Scratched eyeglasses are a real nuisance and make it hard to wear the glasses you need. Repairing the scratch will help you see better and your glasses will look nicer also. This is a guide about repairing scratched eyeglasses.
My glasses (polycarbonate lenses with anti-glare coating, no other coatings) were ruined when I got brake cleaner on them. They looked like they had tiny scratches and dots all over the lenses (like shiny spiderwebs), to the point that I couldn't drive at night with them.
I found out about Armour Etch, printed out a 50% off coupon, and went to Michaels craft store for a 3oz bottle - $6.50 total. After removing the lenses from the frame, I put a nice thick layer on both sides of each lens, just gently dab with a Q-tip. The goo is abrasive so don't rub and scratch your lenses.
It took 2 times at 5 minutes each. I don't see why you couldn't leave it on for an hour or more. After washing them off, they are like new, other than a couple deep scratches. This will not magically get rid of deep scratches. It only gets rid of the scratched/crazed coating on the surface.
If your eye glasses get scratched, take them back to the place where you got them and have them buff the scratch out. Why spend money on something that you really don't know will work. Worse you might ruin an expensive pair of glasses. Chances are your shop will not charge you or if they do it won't be much.
By Lilac from Springfield, MA
By Rachael G. 1
My cat got to my glasses since I left them out of the case (the one time) and I have only had my glasses for barely a month. I am a bit annoyed because I can actually notice the scratches and it's just bothersome. (I have learned my lesson, do not leave glasses out of glasses case before going to bed, I know now). I have read a few posts on the internet:
"Lenses that have a protective or non-glare coating cannot always be buffed enough to remove the scratches without also removing the coating."
"Some scratches may reside in the lens coating, not on the lens; these cannot be buffed out."
"Buffing with anything abrasive means removing material surrounding the scratch(es) to level the surface. This can change the shape of a lens, making it less effective."
I really love these glasses (they are from Walmart) and the thing is, we don't have the kind of money to go buy another pair and besides, that would be a waste of money anyway. So should I just deal with the scratches or is there a way to get rid of them without having any of the above happen? Advice is very much appreciated and thank you for reading, sorry for this being so long.
By Rachael G.
May 27, 2011
I'm not familiar with Wal-Mart optical shops (don't have them in my state), but since it has been only a month, I suggest you call them and check about what kind of warranty/replacement policy they have. Before I became a mommy I worked for an optometrist for about 8 or 9 years, and I wouldn't recommend trying to buff out the scratches. Removing lens material with alter the Rx. I've heard some people criticize saying that it's such a small amount it won't make any difference. But I think it depends on the individual patient's tolerance. Some people are very visually acute and will notice or feel the difference. Many optical shops offer a warranty. Did you get an AR (anti-reflective) coating? Many times lenses with an AR coating come with a one time/one year scratch warranty. And even if there isn't a warranty, perhaps if you explain they can offer you a discount on replacement lenses. I hope it all works out for you!
May 28, 2011
My husband scratched his new glasses so he talked to his eye doctor. They told him to clean them with nail polish remover and it worked!! Hope this helps!
I spilled super glue on the lens and tried to clean with warm water and soap using a sponge. This made it worse. Can I remove this scratch easily?
Has anyone ever used "Scratch Out" (a product to remove scratches from CDs) on plastic lenses?
September 27, 2015
"Scratch Out" hasn't worked for me on anything I've used it on...including Eye Glasses!
By Raydioed 1
I think the use of Armour Etch to remove the antiglare and scratch resistant coatings has been said enough about. Plus it's on YouTube. It worked for me on my PLASTIC prescription glasses with metal frames. It did not hurt frames and will not damage plastic frames either, from what I've seen on YouTube.
But if your glasses or sunglasses are all scratched up and they DON'T have any of that antiglare or scratch coating on them, here is a good way I got rid of all the scratches (not gouges). If they DO have the coatings on them, dont use this!
Buy a buy a little jar of MOTHER's MAG and ALUMINUM POLISH from most any hardware. I found mine at AutoZone Auto Parts about $5.00. Sounds scary but believe me, it will get scratches off not only eyewear but radio displays, watches, just about any plastic.
Just wash your glasses with warm soapy water. Make sure they don't have any grit on them to scratch them worse. Use a very soft damp cloth and get some polish on it and rub it on. You might want to stir the polish/paste first if it looks like it needs it. Keep plenty of it on your cloth and just keep rubbing hard for awhile then wipe it off with clean soft cloth.
You may have to repeat this several times until the scratches are gone. And mine were shiny as new and scratch free. I don't post anything that I have not tried myself. Does sound strange that a Mag or Aluminum Polish would work on glasses but it worked great for me and theres lots of other uses for it too.
By Jeff K L. 1
I've read most of the suggestions, but here is what worked for me. I got my polycarbonate lenses with the AR coating at Walmart. As most of the tips suggest, the most likely cause of your scratches are due to scratches in the AR coating. Deciding I could live without the coating, I went whole hog and attacked the problem with gusto!
I have a Dremel tool with a polishing disk. I had some Mcguires cleaner/wax which I assumed had a small amount of abrasive as part of the "cleaner" part of the formula.
I cleaned the lenses with dish soap and water several times and dried them with a clean cotton cloth. Next I rubbed a liberal coat of the wax on the lenses with my clean finger tip. Set the dremel tool to a medium speed and began to buff the lenses with a circular pattern. The scratched area cleaned right up and I could tell it was the AR coating that was the problem. Once the scratches were gone, I just continued to buff the lenses, applying more wax as I went until I could tell all of the coating was gone. Presto, no more scratches and I actually liked the lenses without the coating better!
How do I repair scratches on eyeglasses?
By Kathy from Haleyville, AL
March 17, 2011 Flag
I have only had my progressive glasses for 3 months, but they already have some scratches on the lens. I believe that I scratched them by using a t-shirt to wipe them clean. : ( I do have the non glare coating. I have noticed a big difference with the non glare coating, I really like it. If I use the ideas posted here, will that take all the coating off?
As to the warranty, Binyons offers only 30 days.
A scratch repair product made my lens seemed streaked or like they had lines in them. Is there anyway they might be saved now?
By Nana 3
I am looking looking for info regarding how to remove scratches from eyeglass lenses. I read about it, but do not remember the name of the product. I think it came from Michael's craft store. Any info or help would be greatly appreciated.
I have plastic UV sun glasses. They were very costly ones, so I would like to know about how we can remove the scratches.
By M.G. Karunanidhi
By vtorivix 1
I borrowed my boyfriend's sunglasses, but the tint is coming off. They are the type that look like cop glasses. Is there anything I can do at home to fix the tint? I really need to know. He is getting them back tomorrow and he can't know about the damage.
My glasses lenses are badly scratched. How can I repair them?
By Sandy from FL
By Susan W. 1
How can I remove scratches from my glass eyeglass lenses?
By Susan W.
How do I get those pesky scratches out of my good sunglasses?
Is there a repair for scratched eyeglasses?
By L Blake
Does anyone know how to remove scratches from eyeglass lenses?
Marie from Petersburg, VA
I have found that using the lens cleaner for my CD player works very well (12/03/2005)
By Stacey Liddle
There is a cream for taking scratches out of face masks for kids hockey helmets. Most sport stores handle it. I have used it on my motorcycle windshield and it works great. Maybe this will work on glasses too. (12/20/2005)
By Tom Mann.
Do not use etching creme! That is used to scratch glass to create images. (12/20/2005)
By Paula in GA
My glasses went flying across the parking lot one day (don't ask) and were hopelessly scratched. I went to the eye doctors to get another pair and they fixed them for free! Ask to see if they can be fixed. Looking through scratched lenses is not good for your eyes. (12/20/2005)
I would take the glasses back to an optical shop, you never said if the lenses were glass or most likely plastic, coated or not. some things good for glass is not good for the plastic lens.
P.S. I have heard of using black grease pencil for sunglasses, mark over glass and buff it out with soft cloth. not sure if it would work on regular glasses. (12/20/2005)
Liquid Lense is not worth a darn it just fogs the glasses they are voluntarily giving everyone's money back that bought it. At least we received a letter from them haven't received the refund yet but I did send the remaining bottle back. (12/20/2005)
My hubby put a soft cloth on his electric drill and buffed his glasses, he took the lens out, worked great, getting ready to ask him to do mine. (12/21/2005)
I think this is a job for the pros. Take the glasses to the place where you bought them and they will likely buff out the scratches for free (It's an easy thing to do and creates good will and lasting customers.) (12/21/2005)
put a bit of baby oil on each lens and buff with a soft cloth like a chamois. Works for me. (12/22/2005)
I was just at my eye doctors about my glasses because of scratches on the lens. They told me that it was anti-reflective coating wearing off of them and they cannot fix that. (12/22/2005)
I asked the place where I got my eyeglasses if they could buff out the superficial scratches on my lenses, they said that they do not do that, but to try Pledge furniture polish because it will fill in the scratches. I just used this method not ten minutes ago and low and behold it works! Not all of the scratches disappeared, but the majority of them did! If you have plastic lenses, you may not want to go this route. (01/15/2006)
I live in an isolated/remote area. My glasses are scratched. I have tried all the hints mentioned on this site and nothing worked. Toothpaste made the glass worse. What I did not realize until I read it here was it could be the reflective coating wearing off with the scratches and I am now making it worse. Guess I will be squinting until I make it back into civilization. (01/17/2006)
Wright's Silver Polish worked great on my CDs as per their website; ask them if they've had success on plastic lenses. Microsponges like Mr Clean are great for any type of glass but not on clear and soft plastics!
There is a product for removing anti-reflective coating from eyeglasses. I work in an optical lab and have done this many times.There is some risk but if done properly it works almost all of the time.You might try contacting an optical lab. (04/08/2006)
i just used a dvd/CD repair kit, it worked great. I put a drop of solution on scrape and buffed with soft buffer by hand for a minute, wiped off residue and no more scrape. My transition lenses still work perfectly and they look brand new. Saved me 235$. As I have not seen this method listed anywhere I just wanted to get it out there.
Don't put your glasses in a microwave, and don't polish them with toothpaste or furniture polish. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Take them to an optometrist for an opinion.
Don't bother with Liquid Lense. All it does is cover the scratches with a temporary polymer coating to give the appearance that the scratches are gone. They're not, and the additional coating can muck up your prescription. Anything that sounds too good to be true probably is (don't you think that other more reputable companies would be offering such a product if it actually worked?).
Eye glasses can be made of several different materials:
Trivex, Polycarbonate, High Index, Plastic, Glass
Trivex combines the crisp optics of plastic lenses with the durability, light weight, and impact resistance of polycarbonate lenses making Trivex an excellent choice for three-piece mountings.
Polycarbonate lenses are thinner and lighter than traditional plastic eyeglass lenses. In addition, they are very impact resistant. This durability makes them a good choice for children's glasses, drill mount frames, sports eyewear and safety glasses.
High Index lenses have been created in a variety of new plastic materials that bend light more than the conventional plastic used for eyeglasses. This means less lens material can be used to correct the same amount of refraction.
Plastic lenses are much lighter and less breakable than glass lenses. They are great for prescription sunglasses due to their tintability factor. You an virtually tint a plastic lens to any color.
Glass was the first lens material used to make modern-day eyeglasses. Its earliest use is documented back to the 13th century in Venice, Italy. Glass lenses have excellent optical qualities, but are heavy and uncomfortable to wear.
On top of all of this, different glasses have different coatings made with different materials. All of these coatings have different chemical properties, react differently to different solvents, and have different hardnesses.
Glass, and all of the different plastics (polymers) used in eyeglass lenses have different hardnesses, and are dissolve in different solvents.
Pledge may work fantastically on one polymer, but cause another to melt.
Toothpaste may not contain an abrasive hard enough to scratch glass, but it may absolutely ruin plastic lenses. Also, the abrasive in Toothpaste isn't fine enough to get an optical quality 'buff' on any material, so this method is just ridiculous.
Microwaving your lenses is just idiotic, those polymers all have different melting points, and it would take superheated steam to melt a scratch in a glass lense.
Unless you are a chemist or an engineer, don't try to fix your eyeglasses unless you know EXACTLY what you are doing. (08/23/2006)
I'm actually having pretty good luck with my polycarbonate lenses by using the Rain-X towelettes I bought at Wal-Mart automotive department. After cleaning with the Rain-X, I polish them with a microclothe. The scratches are still visible, but seem to distort the image much less. (10/07/2006)
I found this thread while looking for a way to fix my own lenses. My anti-reflective coating was peeling and spotting terribly. I will never get AR coating again, although it cuts down on glare, it's a magnet for dirt and grease and peels quickly.
On another (optometrists' professional association) thread, I found the suggestion to use glass etching cream (available from arts & crafts stores). This only works on PLASTIC LENSES. DO NOT USE ON GLASS LENSES. Apparently, AR coating, like glass, is silicate based so the glass etching cream eats off the coating but does not damage the plastic lenses because they are polymers, no silicate based.
You brush a thick layer of the cream on each lens, wait 20-30 minutes, and rinse with lukewarm water. Be careful of metal frames and the screws of your glasses, as the cream will damage metal. (My frames are plastic). I just tried this, and it worked great! Hope this helps someone. (12/08/2006)
Do not use toothpaste for several reasons: it makes such small scratches on plastic lenses that they appear foggy, it leaves mineral buildup in the scratches making them more visible. Don't use that lens doctor junk either, it is difficult to apply just right so that it doesn't leave streaks and the bristles of the brush will come off and stick to the coating. It only lasts a day or so or until you try to clean them. It's the worst $10 I ever spent. (12/12/2006)
I read all these suggestions as well as some from another website. I tried Pledge and it helped a little bit. What DID work very well was silver polish! The particular brand that I used was Hagerty silversmith's polish, a bottle I have had sitting on a shelf for years. I don't know if that particular brand is still sold or not. And I don't know if the brand really matters. It worked for me. (12/28/2006)
By Bill Porter
I use a high speed buffing wheel and very mild abrasive. I used a jewelers buffer. The abrasive was designed to remove the gold welding line left when rings are sized by cutting and welding. It cuts metal, gold. It will cut a line in your glasses if you use too much pressure.
At one time I used this method to remove scratches from used-returned electronics items, radios etc.
Use a very light touch and practice on something you do not value or can afford to discard. This method removes a layer of plastic so you must remove an even amount across the lens. It will not remove deep scratches but it will remove clouding caused by using toothpaste and low speeds. (01/03/2007)
Take them to your eye doctor, a lot of things here sound a lot like trying to fix your car with lawn furniture and garden hose. (01/16/2007)
How do you repair scratches on eye glasses? I have scratches in the glass and they are deep. Can I get a home remedy?
I use cigarette ashes.Cover scratch with ashes, rub in good with fingers, for a few minutes. Then wash good water. May need to repeat. I have used this method for years. Cigar ashes do not work. (02/21/2007)
By Jan, Suring, WI
How do you repair scratches on eye glasses? I have scratches in the glass and they are deep. Can I get a home remedy?
John from Fortuna, CA
After reading about the silver-polish fix I went to the shed to see if we had some. I couldn't find any silver-polish, but what I did find was a tin of Brasso brass-polish. I used this on my plastic-lensed clip-on sunglasses, which had a lot of very fine scratches clouding one of the lenses, and it worked a treat! I was very pleased with this as these clip-ons are the only ones I ever found that fit my regular glasses perfectly and they actually look rather good. Of course I cannot say for certain that Brasso would work just as well on all materials, but it sure worked great for me! (03/11/2007)
Don't use the Lens Doctor product, now called Swipes Lens CPR. It will ruin what's left of your lenses. (03/12/2007)
O.K. I just tried the cd cleaner and it did not work. But then I tried the baby oil. It did not take out all the scratches but it did take out most of them. Thanks! (03/17/2007)
I used my girlfriends nail-buffing wand, or w.e it's called. It worked great for me (04/20/2007)
I used a black permanent marker & buffed out with lighter fluid & old t-shirt it worked great on plastic lenses. (04/21/2007)
My glasses had coated plastic lenses that had tiny scratches causing the lens to be cloudy in places. Upon closer inspection, I realized that most of the scratches were on the back side of the lenses. After reading a few do-it-yourself sites, I saw an article that said hydro-fluoric acid could be used to dissolve the coating. I happened to have some aluminum siding cleaner (from the hardware store) and remembered it had a small percentage of the acid. I placed each lens into a small Pyrex dish and covered with about 1/2" of the solution. Using a Q-tip, I carefully rubbed both sides. CAUTION: USE EYE PROTECTION AND FOLLOW THE OTHER SAFETY PRECAUTIONS ON THE LABEL! Also, the acid can damage sink surfaces. I rubbed each lens for over 5 minutes. After a thorough rinse with water, the lenses came out perfect, with no scratches at all! Apparently, all the scratches were in the coating, which was beginning to wear off. Because I cannot guarantee the solution will not further damage your lenses, I would only recommend trying this procedure as the last resort, before buying new lenses. When I first started, I experimented on a small corner of the lens, which proved that the lenses were not getting worse. I found that the soaking worked the best to remove all the coating. (04/28/2007)
By Fred C. May Jr.
I just talked with Ray Ban at 800-343-5594 and then I called two of the local eye doctors, if they are made from glass then you are out of luck. (05/07/2007)
Tried BRASSO on my badly scratched Fossil sunglasses (polarized, nonprescription). I was ready to toss them out. 3-4 minutes rubbing Brasso in with a soft cloth removed 2 very bad gouges and a host of minor scratches. (08/20/2007)
I just successfully tried McGuires Mirror Glaze on my 12 year old plastic lenses (without anti glare coat). It removed some fine fog & cleaned nicely, but 85% of the scratches are too deep for mirror glaze. I'm going to try 2 or 3 different grades of Dupont type rubbing compounds & finish with mirror glaze, maybe even start with sandpaper, 600/1000/2000, then the rubbing compounds, then mirror glaze! Just like taking a scratch out of a fine antique musical instrument.
Will post again after destroying glasses! Cheers (08/23/2007)
By Rob Mackenzie
BRASSO worked. I can't believe it. I called my eyeglass place and they said I needed new lenses. So, I figured what did I have to lose. So I used the Brasso and rubbed with my thumb, washed up with Dish Soap. WOW! The scratches are gone. As good as new. WOW. Thanks guys for the tip. (08/25/2007)
It is possible with limitations to remove scratches from eyeglasses.
1. Lens must be plastic. Polishing glass is possible but difficult.
2. If it has a coating, you loose it.
3. Polishing a lense locally changes the dioptry of that point. Polishing the outside (the convex side) reduces the dioptry and vice versa. If you want to save the original geometry, you must polish the whole surface. That way the lens shall be slightly thinner but shall retain the original refractive property (08/28/2007)
By Can Baba
After trying Baby Oil, perm markers, and alcohol with no results I continued my Google search and found someone who works in a lab with the coatings and he said that the scratch coatings would be dissolved by acetone. He said it would take a few hundred times of buffing with it but it would help. I worked with each lens about 30 min to a hour, rubbing each with nail polish remover. He said it would get worse before it gets better because you are lifting more of the coating, and it did. My lenses are not like new ,but I don't have to buy new ones for now! They are 85% better! My husband is not able to work like he used to, my youngest son has out grown his current glasses, and money is tight. I am very grateful that this has worked. I read all of you naysayers responses. BUT when you have nothing to loose (when your glasses are toast with this trash coating) then why not try a few things till you either find one that works or give up trying. A few pennies worth of nail polish remover compared to a few hundred dollars for glasses looks pretty good to me! I realize that different coating and lenses mean different remedies, just don't give up! (09/04/2007)
If the glasses get cloudy it is most of the time due to very fine scratching in the antireflective coating. I found out that using scratchless Comet bathroom cleaner works very well. Place some of the cleaner on a soft wet piece of cotton fabric and rub the inside of the lens for a few minutes. Wash with water. The glasses shine again. (09/07/2007)
Try diamond ruse polish, or supper fine glass ruse, comes in a powder form. Mix in water, use only the water. Or plastic polish no.#1 and thin it way out. (09/07/2007)
Yes, I tried using polish remover on my eyeglasses and it work just fine. This has saved 359.00 big ones. I wanted to say thanks for the information. (09/10/2007)
By Linwood Faulk
I'd like to thank those that posted on this forum about removing the ar coating on glasses.
I bought my polycarbonate (plastic) bifocals on line about 5 months ago and they have become full of fine scratches to the point that they are nearly unusable. I bought a small container of "Armour Etch" glass etching cream at a craft store and tried a drop on a corner of one lens for a minute. After washing it off, all the scratches had disappeared from that area. So I brushed the cream on both sides of both lenses and washed it off after 5 minutes. It removed the ar coating along with about 90% of the scratches. The scratches were not on the plastic lenses but rather in the ar coating. I'm probably not careful with my glasses and perhaps the ar coating was poorly applied, but I'll never get ar coating again. Glass etching cream contains strong acid so it must be used carefully, with gloves, with the lenses removed from the frames, and never on glass lenses. Thanks again, Don Pearson (09/14/2007)
For *PLASTIC* eyeglass lenses (ONLY!), Anti-Reflective coating can be removed with dilute HF and the micro-scratches in that SOFT coating are then gone!
HF = Hydrofluoric Acid - used to etch glass.
You can buy Glass Etching Cream from Craft Stores if you have no access to HF (I used 3% w/v Sodium Fluoride with a few drops of 6M Sulfuric Acid) - I'm a Chemist.
Mix the Etching Cream 1 to 10 with distilled water, add a tablespoon of Vinegar, and place in a small plastic bowl OUTSIDE on your porch. Make about 1 cup total volume.
Take the lenses out of the frame, wash with kitchen detergent, rinse and soak it in the above solution for 1-2 hours.
Then rinse in running water and dry with cotton tee shirt cloth.
Use plastic tweezers - the solution is TOXIC (Poisonous).
Use rubber or latex gloves...
Store the solution in a plastic bottle for use later!
Label as TOXIC - keep it away from KIDS!
Click on these links to see proof.
You can see the difference in the sheen.
Here is before - the arrow is a gouge - dropped the glasses in gravel (!)
Here is after - reflections show up - looks better to the eye.
The arrow is where a deep gouge is - from dropping the glasses.
This was much easier than I thought!
<img src="/images/feedback_image.lasso?id=65345988" width="99" height="72" alt="RE: Repairing Scratched Eyeglasses">
Thank you all! My glasses are back to normal. After about 15 months of use, the anti-reflective coating on my bifocal glasses started to scratch up and became increasingly difficult to clean or see through, especially on the reading level. I finally realized it was the ARC, and found this webpage.
I tried rubbing in Brasso with a soft clean cotton cloth and my fingers for about 10 minutes first on one side, because I had some Brasso in the house already. But for whatever reason-- maybe because my Brasso was too old (yes, I did shake the can), or because the ARC on my glasses was a different material than others' here, for whatever reason, the Brasso did NOT take off the ARC. If anything, Brasso only made my glasses worse.
So I went to a Michael's Crafts store, and in the Glass aisle (where you can find stained glass and mosaic tile), they had Armour Etch in three sizes, $11 (white and purple plastic bottle, about 3 inches high), $25, and $35. Of course, the smallest size bottle is more than enough to treat dozens of pairs of glasses.
I applied Armour Etch to both sides of the lens with a soft toothbrush, wearing gloves. I could not remove my lenses from the frame, because on my glasses, they are glued to the frame, not screwed in. After five minutes, I rinsed off the glasses thoroughly, again using the rinsed toothbrush to clean all the nooks and crannies around the frame. Absolutely perfect; no damage to the frame. Crystal clear lenses again, all scratches gone.
I told my wife what happened, and about the other guy here who said he would never get ARC on a pair of glasses again. (And I agree with that.) She said that she had this complaint once before and unlike the others here who said their eyeglass store told them the only fix was to replace the glasses, her store apologized to her and said, "That's not right", and they stripped off the old anti-reflective coating and replaced it for free. So you might try asking your eyeglass store first before buying chemicals. (I didn't even try, but my eyeglass store is different than hers.) (09/20/2007)
As per Mr. Rhoades It is literally impossible to remove scratches from lenses. Once embedded it is impossible to change the composition of the plastic. I've tried them all and NONE of them work. (09/22/2007)
By Richard A. Greenman.
Much to my dismay, the store where I purchased my eyeglasses told me there was nothing I could do to get rid of the scratches on my lenses. At the time I didn't know the scratches were actually in the anti-reflective coating. I read the info about using Armour Etch. I thought I'd try "Whink Rust and Stain Remover", since I had some already. It's toxic, just like Armour Etch, so use caution. I soaked my lenses in approximatly 1 part Whink to 5 parts water for about 5 minutes. The coating disappeared and my glasses were like new! Be sure to rinse well using liquid dish detergent and water. Clean with a soft, dry cloth. (09/30/2007)
Y'all just saved me a couple hundred $$. My glasses over the last month have become scratched beyond vision. I've had them replaced once the first year with the warranty, but after another year and a half the warranty is a fleeting memory, and I had made an appointment to get new ones.
I figured $11 was worth the attempt and the lenses were useless anyway. The Armour Etch (from Michaels) took 1 minute to remove all traces of the AR and the lenses look brand new! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
(They are, of course, plastic lenses. I have no idea of what kind of plastic. I did remove them from the metal frames before applying the Armour Etch at full strength. I tried a small corner first and then the full lens when that was obviously successful! The left side of the image is the test spot - note the flash reflection :-)
<img src="/images/feedback_image.lasso?id=38204653" width="350" height="350" alt="RE: Repairing Scratched Eyeglasses">
Can't beat the armour etch for plastic lenses. (10/20/2007)
Ditto! I tried Armour Etch as a last ditch effort before buying a new pair of glasses. My lenses were not really scratched, but they were very splotchy from the A/R coating wearing off.
An abrasive cleanser did not remove any of the coating. All it did was add lots of scratches. I tried Brasso with zero results.
So I used the Armour Etch, leaving a thick coating on the lenses for 5 minutes. The AR coating was totally removed and the scratches all but disappeared. Thanks to all who posted about the Armour Etch! (10/20/2007)
If you have scratched lenses, first of all, before doing anything, go to your optician where you bought your glasses and see if there is WARRANTY on it. Any polycarbonate lenses have 1 year standard warranty on scratches or defects.
If you have an a/r coating and it is peeling off, its most likely an older type of a/r coating, often sold by 'discount' optical stores. Never the less, the older anti glare coatings normally have one year warranty on scratches or defects, premium a/r have two year warrany on it, Crizal Alize or Clearguard even have lifetime warranty on the coating, limited for as long as you use the same prescription in the same frame.
Plastic lenses without a/r coat for just distance, reading or line bifocal don't have any warranty. Plastic scratches pretty easy. Polycarbonate is a harder material and comes standard with a scratchproof coating and one year warranty.
If you have photogray lenses from plastic, they do include a scratch resistant coating and one year warranty.
If you are out of warranty bring the glasses back to your optician anways, they can remove the a/r coating for you if you like, usually at no charge.
Scratches usually get on your lenses if you clean them in the wrong way. Especially if you live in a place where there is alot of sand and dust in the air. The sand and dust sits on your lenses. If you clean your lenses just with a dry cloth or so, you will create scratches in one of the many coatings lenses have (even if you don't have an a/r coating, your lenses normally have at least 4/5 different layers of coatings).
Clean your glasses with water and soap in the morning. Use dishsoap, the cheapest kind, not anti bacterial or with moisturizers or so. The water will rins off the dust and sand of your lenses, also your frame will stay in a better condition this way, because all of your scin acids/salt get rinsed off.
And last, do not use a paper towell, paper contains wood fibers, they can scratch up your lenses eventually.
As anyone can obviously see from reading these posts, you CAN remove scratched Anti-Reflective (AR) coatings by using "Armor Etch" or equivalent from Crafts stores!
GLASS eyeglasses will be destroyed - only for PLASTIC!
If you have an AR Coating (Looks Bluish when seen from the side) - most likely the scratches are in the coating.
If you have plain, uncoated plastic lenses, try THIS method I was taught by an Eyeglass clerk!
Rinse the lenses FIRST (removes hard grit) then clean the lenses with dish detergent and your fingers. Rinse well and dry with a clean Tee-Shirt. NEVER paper or Kleenex! The fibers are HARD and scratch the soft plastic.
NOW - spray lightly with LEMON PLEDGE! Wipe off with a clean Tee-Shirt and most scratches are gone for several days.
The wax fills the scratches and has the same index of refraction, so the scratches are covered for a day or two.
Repeat as needed. Itwon't hurt the plastic - works like a charm!
By the way - if you do this and your glasses are hazy, then you DO HAVE AN AR COATING which you need to remove!
DoctorBill Fairfield, WA (10/28/2007)
I tried Brasso it works well but the stink will make you sick, I bought a 99 cent furniture polish from Wal Mart called Kleen Guard and that worked , wont remove scratches but far less visible
Brasso or Kleen Guard. eye places don't like to fix them if you don't buy them there. (10/31/2007)
By Susan Kahon
Brasso and Kleen Guard furniture polish (10/31/2007)
By Susan Kahon
I had a similar experience like other folks who've posted. My glasses were getting ridiculously dirty and scratched and an optometrist said that it was because of the AR coating. He too said that I had to pay $400 for a new pair of glasses. Since I don't have that kind of money laying around right now,
I looked up this info and followed the advise of the previous posters to use Armour Etch from Michael's. This stuff really works. I put a thick coating of Armour Etch on my glasses with a soft toothbrush, waited for five minutes, then rinsed it off with dish washing liquid and warm water. Then I used a lens cleaning cloth to dry my glasses. It worked so well you can really "see" the difference. Thanks so much for your advice and help! (11/03/2007)
By Lynn N.
CD/DVD Repair kit works great. (11/06/2007)
WOW, another vote for Armour Etch. it removed all the old scratched A/R quickly, easily. Thanks to who ever figured this out and publicized it. great! (11/06/2007)
Armour Etch worked for me. I was very careful so I had to do it twice to get it all off. I have plastic lenses and it was a problem with the anti glare that was all scratched up. The first time I tried it, I saw spots where it had gotten all of the anti glare and it worked great. The second time, it all came off and they are like new! Funny thing is I notice the difference in glare that the anti glare was blocking but it doesn't bother me so far.
By Jocko Spinzii
Folks, be very careful using Armour Etch. Its active ingredient, ammonium biflouride, is EXTREMELY toxic and hazardous. Do some searches on the Internet regarding this chemical before you use it. I decided the risks didn't justify the results. What I did was call around a couple of eyeglass repair stores and found one that sent glasses out to have the AR coating removed. It cost $12. That was only $2 more than the bottle of Armour Etch, with none of the risks. (11/11/2007)
Thanks for the tip on using "Armor etching cream" found at craft stores "Michaels". It cost me $11 for a bottle of etching cream that will probably out last me. I used it on both sides of the "plastic lens" to remove the scatches on the coating. Works like a trooper! (11/13/2007)
Thank You Thank You. I decided that my scratched glasses were useless so I might as well try the Armor Etching Cream. I had to put it on both sides of the glasses for five minutes each side. and just rinsed off with water. They are now clear - like new glasses. (11/25/2007)
I just read this blog; ran out to Treasure Island to get the Armour Etch. It's closed, found a michaels. Didn't know if I had glass or plastic but my eyeglasses were so bad it didn't matter. Bought the Armour Etch for 12$; put it on; wiped it off; miracle drug of the century. I can see again. Now that i've taken off the antiscratch film. How do I do my next repair job. This one was too good to last. Really a miracle. (12/02/2007)
By robert mooreh.
I broke my eyeglasses and called to make an appointment with an eye doctor to get new ones. I am new to the area and I don't have a doctor so I discovered it will take a long time to be seen. Near the end of February. Not good unless I want to pay a lot of money to see one for an emergency. So I found my spare glasses but they were scratched up horribly. I read this and immediately went out and bought the etching cream. The only thing it is good for is etching. The scratches are still there and I have a new hobby. This is really a load of bull.
Editor's Note: According to the previous posts, this fix will only work on plastic glasses with the anti-reflective coating. If they are glass, this will damage the eyeglasses worse. (12/06/2007)
I will reiterate what I posted a while back...if you don't bother to read this, then it is your fault!
You cannot remove scratches from GLASS eyeglasses!
If you have Plastic Eyeglasses - then read below !
The Anti-Reflective coating on PLASTIC eyeglass lenses is very soft and scratches easily.
It can be quite simply removed with "Armour Etch" bought in Crafts Stores (as stated previously!).
Armour Etch is Toxic - so use gloves in a well ventilated area.
Don't be afraid of it - just respect it!
For scratches on non-anti reflective coated plastic glasses, try cleaning by rinsing grit off under a tap, washing with liquid kitchen detergent and fingers, rinsing, drying with soft, clean cotton NEVER EVER with Kleenex!, then spray some Lemon Pledge Furniture Polish on both sides, rub around with clean fingers, then wipe off well with a soft, clean cotton cloth.
The scratches will be covered with clear wax and be much less of a problem for a few days.
Repeat as needed. You cannot remove the scratches, but you can minimize the effect of them with this WAX (has a similar Index of Refraction).
Don't complain if you use Armour Etch on GLASS eyeglasses - you have been warned.
Armour Etch etches GLASS - not plastic! It is a Fluoride product which eats glass but won't touch plastic.
I am sorry to be so mean about this, but I have Chemistry students who do not pay attention when something is explained to them and it makes me insane!
They complain when things go wrong and accuse me of not making them pay attention!
I just fixed my glasses using armor etch. I bought it on amazon for like 11 bucks shipped. It took several applications to get rid of the anti reflective, but they are now much more clear than before.
A couple things:
1) I don't know if people are rubbing this stuff on the lenses. it is kind of gritty so you might want to avoid that.
2) The anti reflective coat is on both sides of the lenses.
3) I got some of this armor etch stuff on my hands. washed it off quickly.
I did get the cloudy film removed from my plastic lenses I earlier mentioned on this site. I had to use a bit of extra "elbow grease" and work it out with more "Etch" and Lemon Pledge! I have high index lenses (thick ones) and I think that was why I may have had this additional problem. The lenses are clear, now! (01/05/2008)
Thanks all! I took my glasses to where I bought them and they said if they removed the scratches it might wreck them since they were plastic - and at $350 I wasn't too eager. That was Site for Sore Eyes. Lenscrafters just said "NO." I drove to Michael's, but they were out of Armour Etch so I did what I always do.
Trial size (enough for 20 years) on Ebay for $3 plus 2.50 shipping. First application looked like it worked perfectly until I tried wiping the glasses dry - then I saw gunk coming off on the rag - so I did a second application - wow, thank you all so much. As for toxicity, I'm really sensitive and it didn't bother me a bit. Interestingly, my old pair lasted much much longer with way fewer scratches. I suspect this is something the industry cooked up to make us replace our glasses more frequently. (01/19/2008)
By miriam weinstein
Pledge can be used to repair scratches in eyeglasses. Spray and wipe with soft cloth. (01/20/2008)
By Gary Dominicus
I used the liquid band-aid spray on mine, clean lenses then just spray a nice coating on and allow excess to drip off and let dry, works like a charm. My glasses are very thick and are actually like mounted bubbles on framed lenses and this method worked very well. (01/21/2008)
Does the armor etch work on transition lenses? My daughter has transitions polycarb lenses with an anti glare and (supposedly) scratch resistant coating (laughing). We had the lenses replaced after 5 months of use due to scratching but they are scratched again. She's eight and hell on her glasses. I just can't afford to keep replacing them. Any advice would be great. Thanks. (01/23/2008)
i have high index (thick) unlined bifocals and I had no problem using Armour Etch and Lemon Pledge. My optician also was very cooperative about providing me information. You may want to ask them--they may do them for you because they are aware of this. The optician said the glass companies get the Anti-Reflective Coating included as a package deal from the manufacturers with the lenses they distribute...that may be why we see so much of this. Let's face it, it also creates many of us to buy new lenses since most of us are unaware of the solution to repair them rather easily. (02/02/2008)
My wife has complained about the scratches on her glasses for the past month and found this posting regarding the use of Armour Etch. She bought her glasses at JC Penney's and we travel allot and our current location has no Penney's. So what did we have to lose? She couldn't see squat through the lenses as they were so hazed over with scratches. I applied the Armour Etch as described here with a "Q" tip and let the cream sit for about 5 minutes. After washing the cream off in the sink with warm water and drying with a clean "T" shirt, her glasses look brand new. I did not remove the lenses from the frames, the frames were not damaged at all by the Armour Etch cream. We are so thrilled at this procedure we will advise others the same. I am very happy that she does not need to get new glasses. Thanks to all who have posted here. You saved us at least $400 for replacements when they werent necessary. (03/04/2008)
By Chris G
DO NOT use HF acid to clean your glasses like DoctorBill recommends. I don't know where any normal person would be able to get HF so I doubt its going to matter, but HF is the most dangerous mineral acid--it will absorb through you skin and attack bone requiring a trip to the hospital to have CaF2 injections. Exposure to a large area of your body will cause cardiac arrest and death. I'd stick with the Armour Etch.
Editor's Note: Hydrofluoric Acid is the primary ingredient in Armour Etch (03/21/2008)
Hey, it works! I bought a new pair of glasses because my old pair had the messed up anti-glare coating. The glass place said nothing could be done! Well, guess now I have 2 pair - as I bought the "Armor Etch". Now the old glasses are as good as new! Wow! (03/22/2008)
By Susan Payne
Just bought Armour Etch Cream from A.C. Moore Art & Craft shop, applied it on my lenses, waited 5 mins and rinsed them, all the scratches and coating are gone, it is just perfect. The scratches had bothered me for several months, I tried to use different kinds of cleaner to remove the coating, finally I cames here and saw this thread. It is really wonderful. (03/26/2008)
My glasses had coated plastic lenses that had tiny scratches causing the lens to be cloudy in places. Upon closer inspection, I realized that most of the scratches were on the back side of the lenses. After reading a few do-it-yourself sites, I saw an article that said hydro-fluoric acid could be used to dissolve the coating. I happened to have some aluminum siding cleaner (from the hardware store) and remembered it had a small percentage of the acid.
I placed each lens into a small pyrex dish and covered with about 1/2" of the solution. Using a Q-tip, I carefully rubbed both sides. CAUTION: USE EYE PROTECTION AND FOLLOW THE OTHER SAFETY PRECAUTIONS ON THE LABEL! Also, the acid can damage sink surfaces. I rubbed each lens for over 5 minutes. After a thorough rinse with water, the lenses came out perfect, with no scratches at all!Apparently, all the scratches were in the coating, which was beginning to wear off. Because I cannot guarantee the solution will not further damage your lenses, I would only recommend trying this procedure as the last resort, before buying new lenses. When I first started, I experimented on a small corner of the lens, which proved that the lenses were not getting worse. I found that the soaking worked the best to remove all the coating. (03/26/2008)
All I can say is thanks to the folks who posted about Armour Etch. My glasses have had fine scratches in the anti-glare coating for months now and they were getting worse each time I cleaned them. I thought that I'd have to get a new pair of glasses, but I have to say that Armour Etch performed miracles on my lenses. I didn't even wait the full five minutes before I rinsed them and I could tell immediately that the coating was gone! No more scratches, no more looking through cloudy milky looking patches, no more headaches half way through the morning from straining to see through the old scratched coating.
Best $9.95 I ever spent. Thanks everybody.
Whoever wrote about Armour Etch, I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you! Like everyone else who had AR coating put on their glasses, it got to the point where I could no longer tell whether it was a sunny day or a cloudy one. I was living in a perpetual fog! (Okay I might be exaggerating a little, but just a little!) Well I bought Armour Etch this afternoon and tried it a few minutes ago; the fog has lifted! Sunny skies are here again and I'm so grateful! (04/05/2008)
Hey all! I went searching for lens coating problems and found this forum. My problem is not AR coating related, but IS coating related. I'm just not sure what kind of coating it IS. When I bought my glasses (several years ago), I didn't get them with AR or scratch-proof coating of any kind. And yet here I am, years later, with glasses that are peeling. There's SOME kind of coating on them that is bubbling up, scraping off and peeling at the edges. My problem isn't scratches, so much as a coating of some kind that's coming off on its own! I don't have the money for new glasses - so I need to find some way to fix this. Any suggestions? The Armour Etch sounds interesting, but since my coating is already working its way off on its own, I probably don't need something that strong... (04/07/2008)
I didn't like the Armour Etch. It was gritty and repeated applications left my lenses cloudier than before. After trying that, I used Wright's Anti-Tarnish Silver Polish, and polished my high-index polycarbonate lenses with it, just like I would polish silver. It worked amazingly well! I applied it with an old tee shirt and buffed each lens and rinsed. I had to do it a few times, but it took off 95% of the coating. I will probably try to work on the edges a little more, but I'm very happy with how it turned out! (04/08/2008)
I used the Armour Etch on my lenses and it worked great! Took all the anti reflective coating off and made them as close to new as they could get. However when my brother in law used it on his glasses it fixed one lens and left the other one in a horrible "fog" My glasses were purchased from an optician costing several hundred dollars whereas his were purchased at a large-chain discount store for less. I guess the difference in the composition of the polymer lenses is the difference. BE VERY CAREFUL before trying any of these methods and be ready for negative results if you dont take all the precautions first. (04/20/2008)
I have similar problems, and I don't know if my glasses are plastic or GLASS. They are Zeis.
Anyway, the next time you get new lenses, keep the old lenses, then, you can keep the old lenses for emergency, etc, (I rarely change frames) and to try the scratch removal process. (05/20/2008)
Armor etch truly works. I took my scratched glasses back to where I purchased them only to be told that they could not fix them. They no longer carried the "solvent to do this". My best bet was to purchase a new prescription as the glasses that I had were just over 2 years old . This has saved me a lot of money. I am very thankful to whoever found this out and then posted it . (05/23/2008)
I have suffered for months with "Foggy Plastic Lenses" becasue of anti glare coating gone bad. I read here about using Armour Etch on plastic lenses to remove the coating. I was skepticle at first to try, and after much though decided to try it. What was the worse that could happen? My lenses were all ready recked. I went to Michaels Crafts and paid $12.00 and tried it. I can not believe I waited so long to try. I only used it on the inside of my lenses as that was where I could feel the coating coming off. I applied it well with a Q tip waited 4 minutes and rinsed. I CAN SEE AGAIN. I have perfectly clear lenses. Thanks so much for sharing this
Winnipeg, MB. Canada (05/28/2008)
I went to Michaels today and bought a 3 oz bottle of Armor Etch. My eye glasses are less than two years old, and were badly scratched. I could hardly see out of them, so I figured I didn't have much to lose. I applied the Armor Etch on each side of the lenses and let them sit for 3-4 minutes. After rinsing them off, then washing with some dish soap, I gave them a good drying off with a soft cotton shirt. All I can say is WOW. I can see again! I would say 90%+ of the scratches in the lenses are now gone. They were cloudy and the scratching came from me trying to polish them out with some very fine plastic polish. It just made them worse, but now they are darn near like new. Thanks for the great suggestions, it sure does work great. The glare is a bit worse now, but I can deal with that due to the clarity I have once again. :) (06/03/2008)
By David W
After reading all the posts regarding Armor Etch, I was still hesitant to purchase this product for use on my scratched non-reflective coated plastic eye glasses. However, realizing there was nothing to lose as my glasses were scratched beyond use, I bought the Armor Etch at my local Michael's. Following the directions given in previous posts to leave the cream on for 5 minutes and then rinse under water, I now have NO scratches in my plastic lenses. I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW! The Armor Etch successfully removed the non-reflective coating. I would emphasize that anyone using this product should first read the warning label. This cream is toxic, can burn skin and cause respiratory problems if used in an area that is not well ventilated. (06/06/2008)
Amour Etch WORKS! It really WORKS! Saved me buying new lenses! (06/07/2008)
By Diane from Ohio
I bought the $10 jar of Armor Etch at Michael's to try and fix my large collection of scratched 99 cent Store reading glasses that have scratches. I was hoping someday i would find some way to clear them up. Polishing with plastic creams, using a dremel pad, etc. just made them worse. I was hoping the Armor Etch would work since it seems to be working for some people. Despite several tries and trying it several ways, it did nothing at all. I wasted $10.
I used the Armor Etch to get rid of that horrible anti-reflective coating on my glasses. It was peeling and scratched. I am pleased to say that IT WORKED! I can again see out of my glasses! Thank you! (06/15/2008)
Have plastic lenses with the "scratch" coat-which started peeling off 6 months after the warranty ran out. Eye dr. office said there was nothing to do but buy new lenses. Read most of these posts & thought why not try the Lemon Pledge. Tried a small spot by applying w/soft rag. Worked like a miracle. Sprayed the whole lens and all the scratch coating now gone. Took a couple of times spraying then washing with liquid soap. Saved me lots of $$$ & my lenses were bad, cloudy, peeling which caused me headaches by the end of the day. Good old Lemon Pledge! YAHOO! (06/25/2008)
Armour etch worked like a charm! Thanks for the info. (07/02/2008)
I thought this was a joke. My glasses were about to be replaced. Amour etch does work. I tried it but only left it on for 30 seconds. After I cleaned them up, I thought wow they really are ruined. So I tried it again and left it on for 5 minutes. My glasses are like new. This is really amazing. (07/04/2008)
I believe that the idea here is it works if the scratches are in a coating, such as an anti reflective coating. It worked for me, but not for lens scratches (the AR scratches were 99%, however). (07/12/2008)
I had a pair of glasses that were so cloudy and scratched that I could hardly see out to them. At night while driving it was even worse. I had a wedding to attend that was a couple hours away and knew that I had to do something. I had ordered new glasses, but they were not in yet. So, I read all the posts (especially Robbin's) and bought the Amour Etch at my local Michaels store. I applied it with a q-tip, wearing latex gloves (after removing the lens from the frames), left it on for five minutes, rinsed it off and was never so excited to see all those scratches gone and the lens looking brand new again. Simply Amazing! The way the creme removed the AR coating from the plastic lens is truly remarkable. I doubt that I will order the AR coating again. I think it is a way that eye doctors can stay in business. My repaired glasses are great now and I don't even miss the AR coating. Was it ever really worth having? (07/12/2008)
By jim s.
Just tried the Armour Etch. It worked! I applied the cream with the lenses on the frame with no damage to the frames. Thanks for this great tip! (07/18/2008)
Tried the Armour Etch (got on ebay) and "WOW" they are like new again. My glasses are plastic lens with anti-glare coating (never again) and twistable metal frames. I masked off the metal as best as I could. Some of the cream did get on the frame but didn't harm it. Put it on both sides (thick coating) and waited 5 minutes then rinsed off thoroughly with cool water. I was a little concerned since mine have the frame less lower half (nylon fishing line holding the lens in the frame) but the cream didn't harm the nylon or the frame. BEST $10 I've spent in a long time. Thanks to everyone's feedback that convinced me to try it. (07/23/2008)
I have a 5 year old pair of glasses that had the 'scratch resistant' and 'non-glare' coatings applied. They are expensive plastic no-line bifocals in titanium frames. I was experiencing the same problem as many others here, the coatings had tiny, fine scratches that made it look like a fog, they were far from clear. Lights at night had halos around them. When I held the glasses at an angle, I could see where the coatings had worn away. I read all these posts and thought all these people couldn't be wrong. So off to Michaels I went.
I got a small bottle of Armour Etch Glass Etching Cream. Others were right, I'll never use the rest of this bottle, except for everyone I tell about this! I carefully applied a thick coat with a Q-tip and let each side sit for 5 minutes. (Inner and outer, 5 min each) I wore gloves, as this is a mild acid, and carefully rinsed them in warm water.The results were truly AMAZING! All the tiny scratches are GONE. I got the same 90% plus improvements as others, only the deeper scratches in the lenses remained. But those are very few. I absolutely endorse this method. To those that say it's impossible, I say you haven't tried it! (07/30/2008)
By Mike P.
I forgot to mention the Armour Etch did not hurt my frames, but at the same time the Q tip did a nice job of keeping it on the lenses only. (07/30/2008)
By Mike P.
Thanks for the excellent posts everyone. I fixed not one, but two pairs of glasses. The UV coating was starting to come off, and made the glasses hard to see through. I don't think this will fix scratches in the plastic by the way. As a first step, determine which side the UV coating is on by gently rubbing the lens. I left the lenses in the frames, without problem. First shake the bottle well. I used a q-tip, and put the Armour Etch on thick, making sure to cover the entire lens, and left it there for 5 minutes. I then ran water over the lens until the Armour Etch was completely washed away.
I noticed that at first, the coating was still there, but as I gently rubbed the lens under water, I could feel the coating come off. I knew it was completely off when the lens had a "squeaky clean" feel. In the end, I noticed a little bit still on the edges of the lens, but I didn't bother re-applying, since I don't look through that part of the lens anyway. I was very careful not to get any on my skin. Take your time, and be careful. I got a 3 oz bottle at Michaels for under $10. Well worth it! (07/31/2008)
By Tom S
It absolutely works, thanks to all the reviews. Best $9.00 I ever spent! (07/31/2008)
The posting on removing scratches from eyeglasses is Fabulous! I bought it yesterday at Michaels, came home and applied it, my glasses don't have a scratch on them at all now. I had gone back to For Eyes to see if they could remove the scratches as I couldn't see through the middle portion of both lenses. I was told for $260 new lenses was necessary. No Thanks. A $10 bottle of Armour Etch did the trick. (08/01/2008)
Armour Etch is impressive stuff! I had been looking through a blur due to the fine scratches on the inside coating on my "plastic" lenses for some time. I washed my lenses with softsoap first, then I used a Q-tip to smear a thick coating of the stuff on the inside of each lens, and let it sit for about 3-4 minutes, then rinsed it off with warm water. All of the coating had dissolved, and washed away! The lenses were completely free of the blurry fog that I had somehow gotten a bit used to. I should have looked this up long ago! This stuff is the best $10 that I have spent in some time. (08/04/2008)
I just bought some Armour Etch at Hobby Lobby, since it's closer than Michael's, and it's only $7.99 there. But if you go to their website and click on weekly specials there is normally a 40% off coupon for any regular price item. Just print it off and take it with you- the 3oz. bottle only cost me $4.80!
Hope this helps! (08/05/2008)
I have a pair of polycarbonate glasses with an AR coating that fell into the sink today. After reading this thread I went out and got Armour Edge from Michaels and used it. I used a q-tip and turned on all the fans in the house. I smeared a thick layer on both sides of the lenses and waited for about 2 minutes. I then rinsed it off thoroughly and to my complete disbelief I could see again. Apparently all the scratches were to the AR coating and not the actual lens. This stuff is amazing. Be careful when you use it, it is toxic so open a window and don't get any on your skin. No biggie and pretty easy to apply and rinse off. Another vote for Armour Etch. (08/09/2008)
By Kevin Medeiros
Ok, we all read posts about people claiming things that they claimed "was wonderful, the best thing ever, amazing". But how often do we actually try them? Well, I did today. My bf had glasses a couple years ago, he had been wearing contacts, but ran out of them, so he needed the glasses. They were awful, cloudy, scratched, he could see through them, but everything was cloudy.
We went to the eye doctor to look for something that would repair the scratches, knowing the prescription was still good. They laughed, said he needed to make an appointment and get new ones. Not having the time or money to do that, we came home and searched the internet for an answer.
That's when I found this website and the "miracle". Armour Etch. It was amazing. Everyone said it, so we tried it. It really worked! Not kinda, not a little, really! We put it on both sides, let it set for 5 minutes and ran it under water, simple. He went to put them on after really rinsing them well, and he could see, they were perfectly clear, looked brand new.
I'm amazed and impressed. What else do you guys have to offer on here? (08/10/2008)
I have been looking at these Armour Etch posts and I have a few thoughts:
1. I thought Armour Etch was something that gave glass a frosted look? Unless I am thinking of a different chemical.
2. Is the creme applied onto the entire surface, or just on the area with the scratch?
I am wondering, because just a moment ago I scratched my glasses by accidentally rubbing it against the zipper teeth on my jacket and the scratch is really bugging me. (08/13/2008)
Does anybody know how to remove scratches from eye glasses?
With all these reviews you read here about using Armour Etch to get rid of scratches on eyeglasses, take heed. I ruined my glasses and made them worse by using it. Now I have to go get a new pair. It left a foggy part on my glasses then I decided to do the whole lens. It was removing something from the glasses and scratching them more than they were. So please take my advice and don't use for eyeglasses. (08/23/2008)
By Kelly B.
Here is what finally took the anti-glare coating off my eyeglasses. It doesn't get easier than this. Buy a can of Mess Master. It is marketed by a company called Design Master. Spray it on both sides of the lenses. It will not harm plastic or glass lenses. It did not harm my metal frames. It will immediately raise the coating. Clean with a soft cloth. Wear gloves and use it outside, it stinks. Very fast and clean, amazing, and wonderful. Wish I had used it first. (09/04/2008)
I tried with using toothpaste on my anti reflective (AR) prescription lenses, takes quite a long time to clear the AR coating though. But it really worked. (09/04/2008)
My very old can of BRASSO (Price tag 48 cents) did a fast, perfect job of removing the cloudy, scratched AR coating from my hi index lenses. Thanks for the great tip. (09/07/2008)
If the scratches are not too severe you can polish the lenses with RainX. It will fill in most minor scratches and also repel dirt and moisture. It will also keep glasses from fogging up in climate changes. (09/10/2008)
Ditto on avoiding Armour Etch: it did not, repeat not, help remove scratches from my hi-index plastic eyeglass lenses at all. Only made them cloudy, more scratched and impossible to see through. I don't know if this means any anti-glare coating they may once have had is long gone, and the scratches are on the actual lenses themselves, or if this means there are a lot of stockholders in Armour Etch online, but I know from my experience I'll never buy this again.
Armour Etch: fine for etching glass as a hobby, terrible for repairing scratched eyeglass lenses. (09/16/2008)
I tried the Armour Etch and it did just what I read here. It took the scratches right off. I am so happy because I have had these glasses for the past two years just sitting in a drawer. They were too cloudy to wear at all. This product worked like a charm. I got it at Micheal's for $10.99. (10/03/2008)
By Joyce G
I got regular Crest toothpaste, and scrubbed with a tooth brush about 3 minutes and rinsed off, and repeated about 12 times (front and back), until all the AR coating was gone. No scratches, they were better than new. After bringing them to Walmart, and seeing my warranty had run out, they said it would be $244 for new ones. I will never buy AR coating again. What a scam. Not only are my glasses clear, they are minty fresh-ha. (11/19/2008)
By Mike R.
Mine were both scratched and cloudy. I used Mothers Carnuba cleaner wax (bottle, not paste) and several soft cloths. It's not only safe for clear coats (you can use the rest to polish the car) but it worked pretty well on my 10 year old lenses. (11/25/2008)
I had coating problems with my last pair so I tried to get them to give me lens with no coating. As I remember it was set up that way and then there was some "oh but they all have this coating" bad news when I went to pick these up.
I couldn't find the Armour Etch but I did find the Whinks at Wal Mart and thanks to Mr Greenman I gave it a try. We tried it on one lens of an old pair first and it worked great. The picture shows the contrast on the old pair. Then we did the new ones. It's a sobering thing to do this when you depend on the glasses and I wouldn't have even thought of trying it without about 2 dozen of you saying it worked.
It worked. We approached it cautiously concerned the Whinks would hurt the lens, so we ended up getting most of it the first time with 1 to 4 Whinks to water the first time then we added another shot of Whinks and left both lenses another 5 minutes. There are some scratches but the AR crap is off. Thanks a lot and $200 + saved. (11/29/2008)
By Don M.
<img src="/images/feedback_image.lasso?id=65854455" width="400" height="300" alt="RE: Repairing Scratched Eyeglasses">
I was trying the toothpaste remedy, which was working, but very slowly. Since I use a baking soda paste to whiten my teeth and it doesn't scratch the enamel, I decided to try a baking soda paste on the plastic lenses. The paste worked faster and just as well as the toothpaste option. (12/02/2008)
For those out there with scratched Anti-reflective coating on their PLASTIC eye glasses, the best solution to use is Armour Etch found at craft stores. Don't waste your time trying other things, this product really works.
Just put a thick coating on the lenses (one side at a time). Wait 5 minutes and rinse, no need to rub or scrub. Wish I could tell the world about how well this product works to remove the AR coating on plastic eye glass lenses. I also was skeptical about using it, but don't be as long as you have plastic lenses. Don't use on glass lenses, this product is used to etch glass, but does not effect plastic.
I can see again! (12/08/2008)
Was I heartsick when I got a bad scratch right in the middle of the lens from a bad hit with a truck side view mirror so, I took the best of this blog and placed my old electric toothbrush in a bit of Dutch cleanser and pressed the button and did one quadrant to each lens like you do your mouth. Rinsed in a dish of cold water. Took a lens cloth and buffed 30 seconds each side of the lens and wa lah! The scratch is gone and the glasses are sparkling. Plastic lens and glass lens. Cost: 5 cents. (12/19/2008)
Although I have't tried anything yet it seems to me that the ideas that have a grit material or Armour Etch would work well if you want to remove a coating. (Like a scratch protector or anti glare.) My dad's an optical engineer and I'm an engineer too, what these products do is remove that film, so you're getting to the original layer of the eyeglasses. If you don't have the film I would try the products that are more like a wax to fill in the holes. (12/30/2008)
I had a more unusual result which might explain some others peoples variable result. I too had scratches in the surface finish (only a little in the lens itself). I tried Armour Etch and was initially very pleased, it seemed to be working well. However, it took many goes at 5min+ each time and ultimately I still had some scratched coating left. But I remembered that I had speced both anti-reflective and anti-scratch coatings, so I reasoned that maybe one coating responded to the Armour Etch and the other didn't.
Next I tried the toothpaste trick that some have found useful. That worked for the remaining coating but left a strong fog. Examining them under a microscope (I work with small devices) I realized that the fog was more like a calcium deposit. I am sure there is a suitable solvent for that, but I managed to get it off with about 30 minutes of vigorous polishing. So, now I have clean, clear glasses.
So, if you've had less than perfect results with Armour Etch, especially if you think all is lost, try toothpaste as well. And then, if you have a very mat filmy deposit, buff like crazy. It took a lot of work, but it did work for me. Just remember to use the cleanest, softest cloth otherwise you might be adding to the scratches and they will be on the plastic of the lens itself.
I would also add that my lenses are high index and therefore harder. Softer plastic lenses may be scratched by toothpaste. Also, I don't think that anyone has pointed out that old spectacles, or very weak prescriptions, might be made of glass and then Armour Etch will ruin them. (01/17/2009)
After searching around for methods mentioned in this thread, I decided to swing past the store I purchased them from. 400$ worth of lens is on its way under warranty. I'll have a spare set after I take the coating off the old lens. If your glasses have warranty, definitely use it. (02/04/2009)
I just wanted to thank everyone for the suggestion of using Armour Etch to repair scratched eyeglasses. Our new puppy got a hold of my glasses and dragged them on the floor. One of the lens was scratched right in the middle and it was very annoying. I read all the posts and I was happy there was a solution to my problem. I purchased the Armour Etch at Michael's, but it took me a few days to get up the nerve to try it. My glasses have transition lens and I was afraid that the Armour Etch would take away their ability to become sunglasses. I decided to use the Armour Etch on the outside of the lens only and it worked great. It took off the scratches and the glasses look like new. It didn't affect the transition lens either. They still work. Thank you again. (03/22/2009)
I just read here that Armor Etch will remove scratches on eye wear. I have just a plain pair of glasses (no anti-glare coating). But they do have transition lenses. They're only three months old, but already have a couple scratches on one lens. Will Armor Etch work on these scratches, or is it just for lenses that have the anti-glare coating?
By jmju from MN
Amour Etch is a cream to add frosting to glass, permanently. You may be thinking of Amour Coat that is for tires and dashboards, that is pretty oily. Don't take a chance, go to the place where you purchased your glasses to get them looked at, they can fix them. If you aren't near the original place you purchased your glasses, go to a near one, even a mall usually has a Lens Crafters or such. Replacing a lens that you ruined from trying something that can't be reversed is too expensive. (06/19/2009)
Here's something you probably already have: rubbing compound. Remember when we used to do our own cars. The polishing compound (the white stuff) doesn't work as well, but the ocher colored rubbing compound with a little bit of rubbing takes it right off. I'm assuming we're talking plastic lenses, that the scratches are in the anti-reflective coating, and that you can get along without the coating. You can get along if you can now see again. (06/21/2009)
After reading many of the postings here and noting the reference to hydrofluoric acid as the active ingredient in Armour Etch, I remembered that automobile wheel cleaner had HF in it as well. I looked at the current ingredients in several bottles of wheel cleaner I had in the garage and did not find HF; the current active ingredient is ammonium bifluoride and/or ammonium fluoride, both of which are somewhat safer than HF. I removed both lenses and sprayed the wheel cleaner on them, using a plastic container lid to keep the liquid contained. I let it soak for about 5 minutes, rocking the lenses occasionally to maintain liquid on all of the surfaces, then rinsed them with water and dried them. It worked very nicely at removing the myriad of minor scratches I had. (09/11/2009)
Can toothpaste be used to remove scratches from eye glasses?
By Bob from Newark, OH
As toothpaste is an abrasive, and there is a good chance that your eyeglasses are made of plastic, I would try some toothpaste on a piece of plastic and a piece of glass. My thought is the toothpaste is not a fine enough abrasive so it may very well leave scratches. I think jewelers rouge would work better than toothpaste. (12/26/2009)
There is no fix for scratched lenses. The only thing to do is go back to where you got them, they should come with some type of warranty against minor scratching from cleaning, etc. If not, you didn't get them from the right place! I am an optometrist assistant, and sell glasses all the time. (12/26/2009)
I used Armour Etch to remove the scratched reflective coating from my glasses and it worked great! I was so happy with the results, I posted a detailed how-to on my blog (with pictures) about it. Take a peek and make sure to read all the comments to hear all sides and how it has worked for many other people. Enjoy!
I also had a pair of glasses with plastic lenses that were terribly scratched and tried a few of the recommendations posted. I didn't have any luck with any of them as they seemed to make the scratches worse. I then tried a product I had purchased from Walmart for my car called Kit Scratch Out.
Not having anything to lose I began applying it with a soft cloth on both sides of the lenses. You have to be very patient and persistent, but the results were amazing. It took me most of a Sunday afternoon, but when finished my lenses were just like brand new with all, but the deepest scratches completely gone. I had to work through the coating to get to the lens itself before I started noticing the difference. It rinsed off completely with no residue and I am very satisfied with the results. Hope you have the same results I did. (01/05/2010)
I was reading through all the other posts and realized I didn't have any of the items on-hand. But, what I did have here was a bottle of headlight cleaner for cars. It's made to get rid of haze and fine scratches on plastic headlights (you use a very fine-grade sandpaper first on headlights that are more severely scratched. I used it on my headlights and it worked wonders). Well, I decided to try it on one edge of one of my lenses, and while I'm going to have to go back and do a better job on the entire lens, it worked great! The best part is I had the item here so I didn't have to buy anything. (02/06/2010)
I had glasses that were so scratched they were not wearable. After reading everone's posts, I checked my sales receipt and saw plastic in several places so I was willing to take a chance with Armour Etch. What I wasn't willing to do was pay another $3-400 or more for new lenses. I just can't afford it now. Nor can I go without glasses. So unless I wanted to wear 4 year old glasses and have headaches for the next 2 weeks while new lenses were being made, and do without lunches and any discretionary income for a year while I paid for the new lenses, I decided to give Armour Etch a chance.
I went to Michaels and purchased Armour Etch in the small $12 bottle. With shaking hands and a new toothbrush, I put the paste on my lenses, waited 5 minutes and hoped for the best. Holding my breath, I ran them under clear water using dish soap to clean this time (just like your posts said to do). I then cleaned them with my glasses cleaner and dried them with a soft clean glass rag (like they give you when you buy glasses). OMG! I can't believe how crystal clear my lenses are now. You guys rock! And, I live in California so I was able to sit outside and never smelled any fumes at all. It was the easiest fix. Now I'll just take extra precautions when cleaning and handling them. But I'm glad I tried it.
Thank you everyone for all your tips. This one is a keeper. Just remember, make sure your lenses are plastic. (02/28/2010)
By Big Red2
My old prescription sunglasses had become nearly unwearable due to the cloudy, flaking, scratched anti-glare coating on the inside of the polycarbonate lenses (the coating is often on the inside of the lenses of sunglasses to reduce reflections). After reading these posts and several on other sites that indicated success using toothpaste, which has a mild abrasive quality, I decided to give good old Bon Ami a shot. Bingo!
I made a paste of Bon Ami and water and rubbed the lenses with the pad of my thumb for a couple of minutes. I then rinsed and dried the lenses and checked them under a bright light to judge my progress, then repeated the procedure about four times until the lenses were clear.
There is no apparent scratching or other new damage due to the Bon Ami, but the coating is nearly all gone. There's just a tad of it left around the screws that mount the lenses to the frame, but not enough to interfere with my vision. There are still a couple of tiny scratches on the lenses themselves, but overall the glasses are about 1000% better then they were.
Bon Ami's advertising slogan is "Hasn't Scratched Yet!" I'll be darned if it isn't true!
LensCrafters said it would cost me over $300 to replace my scratched lenses. I can't afford that now, so I started searching online to see if there was a way to repair the scratches and found these posts. I went to Michael's this morning and picked up some Armour Etch. It took more than five minutes, more like three five-minute sessions, but it works! There is just one, small, deeper scratch. The rest of the lenses look brand new. Thanks so much. You guys saved me a bundle. (04/18/2010)
You can fix scratched "glass" eyeglass lenses with minor scratches! As posted earlier by an optometrist assistant. You cannot fix scratched eyeglass lenses, so he says, so he can make you pay for new lenses. I ran into the same problem with local optical shops wanting me to spend money at more expense on new lenses.
I needed my glasses fixed after I used a wrong method using too aggressive buffing compound that left thousands of fine scratches all over the lenses. The lenses were unusable with significant visual scratches and distortions. The scratches were fine, not deep, and could not be felt with the finger nail. Wal-Mart told me the glass lenses were ruined. After searching on the internet and talking to my local glass shop, there is an inexpensive product that buffs out fine scratches in glass. The product is "cerium oxide". It comes in powder form, requiring you to add a few drops of water into the powder, overall making a water-based paste you smear onto the glass surface.
Using a fine cotton cloth you hand buff the lenses into a highly polished surface. The cerium oxide removed "all" of the minor scratches leaving the surface looking brand new and highly polished. I purchased cerium oxide on eBay for $12.99 including shipping. My first small batch of cerium oxide came from the local glass shop for free! The local optical shops told me that buffing optical lenses will change the optics, phony baloney. My sunglasses were non-prescription. Prescription or non-prescription lenses, you are only working out fine scratches that account for less than 1/100 of 1 percent of the glass material, minuscule. You are removing very, very little material when you are buffing and polishing the optical glass surface. Cerium oxide worked perfectly, at little cost, and is safe and easy to use on all glass surfaces with fine scratches including glass table tops, automotive glass, old televisions, and other glass optics.
The cerium oxide I purchased on eBay is advertised for glass optics. The cerium oxide I got from the local glass shop was highly recommended. They told me "it" works and it did! I don't know how it would work on plastic optical lenses and other plastic materials. I do know that it did not scratch my plastic frames, it polished them. The glasses I worked on were vintage Ray Ban Wayfarer glasses with original Bausch and Lomb lenses, not easy to replace. Now they look like new. I thank my local glass shop. Overall, any person on this posting that says you cannot fix fine scratches on glass optical lenses is wrong, suggesting they may have their own hidden agendas, may be ill informed or simply do not know what they are talking about. (06/11/2010)
Had some minor scratches on my polycarbonate sunglasses. So I thought I can remove them using some metal polisher like Brasso. Wrong choice! the lenses developed a haze due to the many fine scratches. Wearing it made me felt like I'm having a foggy scuba mask. I tried switching to toothpaste, but it didn't help. I was about to throw the sunglasses away, but decided to Google for some cheap solution that's worth trying.
It seems that the chemical compound that will etch glasses or hard polycarbonate lenses is cerium oxide. If you wiki it, somewhere it read, the compound is also used in some sunscreen lotion. I have a bit left in the tube of Banana Boat so I tried it by using a little on a piece of cotton pad and rubbed on the lens for a few minutes before rinsing with soap and water. And, the result is I have a new pair of sunglasses without any big investment in one of those scratch removing system.
Many a time, it is about identifying the active compound that works and look for it in some of the household items. (09/25/2010)
How can I fix scratches on my plastic eye glasses lenses?