the bath and shower, and fresh, tastier water!