How to Get Hairspray Off Glasses

Are you frustrated with the constant buildup of hairspray on your eyeglasses? It’s a common issue faced by many individuals who rely on hairspray to keep their hairstyles in place. The sticky residue can be unsightly and can even impair your vision, making it essential to remove it regularly. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore various effective methods to rid your glasses of hairspray and keep them crystal clear.

Get Hairspray Off Glasses

The Challenge of Hairspray Buildup

Hairspray is designed to create a long-lasting hold and provide a sleek, polished look to your hair. However, the downside is that the aerosol particles can easily settle on nearby surfaces, including your eyeglasses. Over time, this buildup can become challenging to remove, especially if left unattended for an extended period.

The key ingredient in most hairsprays is a polymer called polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), which is responsible for the product’s adhesive properties. This polymer can bond tightly to the surface of your lenses, making it difficult to remove with just water or a regular glass cleaner.

The Impacts of Hairspray Buildup on Glasses

  1. Reduced Visual Clarity: The residue can create a hazy or cloudy appearance on the lenses, impairing your vision and making it difficult to see clearly.
  2. Unsightly Appearance: The buildup can make your glasses look dirty and unkempt, which can be embarrassing in social or professional settings.
  3. Potential Damage to Lenses and Frames: If left unchecked, the buildup can lead to scratches or even etching on the surface of your lenses and frames, compromising their integrity and potentially requiring costly replacements.

Method 1: Warm Water and Dish Soap

One of the simplest and most effective methods for removing hairspray residue from glasses is using warm water and dish soap. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Fill a small bowl or sink with warm water and add a few drops of mild dish soap.
  2. Gently submerge your glasses in the soapy water and let them soak for a few minutes. This will help to loosen the hairspray buildup.
  3. Using a soft, lint-free cloth or your fingers, gently rub the lenses and frames to remove the residue.
  4. Rinse the glasses thoroughly under warm running water to remove any remaining soap residue.
  5. Dry the lenses and frames with a clean, soft cloth or a microfiber cloth specifically designed for cleaning glasses.

The combination of warm water and dish soap can effectively break down the polymer bonds, making it easier to wipe away the hairspray residue without leaving any streaks or scratches on your lenses.

Pro Tip: For stubborn buildup, you can let your glasses soak in the soapy water for an extended period, up to 30 minutes, before scrubbing gently with a soft-bristled brush or cloth.

Method 2: Vinegar Solution

Vinegar is another household staple that can work wonders in removing hairspray buildup from glasses. Its acidic nature helps to dissolve the stubborn residue, leaving your lenses crystal clear. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a small bowl or container.
  2. Dip a clean, soft cloth into the vinegar solution and wring out any excess liquid.
  3. Gently wipe the lenses and frames of your glasses with the damp cloth, paying extra attention to areas with heavy buildup.
  4. Rinse the glasses thoroughly under warm running water to remove any remaining vinegar solution.
  5. Dry the lenses and frames with a clean, soft cloth or a microfiber cloth.

Vinegar is a natural and effective cleaner that can help break down the hairspray residue without damaging your glasses. However, it’s important to avoid using undiluted vinegar, as it may be too harsh and potentially damage your lenses or frames.

Note: Some people may find the vinegar smell unpleasant. If this is the case for you, consider adding a few drops of essential oils, such as lemon or lavender, to the vinegar solution to mask the odor.

Method 3: Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda is another versatile household ingredient that can be used to remove hairspray buildup from glasses. Its gentle abrasive properties make it an effective yet gentle cleaning agent. Here’s how to use it:

  1. In a small bowl, mix a few teaspoons of baking soda with just enough water to form a thick paste.
  2. Using a soft, damp cloth, apply the baking soda paste to the lenses and frames of your glasses.
  3. Gently rub the paste over the affected areas, paying extra attention to areas with heavy buildup.
  4. Rinse the glasses thoroughly under warm running water to remove any remaining baking soda paste.
  5. Dry the lenses and frames with a clean, soft cloth or a microfiber cloth.

The mildly abrasive nature of the baking soda paste helps to dislodge and lift the hairspray residue from the surface of your glasses without causing any scratches or damage.

Tip: For extra cleaning power, you can mix baking soda with a small amount of vinegar to create a fizzy solution before applying it to your glasses.

Method 4: Alcohol-Based Glass Cleaner

If the above methods don’t completely remove the stubborn hairspray residue, you can consider using an alcohol-based glass cleaner. These cleaners are specifically designed to cut through grease and grime, making them effective for removing hairspray buildup as well. Here’s how to use them:

  1. Choose a high-quality glass cleaner that contains isopropyl alcohol or denatured alcohol as an active ingredient. Product Link
  2. Spray or apply a small amount of the glass cleaner directly onto the lenses and frames of your glasses.
  3. Using a clean, soft cloth, gently wipe the glasses in a circular motion, paying extra attention to areas with heavy buildup.
  4. If necessary, repeat the process until all hairspray residue is removed.
  5. Dry the lenses and frames with a clean, soft cloth or a microfiber cloth.

Alcohol-based glass cleaners can effectively dissolve the hairspray polymers, making it easier to wipe away the residue. However, it’s important to use these cleaners sparingly and to avoid getting them in your eyes or on your skin, as they can be irritating.

Warning: Some alcohol-based cleaners may contain ammonia, which can potentially damage certain types of lenses or coatings. Always check the product label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Prevention is Key: Tips to Minimize Hairspray Buildup

While the above methods can help you effectively remove hairspray residue from your glasses, it’s always better to prevent the buildup in the first place. Here are some tips to minimize the accumulation of hairspray on your eyeglasses:

  1. Remove your glasses before applying hairspray: This simple step can significantly reduce the amount of hairspray that settles on your lenses and frames.
  2. Use hairspray sparingly: Apply only the amount of hairspray necessary to achieve your desired hairstyle. Excessive use can lead to more residue buildup.
  3. Hold the hairspray can at a distance: Spraying too close to your head can increase the chances of the hairspray particles settling on your glasses.
  4. Consider using a hairspray shield: These protective shields are designed to cover your glasses while applying hairspray, preventing buildup on the lenses. Product Link
  5. Clean your glasses regularly: Even with preventive measures, some buildup may still occur. Make it a habit to clean your glasses regularly using the methods outlined above to prevent excessive accumulation.

By incorporating these preventive measures into your routine, you can significantly reduce the amount of hairspray buildup on your glasses, making it easier to maintain their clarity and extend their lifespan.

Additional Tips and Considerations

  • Avoid abrasive materials: Never use paper towels, tissues, or rough cloths to clean your glasses, as they can scratch the lenses and potentially cause permanent damage.
  • Check for coatings: If your glasses have anti-reflective or other specialty coatings, consult with your optician or the manufacturer for their recommended cleaning methods to avoid damaging the coatings.
  • Handle frames carefully: When cleaning your glasses, be gentle with the frames, especially if they are made of delicate materials like plastic or metal alloys, as excessive pressure or twisting can cause them to warp or break.
  • Consider professional cleaning: If you’re having trouble removing stubborn hairspray buildup or if you’re concerned about damaging your glasses, consider taking them to a professional optician for a thorough cleaning and inspection.


In conclusion, dealing with hairspray residue on glasses can be a frustrating challenge, but it’s definitely manageable with the right techniques. Whether you choose to use warm water and dish soap, vinegar solution, baking soda paste, or alcohol-based glass cleaner, these methods can help you effectively remove the stubborn buildup and restore the clarity of your lenses. Remember, prevention is key, so consider incorporating the tips mentioned above to minimize the accumulation of hairspray on your glasses in the first place.

By following these guidelines and maintaining a regular cleaning routine, you can keep your glasses looking their best and enjoy clear, unobstructed vision at all times.

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As the founder of Clean It Spotless, I am Melissa Walker, a leading expert in removing tough stains from fabrics, carpets, and upholstery. With over 10 years of experience in the cleaning industry, I have developed my own natural, non-toxic stain-fighting formulas that lift stains while preserving the integrity of the underlying material. My stain removal tutorials are widely read online, and I have appeared on local TV segments demonstrating my techniques. I also present popular stain removal workshops at community centers and schools.

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