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It is frustrating when you find scratches on your lenses. Learn how to fix scratches on glasses with these DIY eyeglass scratch repair tips.
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
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.
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.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
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.
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!
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?
I had heard to try white toothpaste. Apply it in circular motion. Couldn't hurt to try.
Has anyone ever used "Scratch Out" (a product to remove scratches from CDs) on plastic lenses?
I've tried "Scratch Out" on glasses and several other items, NO LUCK!
"Scratch Out" hasn't worked for me on anything I've used it on...including Eye Glasses!
Does using Brasso really work on removing scratches from eyeglasses?
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.
Try white tooth paste, just a tiny bit rubbed in a circle. The optical places should sell a spray that will cover mild scratches.
I believe you're looking for, Armour Etch, at Michaels Crafts. I got super glue on my prescription plastic lenses and I"m going to try it. Suggested by an Optometrist. Apply it with a qtip etc.. leave it on for 5 mins, rinse off; Repeat 2 -3 times sounds safe. It is abrasive so coat the surface smoothly and lightly, don't rub. I've read that using fingernail polish remover will clear all but deep scratches. Obviously, any protective surface prep will be lost, glare/scratch coatings etc.. Just don't use anything abrasive and take them to a pro if you're going to attempt buffing. Good luck!!! Jim
How do I repair scratches on eyeglasses?
By Kathy from Haleyville, AL
There are oodles of ideas if you scroll down on this page to the ThriftyFun archives.
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?
I used cpr lenses on my glasses and they are ruined. What can I do?
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.
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
It is possible that white toothpaste (not gel) if rubbed in circles on the lenses may help.
My glasses lenses are badly scratched. How can I repair them?
By Sandy from FL
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
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
How can I fix scratches on my plastic eye glasses lenses?
By Michael from Hyattsvilee, MD
If your eyeglasses are less than two years old most optometrists will fix them free. Good luck. (09/29/2010)
I too suffered from annoying and clouding scratches on my eyeglasses. Reading these posts motivated me to believe that the coating was the culprit. I also read a post saying that headlight repair compound (Auto-Sol) could help. I happened to have some of that stuff for headlights, and I tried it. My lenses were much worse, and they had much more scratching in them. Then I bought some Armour Etch, figuring that I had nothing to lose at that point. The Armour Etch worked really well, and now my lenses look like new again. I recommend it! (10/02/2010)
Finding myself with scratched lenses and damaged frames, I was resigned to buying a new set of glasses. I couldn't find my prescription, so it looked like I was in for the whole nine yards (to the tune of about $400). Looking around for an alternative, I came across this website and decided to try Armor Etch. Result: my lenses are vastly improved (not perfect, but almost). On the frames, I bought a new exact replacement titanium set online for under $100. So now I have the equivalent of new glasses for less than 1/3 the price! (02/17/2011)
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)
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.
Does anybody know how to remove scratches from eye glasses?