Summer Survival Guide

Keep Your Shades
in Peak Condition

Raen Wiley polarized sunglasses

Wiley polarized sunglasses, $150 by Raen

Summertime calls for sunglasses. We could tell you that they're the perfect finishing touch to any warm weather outfit. We could talk about the importance of protecting your eyes from dangerous glares and UV radiation. Or we could acknowledge that they make you look really freaking cool. But you know that already.

What you may not know is how to keep them in good condition throughout the next few months. Especially when you shell out good money for a quality pair, you want to make sure you treat them right, clean them properly and prevent any long-lasting damage. We spoke with some experts for their guidance on how to take care of your shades.

Raen Wiley polarized sunglasses

Wiley polarized sunglasses, $150 by Raen

Clean Your Lenses

Lenses should ideally be cleaned with a microfiber cloth, says Alain Guglielmino, co-founder and creative director of Pacifico Optical. “Resist the urge to use your shirt, towels or other random fabrics—these can damage the lenses anti-reflective coating and may leave marks or scratches over time.” A lens-safe cleaner spray makes for quick removal of smudges and oils that accumulate on your glasses. But you can also wash your glasses with warm water and a drop of dishwashing liquid. Rub both sides of the lenses and don't forget the nose bridge and the rest of the frames. Rinse and dry using a lint-free cotton towel or a microfiber cloth.

Store Them
In a Case

This tip comes from Steve Arbetman, an airline pilot that takes his eyewear so seriously, he now sells sunglasses built specifically for aviation and driving. He says while it might seem like a chore, a case is the easiest way to prevent them from getting sat on, scratched or overly dusty. “If you don't like carrying a hard case, at least put them in a microfiber pouch,” he says. “That will still protect your glasses and can double as a cleaning cloth.”

Avoid Resting Them
on Your Head

It's a common spot, Guglielmino admits. But repeatedly putting them on top of your head can stretch the acetate nose bridge and weaken your frames. “This also dirties the lenses with oils from your head and hair,” he says. Which only makes more work for you. Instead, place them in your chest pocket or hang them on your collar.

Don’t Leave Them
In the Car

The dashboard is detrimental to sunglasses. So is anywhere where extreme heat can damage your glasses. “That heat can actually cause the lens of your sunglasses to delaminate,” says Arbetman. The coatings on your lenses may actually degrade or your frames could warp in the direct sunlight, amplified by your windshield or windows.

Loose Hinges
Can be Tightened

“Hinges often become loose after a certain amount of use—regularly opening and closing your glasses,” says Guglielmino. “This is pretty normal and happens with all brands.” But it's an easy fix. You can use a small screw driver to simply tighten the hinges. If you have trouble doing so, take them to a local eyewear shop and they'll no doubt help you out—likely for free.

Be Careful
at the Beach

Of course, you'll be wearing your shades at the beach. But try not to drop your glasses in the sand. If you take them off, keep them on a towel or in your case. “The sand finds its way into small places and can scratch the lens coatings,” warns Guglielmino. The same goes for the ocean. Salt water can seriously damage your polarized lenses, deteriorate frames and rust the steel inside the glasses. So make sure to give them a quick cleaning and dry them off after getting them wet.

Avoid Fog

Whether from extreme air conditioning or wearing a face mask, foggy glasses can range from a mild annoyance to a vision-clouding hazard. Warby Parker’s Lens Spray works wonders to keep your lenses clean and fog-free. In a pinch, you can buff your own saliva into the lenses (like a scuba diver’s goggles).

$20 by Warby Parker