this thing's incredible

I Can Actually See Clearly Now Thanks to This Optometrist-Approved Glasses-Cleaning Spray

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist

I have been bespectacled for almost as long as I can remember. I haven’t gone lens-less since my first optometrist gently assured me that, no, words don’t “dance” (that was the untreated astigmatism talking). Frames soon became a feature of my face, just as my nose or brows are; I don’t even know what I really look like without them.

So they see a lot. Smudge after smudge, spatter after spatter. I want to see everything through rose-colored glasses, but there’s usually something in my way, be it flecks from mascara, rogue sweat drops, or a lonely tear. This doesn’t account for occasional accidents — Gorilla Glue somehow leaped onto my last Prada pair.

It’s hard to get crystal-clear lenses. The popular, much-recommended water-and-dish-soap cleaning solution can produce a hard-to-wipe streakiness. The same thing happens with most of the glasses-cleaning sprays given out with a branded cleaning cloth whenever you take home a freshly fitted pair. Only a rigorous buffing will remove the iridescence they often leave behind.

It was my latest optometrist who finally introduced me to a glasses-cleaning spray that actually works. He must have noticed the accumulated grime on my old lenses because he handed me two bottles of Clear View. The lavender liquid immediately reminded me of Fabuloso or Windex (the ammonia-free kind). The spray is branded as “anti-static, anti-streak, and safe on AR coatings.” (AR stands for anti-reflective, which is notoriously difficult to clean completely.)

One spritz on each lens is all it takes. The cleaner cuts through everything, from forehead grease to olive oil splatters, to give me crystalline lenses without the streakiness of other sprays. The world looks instantly sharper, as if I upgraded from standard definition to HD.

And then there’s the “anti-static” guarantee, which means Clear View is dust resistant. Before, my glasses would end up covered in the dust I didn’t realize was collecting on my microfiber cloths. I would blow these bits off like I was wishing on a dandelion, and it sometimes took extra rounds of rubbing the lenses to get the most stubborn lint. Clear View eliminates that problem even when the bottom of my shirt is the only “cleaning cloth” I have available.

Since there isn’t an ingredients list printed on the bottle, the source of Clear View’s magical cleaning powers is a bit of a mystery. (I tried to look for it online but no dice.) However, I did discover that many glasses-cleaning sprays are marketed as alcohol-free — including this Shield solution favored by costume designer Alison Freer, for example. My Clear View bottle says it contains alcohol, and an Amazon listing for a gallon-size jug of the spray specifies that it contains 10 percent isopropyl alcohol (a primary ingredient in hand sanitizer). You do have to be careful with alcohol when it comes to cleaning glasses (as it can damage certain coatings), but my optometrist did okay it for my AR-coated Guccis after all. No lens scratches to report.

And the results are undeniable. I used to wait until my lenses looked like little petri dishes in the middle of a possible scientific discovery to take on the chore of cleaning them. I never let them get that bad anymore. I take a bottle of Clear View wherever I go — it’s there whenever I need to clear a fingerprint-covered corner, and I now have the 20/20 vision my glasses are supposed to offer.

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I Can Actually See Clearly Now Thanks to This Glasses Spray