|MadSci Network: Chemistry|
Ken, You're right, oil and water don't mix. And you're right, it is easier to clean glasses when they're moist. Everything on your glasses isn't pure oil, though. If it were, water wouldn't do much good. What is doing good is the physical act of rubbing the oily stuff off. If you try cleaning your glasses dry with a lint-free cloth, it will work wonderfully. If what you're wiping them with is dirty, your glasses won't get very clean. Many other things on your glasses aren't pure oil, though. That's why water, a wonderful solvent, helps clean them off. Also, if you're wiping them with a paper towel, Kleenex, or other paper based product, getting the glasses wet will decrease the scratches you will inevitably get on them. So, water is a good thing. It helps to clean your glasses. But do you wash windows with water? Soap works very well on glass windows, and an eyeglass cleaning solution with a detergent is the best thing for cleaning glasses. A soap (mild dishwashing soap works well) and a lint-free cotton cloth will give your glasses the best cleaning they've ever had, lifting off oil and water based junk easily. This also has the advantage of being less likely to corrode the anti-scratch coating that almost all glasses have. Tom
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Chemistry.