Removing Anti-Reflective Coating from Glasses


The anti-reflective coating on my prescription glasses is so scratched I can hardly see out of them. Occulist won't remove it and wants to charge me for new lenses! Any suggestions as to how I can remove the coating myself?

By Sourcerer from UK


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By Holly 367 1,264 08/18/2009

I have had nothing but problems with the anti-reflective coatings in terms of how long they last, even when using the correct cleaning methods - so I no longer get them.

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By Dena Roberts 35 491 08/18/2009

Me, too. Scratches, holes in the coating, looks like peering through water all the time. Extremely irritating! To read, I have to look over the tops of my glasses. Looking forward to replies as to how to get this "stuff" off my glasses. Thanks for asking the question.

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By Misty 23 35 08/23/2009

I also hate my anti-reflective coating on my glasses. I do not have an answer either. I just know that next time I buy glasses, they will NOT have this coating on them!
Good luck in finding an answer. I am curious as well.

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By Cajun 59 327 10/31/2009

Go to an Automotive Parts store and purchase Plastic Polish/Cleaner/Scratch Remover (several good manufacturers such as Maguiers, 3M,Mother's, Novus). Use a non-abrasive cloth and begin the hand-polishing process. It should remove the coating and minor scratches. Don't be aggressive; use a little TLC :)

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By jscsgrl 1 01/06/2010

I've never had a problem until my most recent pair of glasses...purchased from a different optometrist - cheaper lenses than my regular opto quoted. I'm wondering if the lab applied a poorer quality coating...I had my last pair for 10 years - the glasses wore out before the coating!

Meanwhile, I'm very interested in removing it rather than spending $180 for new lenses!

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By Sherri 4 5 03/04/2010

I am just wondering where you people are getting your glasses from?! I work in an optometrists office and sell glasses. Years ago, with poorer quality materials, this was a problem, but with new products and technology to apply coatings, we never see this happening anymore. (there is the rare case of a bad batch, but that is very seldom)

If the glasses are new, there should be warranty against that, at least in our office, we offer a 2 year warranty with anti-glare coatings. Sometime you do get what you pay for, going cheap isn't always best. You only do have one pair of eyes!

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By c willis 1 01/17/2011

Go to Hobby Lobby or any craft store and buy Armor Etch it's a glass etching and rub on and wash off with water. I could hardly see out of my glasses and I tried this product today and it took the coating off and they are like new glasses

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By Mark Burns S. 1 09/16/2015

Rather than blame inferior materials or workmanship I see the cause of the problem as unwitting exposure to substances which harm the coating. Supermarkets , gas stations, hardware stores expose customers to all manner of toxic substances in the products that we buy.

As employees our glasses suffer the same fate again.
It is the environment.

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Here are questions related to Removing Anti-Reflective Coating from Glasses.

Question: Removing Anti-reflective Coating on Glasses

I purchased a prescription pair of eye glasses about 8 months back. It is a branded glass with an anti reflective coating. Now the left side lens is not clear, as the coating has developed some scratches. I want remove the total coating on both the lenses so that I can see clearly. How to do it?

By R. Srinivasan

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Most Recent Answer

By Chris Bajer 1 02/06/2015

I want to know who, when buying an anti-reflective coating, if any of you were ever told that heat will destroy an anti-reflective coating? By using a hair dryer, burning a fire in the back yard, cooking where an amount of heat is dispensed when opening an oven or grill. Leaving glasses in the car, etc, etc, etc.

I was at an optical place, not where I bought my glasses, when they had asked if I wanted my glasses adjusted? I thought Oh how nice of them. In doing so, they fried (spidered) the AR coating. I went to Sam's where I had purchased them, to let them know what happened and they acted like it was common knowledge about the heat issue. I was told "Oh, yes, a hair dryer will do that" I asked where that was in my written warranty? (there wasn't a warranty given) Sam's did replace the lenses, but according to them, "we are done". So I spent $544. on a pair of high index lenses that were destroyed in three months by a professional, You get a better warranty on a 30 dollar toaster.

The point, they sell the anti-reflective coating as though it is a cosmetic add on. But in reality there is an important reason for having the anti reflective coating. First, understand that I wear -9.25 and -11.25 diopter progressive high index lenses. That's very very nearsighted. the edge of my glasses are approx 1/2" thick at the edge. An anti-reflective coating will eliminate the internal reflection of light on the outside and the inside of the lens.

A lens has four surfaces. the outside of the front, and the outside of the back of the lens. but the other two surfaces are on the inside of the lens. The inside of the lens, on the back of the front surface and the other is the front inside surface of the back of the lens.

The lenses have reflectence off all four surfaces. Ex. if you stand in front of a mirror and there is an identical mirror behind you (the reflective coating of the mirrors are facing each other) and you look ahead into the mirror, the reflection will look as though there are several mirrors in play. The same thing happens inside an optical lens. The higher the - diopter or the more nearsighted you are, the more importance of having an anti reflective coating. (it eliminates the coke-bottle effect that you see with glasses without the coating, unless you are far sighted and that's another ball game).

The major problem that I see, is that the higher the diopter, or the higher the refractive index (oops New term, refractive index- you know when you put a straw into a glass of water, or a stick into water and the stick or straw appears to bend? that appearance of the stick or straw bending is the refractive property of the water. Hence, lenses have a refractive index to them.

The higher the Refractive index the more the light bends to achieve, hopefully for a proper correction for you to see. The lenses are denoted by this number= Index of refraction. Mine are in a 1.67 index of refraction lens. I would have preferred it to have been in a 1.74.) , the need for the anti-reflective coating becomes more important to have. Not as a cosmetic ad on, but for providing a more effective lens.

We are being sold a bill of goods, that is loop- holed as a cosmetic option, where in reality it is a medical necessity. And apparently it is not for the seller of the glasses to inform you of the life style change that is going to be required of you if you want your anti-reflective coating to last for the duration of the glasses, Not the life of the prescription, but the life of the glasses. When I pay 800 dollars for glasses, they better last me 10 years. but, if you use a hair dryer, oops, too bad here go spend another 800 dollars for glasses. Not there fault.

As a tax payer, we spend millions of dollars, through educationally funded research, missile defence, Nasa, etc for optic research for the aforementioned but also for the preservation of sight and better seeing capabilities. Why can I not get the anti -reflective coating through the research performed in order to come up with the hubble telescope anti-reflective coating, or the anti-scratch that is on the scanner glass at the super market. Why are we sold inferior products for that which is a medical device and not cosmetic option/ We deserve better. We need to demand better!

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