With the majority of welding helmet lenses being cheap, especially the plastic ones, why would someone want to take the time to clean them? They might be cheap but, after a while, all those dirty lenses and filters can add up to a lot of money you threw in the trash. Cleaning them will extend their life so you can use them even longer and save money. Plus, most lenses are extremely easy to clean and it should only take a few minutes of your time.
How To Clean A Welding Helmet Lens?
PRECAUTIONS YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF
There are some things you should be aware of before you clean your welding helmet lens.
- As most welders are aware of, welding helmet lenses can sometimes be extremely easy to scratch. So make sure that if you’re handling the lens, to try and hold it from the sides. That way, you don’t just make things harder on yourself.
- If you ever use a microfiber towel, make sure it is thin and not thick. The thicker ones will most likely scratch the lens more. Something I learned from experience.
- Be careful cleaning a lens that is coated with something since even minor scratches can remove the coating.
If the method below doesn’t help, check out the videos at the end of the article. They might be able to help you better.
STEP 1: REMOVE THE LENS IF POSSIBLE.
Remember when removing and handling the lens to hold it from the sides, so you don’t scratch it.
STEP 2: REMOVE THE ABRASIVE DUST AND MATERIALS OFF BEFORE ANY WIPING.
You need to avoid merely wiping the abrasive dust off the lens. Wiping it off will probably cause you to scratch the lens while also not even really cleaning it.
There are a couple of ways to remove the abrasive materials without wiping it off. The most common way welders do this is by running the lens under hot water. Before you do this, you need to place a couple of drops of detergent on the lens to help lift the abrasive materials off. I found it easier to fill a spray bottle with hand soap and water to spray the lens.
After that, all you will need to do is flush the helmet under some water. I typically overdid it with the water and would run it very hot.
Another common way for welders to clean their lens is to blow the abrasive materials off with compressed air. Using compressed air is extremely useful if you’re cleaning the lens directly on an auto-darkening helmet since using water might cause damage to the electronics.
If you can find them, there are also a lot of products that welders can buy that would help lift the abrasive dust off the lens to help you clean it. However, in all my years of welding, most products that I’ve tried worked just about the same as flushing the lens with hot water. If you know of any products that work great let us know in the comments!
STEP 3: JUST DRY!
Now all you need to do is dry! I found thin microfiber towels or those lens cloths for eyeglasses to work best. They typically won’t scratch the lens like a paper towel or thicker material would. It also helps to blot dry it, if you’re still worried about scratching it more. If the lens is still a little dirty, I would just wet the microfiber cloth and give it a gentle wipe.
CAN YOU CLEAN A GOLD WELDING HELMET LENS?
I usually don’t use the gold welding helmet lenses, but this is something I get asked quite often. Gold welding helmet lenses have a thin coating of film that mainly reflects unwanted UV lights, and scratching the lens can remove that coating. When the film gets removed, those dangerous UV lights can easily get through those scratches, even small ones. If those UV lights get through, they can burn your eyes and increase eye fatigue.
As you can tell, you might be better off just replacing the lens. However, you can clean the gold lens if you need to. If you do clean it, be more cautious than you would with a clear lens. You should also be careful using any products on it as they might remove the coating on the gold lens.
OTHER METHODS & VIDEO GUIDES
I’ve gathered some beneficial youtube videos below that show some other ways to clean welding helmet lenses if you still need help.
Let me know in the comments if you have a different way to clean welding helmet lenses or if you have any questions that I didn’t answer! And if you’re in the market for a new welding helmet, check out our best welding helmets guide to make your search easier.