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You hear: “Recruit, Camo off, now!”, followed by your platoonmates wiping the camo paint off their faces. You see some using their hands, some their sleeves. And then you’ve got those with spectacles and struggling to take off their glasses, wipe their face, and put their glasses back on – only to squint at their sergeant, through an even dirtier pair of lens than before.

Of course, you’re inclined to clean your spectacles with your sleeves as well, right? Well, you shouldn’t. Generally, using your shirttail is a bad idea when wiping your lenses, as the residue it leaves behind may affect the clarity of the lends. What more your No.4? A combination of dried mud and sweat – a spectacle lens’ worst nightmare – would leave scratches and unhygienic bacteria on your glasses. And before you even consider it, the answer is no, don’t spit on them.

In this scenario, a small packet of wet wipes or bottle of hand sanitiser could be a lifesaver. As long as they do not tear easily and leave tons of residue, wet wipes would come in handy to cleaning your dirty glasses. Alternatively, a small bottle of hand sanitiser works well, too! Although not the best option, hand sanitiser’s bacteria-cleaning properties help maintain lens hygiene and work in the short term.

What if the situation is worse than expected?  What would a survivalist like Bear Grylls do? Although not entirely the best option, some outdoor backpackers recommend wiping your muddy frames gently with a damp leaf. For your lenses, the best option is to find a stream of water and carefully use your fingers to wipe them in a clockwise motion.

Although we stress that it is crucial to always bring along your spectacle case and lens cloth at the very least, we understand that given the fast pace of outfield training, you probably forgot to pack your glass cleaning solution or your cleaning cloth.  For most pre-enlistees, we recommend COOSH, specially designed for National Service. Interested? Find out more here!