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Cleaning Bug Guts from Sunglasses on the Road

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Cleaning Bug Guts from Sunglasses on the Road

Old 04-25-15, 10:29 PM
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justinzane
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Cleaning Bug Guts from Sunglasses on the Road

As the recent "Anyone ever had a bee..." thread shows, interactions with arthropods while zipping down the road can vary from mildly annoying to very unpleasant. One annoyance that I've yet to find a solution to is removing bug splatter from one's sunglasses without the luxury of windex or soap and water. The little microfiber cloths or one's shirt tails tend to just exacerbate the mess and gatorade enhances the stickiness of everything it touches.

Any ideas besides living with it until you get to the end of the ride?
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Old 04-26-15, 04:17 AM
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You could carry some of these in a zip lock
https://couponcravings.com/wp-content...lass-wipes.jpg
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Old 04-26-15, 06:13 AM
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Spit and a shirt for the worst cases. Sometimes you gotta let them dry and little and use your fingernails to scratch it off first....
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Old 04-26-15, 06:16 AM
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Your best bet would probably be just carrying around some individually wrapped lens wipes in your jersey pockets. They don't take up much room.
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Old 04-26-15, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldhead View Post
You could carry some of these in a zip lock
https://couponcravings.com/wp-content...lass-wipes.jpg
Originally Posted by lkngro View Post
Your best bet would probably be just carrying around some individually wrapped lens wipes in your jersey pockets. They don't take up much room.
That's two votes for glasses wipes. Thanks, y'all. I'm too much of a cheap-ass-bastard to have even though about a specialty glass cleaning product, but in this instance it makes perfect sense!
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Old 04-26-15, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
Spit and a shirt for the worst cases. Sometimes you gotta let them dry and little and use your fingernails to scratch it off first....
Perhaps I'm just a clumsy bastard (well, I know I'm a clumsy bastard), but I've scratched one too many pairs of polycarbonate lenses trying to rub crap off and am now excessively careful. If only I could find full coverage shades with actual glass lenses. (Oops, my old-fart side is showing... )
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Old 04-26-15, 06:23 PM
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Bug guts are proteins and fats and neither of these are water soluble. A moderately strong base like Windex works good. Oakley sells a hydrophobic spray that will help it clean off lenses easier.
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Old 04-26-15, 08:38 PM
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Lens cleaner tissues.
https://www.amazon.com/Zeiss-Pre-Mois...s=lens+cleaner

You can easily toss 1-2 in a saddle bag. The also work for cleaning your hands if you get drivetrain gunk on them.
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Old 04-26-15, 11:31 PM
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Last week, I just wiped mine with the leather palm of my cycling glove till I got home. It got the worst of it off.

For long rides (if I remember) I usually have a tiny little bottle of lens cleaner and a wipe in a ziploc bag. Hey, I'm fussy about my eyewear, what can I say.
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Old 04-27-15, 06:23 AM
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In a pinch, I will use my tongue. Be warned though, it can cause streaking. And not every bug has a pleasant taste.

Or if I have more time and I feel like stopping, a strong squirt from the water bottle followed by a jersey wipe might do the trick.
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Old 04-27-15, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Jiggle View Post
Bug guts are proteins and fats and neither of these are water soluble. A moderately strong base like Windex works good. Oakley sells a hydrophobic spray that will help it clean off lenses easier.
I've been wary of sprays because I don't want to damage the lenses. But, I'm guessing that since Oakleys cost more than my Tifosis, there should not be a problem there. Have you used it yourself? Does it also help with sweat-salt deposits?
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Old 04-27-15, 09:20 PM
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I haven't used the hydrophobic on a bicycle ride. I have a pair of wires that I wear at the river or beach and the water just doesn't stick to them. It's quite nice.
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Old 04-28-15, 06:10 AM
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For as many bugs that we have in FL, this is rarely a problem on my rides. Even in the late afternoon/evening rides when you'll see more bugs on the wing, I rarely get one plastered on the lense. We are just coming into love bug season and went through a few bigger cluster, but didn't have the volume that would result in getting the sunglasses coated. If I did get bug guts on the glasses I would first rinse with the water bottle, then gently rub with a finger to remove, followed by more water. If that only smeared it further I'd use the jersey and gently rub and rinse. Never has been an issue with me. Sweat is more of a problem, but nothing a quick rinse with water can't solve.
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Old 04-28-15, 07:05 AM
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Remove glasses, spit on lenses, wipe with jersey while riding.
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Old 04-28-15, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by justinzane View Post
I've been wary of sprays because I don't want to damage the lenses. But, I'm guessing that since Oakleys cost more than my Tifosis, there should not be a problem there. Have you used it yourself? Does it also help with sweat-salt deposits?
the Oakley spray cleaner will not harm your lenses, but Windex and other glass cleaners will. Oakley will also refill the spray bottle for free at any O-Store or Vault.
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Old 04-28-15, 09:29 AM
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Go to an auto parts store and buy a chamois. Cut a 6" square from it. Squirt some dish washing liquid on that, put it under running water and squeeze the soap through it for a while. Let dry. Put in jersey pocket or top tube bag. This will take anything off your glasses without scratching or leaving a film residue, which latter is the problem with every other method on the road. I've been doing this for ~15 years with excellent results.
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Old 04-28-15, 09:47 AM
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cvs sells a white box of individually wrapped hand sanitizer towelettes. that stuff works great on bug guts and even tree sap

CVS Instant Hand Sanitizing Wipes - CVS.com
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Old 04-28-15, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
cvs sells a white box of individually wrapped hand sanitizer towelettes. that stuff works great on bug guts and even tree sap

CVS Instant Hand Sanitizing Wipes - CVS.com
Bad idea for Oakley lenses
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Old 04-28-15, 10:34 AM
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Wow. Y'all go fast enough to splatter the bugs? They usually just crawl off of mine and pass me.
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Old 04-28-15, 02:11 PM
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You have to be super careful what solvents you use on coatings.

Here's an experiment to try on a non-glare coating: If you have an LCD TV clean it with Windex sometime. Then go buy another TV to replace it.
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Old 04-28-15, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by kc0bbq View Post
You have to be super careful what solvents you use on coatings.

Here's an experiment to try on a non-glare coating: If you have an LCD TV clean it with Windex sometime. Then go buy another TV to replace it.
this is so true. Windex will destroy lens coatings, and hand sanitizer is another No-No.

One kid used Bausch&Lomb lens cleaner on his new M-Frames, and it striped most of the Iridium coating right off the lens.

Be very careful how you clean any polycarbonate lens. Lenses can be shatterproof, but it's at a cost of being scratch proof.
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Old 04-30-15, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Go to an auto parts store and buy a chamois. Cut a 6" square from it. Squirt some dish washing liquid on that, put it under running water and squeeze the soap through it for a while. Let dry. Put in jersey pocket or top tube bag. This will take anything off your glasses without scratching or leaving a film residue, which latter is the problem with every other method on the road. I've been doing this for ~15 years with excellent results.
I've been keeping a well cleaned (like you suggest, but using DI water for the final rinse, since our well water and old iron pipes have enough dissolved salts to crystallize out at only about 50% evaporation) microfiber glasses cloth in my saddle bag. Works wonders for most ****; bugs got challenging. 'course that may be that I tend to keep riding for however many miles until I reach a planned stop. Letting the arthropod proteins coagulate and dry in the asphalt heated air is probably not ideal from a cleaning POV.
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Old 04-30-15, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by BoSoxYacht View Post
this is so true. Windex will destroy lens coatings, and hand sanitizer is another No-No. One kid used Bausch&Lomb lens cleaner on his new M-Frames, and it striped most of the Iridium coating right off the lens. Be very careful how you clean any polycarbonate lens. Lenses can be shatterproof, but it's at a cost of being scratch proof.
That is one of the things I like about my ("Lite-Nite" Tifosi Fototec Lenses)[https://www.tifosioptics.com/technology/fototec/]. They have the photochromic molecules embedded in the lens polymer and have no fragile coatings. I've had several pairs of better shades with coatings that needed to be treated like I treat my Nikon camera lenses. While great for driving, etc. I hated having to baby something while on a bike, backpacking in the middle of nowhere, etc.

For my "dress" sunglasses and my camera lenses at home I use analytical grade methanol and lens paper. That's worked on everything without damage for years. 'Course it probably is not good for non-glass lenses or frames with rubber bits. Perfect for just about any optically coated glass.
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