- Scratches on your prescription glasses lens can make it difficult to see clearly, causing eye strain, headaches, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
- Different lens types, such as glass, polycarbonate, or Trivex lenses have different levels of scratch resistance.
- A variety of DIY solutions exist for minor scratches to your lenses, though you must take care to avoid further damaging your lenses.
- Proper eyeglass care prevents the need for scratch repair or lens replacement.
- Don’t try to fix scratched glasses lenses without the proper preparation and technique.
6 Ways to Get Scratches Out of Your Glasses at Home
Fortunately, it’s possible to remove minor scratches from your glasses at home. Use these at-home methods at your own risk to fix scratched lenses.
1. Use dish soap
Ensure your dish soap does not contain any moisturizers. With water, apply a small amount of dish soap to a microfiber cloth. Gently wipe the scratched lenses in small circles to buff out any imperfections.3
2. Combine baking soda with water
Baking soda with water is one of the most common ways to fix scratched glasses.
Combine baking soda with water in a mixing bowl. Dip a soft cotton cloth or cotton ball in the thick paste. Gently move the soft cloth or ball in small circles over the scratch.5
3. Wax your lenses
You can use wax to fill in a scratch on your glasses. However, remember that while wax can fill a scratch, it may not remove it. Instead, the wax might make seeing out of your eyewear more difficult.5
4. Apply sunscreen to the scratch
Sunscreen can remove scratches in glasses with a mirror coating. Rub sunscreen into the lens using circular motions after cleaning your lenses with a clean microfiber cloth.
Note that sunscreen will also remove the mirror coating.5
5. Apply toothpaste to your glasses
Put a dollop of non-abrasive, non-gel-based toothpaste on the scratched lens. Gently rub it in circular motions with a clean microfiber cloth for a few seconds to see if the scratch vanishes.
Be careful in selecting a toothpaste to wipe away a scratch from your glasses. Grainy toothpastes and toothpastes with ingredients like fluorides and detergents can further damage your lenses. The paste can be abrasive on your lenses. 6
6. Glass Etching Products
Glass etching cream, such as Armor Etch, is a lesser-known repair method for scratched polycarbonate lenses with a UV or anti-glare coating.
Pour a gumdrop-sized dollop of glass etching cream on the damaged lens. Then, rub it in a circle with your fingers, avoiding the frames. After a couple of minutes, rinse the glasses with warm water and dry them with a clean microfiber cloth.
When is a Professional Repair Necessary?
It is not always possible to remove scratches from glasses at home. In some cases, you will need a professional repair job.
While a small scratch may not seem like a big deal, it can cause eye strain, discomfort, and even headaches. It’s essential to have your glasses repaired as soon as possible.
An optician can remove scratches from your glasses with professional tools. However, you will likely need to replace your lens if the scratches are too deep.
Tips for Keeping Your Lenses in Good Shape
Scratching your lenses can be uncomfortable and costly. Here are some tips for keeping your lenses clean and clear:
- Always keep your glasses in their case when you’re not wearing them. A hard case is best. It can protect the lenses from being scratched in your bags, drawers, and desktops where you might leave them.
- Don’t leave your glasses in the car or direct sunlight. Heat can damage the protective layer of your lenses, leaving them more susceptible to scratches and cracks.
- Only clean your glasses with optician-approved lens sprays or light dish soaps. Other cleaners can strip your lenses of their protective layers.
- Do not wipe your glasses clean with your clothes. Instead, use a microfiber cloth. Certain fabrics might seem soft but are still abrasive on lenses.3
- Wear contact lenses or sport-specific glasses. Consider contact lenses and sports glasses when doing activities that can cause damage to your everyday prescription glasses.2
- Purchase glasses with a scratch-resistant coating. While no glasses lenses are 100% scratch-proof, a scratch-resistant lens coating can make them more durable and scratch-resistant.
What to Avoid When Cleaning Your Glasses
Avoid the following cleaning practices to protect and preserve your eyewear:
- Don’t wipe your lenses with your shirt or clothing. These fabrics are not designed for delicate eyeglass lenses and can scratch them.
- Don’t use acetone, alcohol, or household glass cleaner to clean your lenses. Unsuited cleaning products can damage lens coatings.
- Don’t use your saliva to clean lenses.
- Don’t use disposable paper towels, tissue paper, toilet paper, or napkins to wipe your lenses. These products can scratch lenses.
- Don’t use fabric softener or dryer sheets when you wash and dry your microfiber cloths. The residue they leave on fabric can damage lenses.
How to Make DIY Eyeglass Cleaner
DIY eyeglass cleaner is the safest option for getting scratches out of glasses. Here’s how to make some at home.
- Rubbing alcohol
- Dish soap
- A spritzer bottle
Create a mixture of three parts rubbing alcohol and one part water. Add one to two drops of dish soap to the mixture.
Thoroughly combine the ingredients and pour the solution into a spray bottle. Use a funnel to prevent spills.
Spritz the solution onto a clean microfiber cloth and wipe the scratched lens in small circles. This solution will also help clean your glasses.
Different Lens Types
The material you choose for your lenses can determine various factors, such as comfort, weight, and impact and scratch resistance.
Glass lenses, dating back to the 13th century, are optically more transparent and scratch-resistant than polycarbonate lenses. However, glass lenses do not have impact resistance. If you drop your lenses, they will likely shatter.
Glass lenses are heavier than polycarbonate lenses and can prove uncomfortable if worn for long periods.
Today, most eyeglasses are made with polycarbonate lenses. These plastic lenses are lighter and more impact-resistant than glass lenses. You can add coatings and treatments to polycarbonate lenses, including anti-reflecting and blue-filtering coatings.
Polycarbonate lenses are easily scratched from incorrect maintenance and day-to-day wear.
The military initially used Trivex for helicopter windshields and fighter jet canopies. Trivex lenses rival polycarbonate in weight, durability, and UV protection but provide crisper visual clarity.
Due to their unique molecular structure, Trivex lenses are more scratch-resistant than glass and polycarbonate lenses, making them more durable and long-lasting.
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