Getting something in your eyes can be incredibly painful and even dangerous. Dirt, dust, and pollutants from the air can cause serious irritation and even scratches on the surface. So it’s important that you act fast, be careful, and know exactly what to do if something gets caught in your eyes. Here are some tips to follow to clean your eyes properly.

Household Chemicals

If you accidentally splash chemicals into your eyes when doing the laundry, getting ready to fertilize the lawn, or cleaning the pool, you should immediately rinse your eyes thoroughly with cool water in the sink, with a medicine cup, or eye dropper. If you happen to wear contact lenses, take them out while rinsing your eyes. Even if it stings, you should continue to flush your eyes with water for approximately 15 minutes and then proceed to call poison control on the back of the container. The operator will be able to tell you what your next steps should be and whether or not you will need to head to the emergency room for proper care. If you do need to visit the ER make sure you have someone else drive you, and make sure you know what it is that splashed into your eyes.


Pus and mucus from a blocked teardrop, cold, pinkeye, or allergies can dry into a very uncomfortable film. To remove it properly, start by breaking it up and then applying a warm, moist washcloth to your closed eye. Wait a few minutes until the remaining film loosens and washes off. Then use a dry cloth or cotton ball to gently dab (never rub) underneath the eye until clean. Use two separate swabs if you have pinkeye, so you don’t transfer the infection to the other eye.

Dirt, Dust, Pollutants, and Debris

It’s not uncommon to get particles in your eye when outside. This can cause some serious eye irritation and sometimes even pain. The proper way to clean your eyes in this situation is first to let your tears remove any objects. Then rinse your eyes with cool or warm water from a nearby sink or fountain for a few minutes to remove the irritant. If this doesn’t work, you can try using eye drops if you have these on hand. If something substantial is stuck or you have trouble with opening the eye, you should proceed to the emergency room. Otherwise, use a washcloth or cotton ball to remove it from the corner of your eye gently.

The best protection is always prevention. You should always be mindful of protecting your eyes, especially when using any chemicals or heading out on a windy day. At Laurier Optical, we have a wide range of frames and sunglasses that you can wear both inside and out to give your eyes the best protection. Come by today!