Repairing Scratched Eyeglasses

Category Eye Glasses
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 page about repairing scratched eyeglasses.


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February 17, 2012

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.


By Dude

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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

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August 1, 2013

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.


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July 9, 2013

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.

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May 26, 2011

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, 20111 found this helpful
Best Answer


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!

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May 28, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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!

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May 28, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Did you try taking them to Wal-Mart & asking them? Lots of times they will fix minor problems for free. If it's not minor they could at least tell you how much to fix them.

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March 17, 2012

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.

By saving4me


March 30, 20120 found this helpful

Try white tooth paste, just a tiny bit rubbed in a circle. The optical places should sell a spray that will cover mild scratches.

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December 9, 20160 found this helpful

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

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February 18, 2011

How do I repair scratches on eyeglasses?

By Kathy L Worden from Haleyville, AL


February 21, 20110 found this helpful

There are oodles of ideas if you scroll down on this page to the ThriftyFun archives.

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March 17, 20110 found this helpful

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.

any ideas?

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

June 16, 2009

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.

Repairing Scratched Eyeglasses

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)

By gail

Repairing Scratched Eyeglasses

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)

By Pyarn

Repairing Scratched Eyeglasses

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)

By Codman

Repairing Scratched Eyeglasses

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)

By Moish

Repairing Scratched Eyeglasses

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)

By goryboy

Repairing Scratched Eyeglasses

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

Repairing Scratched Eyeglasses

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.

Repairing Scratched Eyeglasses

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)

By Adhell

Repairing Scratched Eyeglasses

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.

RE: Repairing Scratched Eyeglasses

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)


Repairing Scratched Eyeglasses

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)

By Rainbow

Repairing Scratched Eyeglasses

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)

By wong_josie

Repairing Scratched Eyeglasses

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)

By Loretta

Repairing Scratched Eyeglasses

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)

By Jon

Repairing Scratched Eyeglasses

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)

By Cody

Repairing Scratched Eyeglasses

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)

By Millie

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