How To Remove Scratches From Glasses
About 75% of the adult population needs prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses, or similar visual correction eyewear to be able to function normally every day. If you are part of that demographic, you will know the struggle of having to clean and remove scratches from your glasses regularly. Sometimes we do not even know where the marks come from.
Learning the right way to remove scratches from your glasses will save you a lot of money in the long run as you will no longer have to replace them every year due to wear and tear. You’ll also be able to avoid the awkward break-in period that comes with fresh new glasses.
Check out our detailed guide for different approaches on how to remove scratches from eyeglasses.
Wipe To Clean Your Glasses
Before you do anything too drastic, you should try the fastest, safest, and simplest way to clean your glasses. When you get a new pair, they usually come with a case and a piece of microfiber cloth for cleaning. Use that to wipe your glasses down without damaging the lenses.
Microfiber is a synthetic fiber that is finer than most regular cloths and is used for clothing and accessories. Its individual strands are thinner than one denier or decitex, with a diameter of under ten micrometers. By comparison, a single strand of silk is about one denier thick. Human hair, on the other hand, is five times the thickness of silk.
Microfiber cloths are perfect for wiping down surfaces like glass, plastic, and similar materials on phone screens, computer monitors, and tablet screens. You should only ever clean your glasses using microfiber as other types of cloths can damage your lenses and cause even more scratches. So if you notice that your glasses seem to have small scratches, most of the time, a simple wipe can remove them.
Use Baking Soda Solution
If wiping does not remove the scratches, you can try using a baking soda solution to clean your glasses. Start by mixing one or two teaspoons of baking soda with some water, just enough so it becomes a paste. Make sure it is not too thick or too watery. It should be just thick enough so that you can apply it to your lenses without it dripping away.
Once you have the solution, carefully spread it over your lenses using a microfiber cloth. Next, gently rub the lens with the paste using the same microfiber cloth. Remember to use minimal pressure so it does not cause more damage. Do this for about 30 seconds on each lens. After that, let the baking soda paste rest on your glasses for a minute or two.
Next, rinse the baking soda off your glasses under a soft stream of water. You can use your sink or shower but make sure the pressure is not too strong. Rinse your glasses well to get rid of all the baking soda residue. Also, be careful not to drop your glasses while washing as the baking soda paste may make them slippery to hold on to.
Once you have washed them thoroughly, you should wipe them dry and clean them by using a microfiber fabric. Inspect your lenses to see if the scratches are still there. The baking soda solution does not work for deep and permanent marks, but it will certainly clean surface scratches and make your glasses look almost brand new again.
If the baking soda solution does not deliver, then using toothpaste can also be a viable alternative. But just like the previous method, toothpaste does not have guaranteed results either. However, as this is one of the most common items you can find in your home, there really is no harm in trying anyway.
The toothpaste is meant to be a mild abrasive that levels out minimal scratches on your lenses. Apply a little bit of regular toothpaste on your glasses and use a microfiber cloth to spread it around gently. Make sure to cover all the areas around the scratches. If you prefer, you can also just wipe it around the entire lens to make sure any micro-scratches are also covered.
The Radioactive Dentin Abrasiveness (RDA) scale is used by toothpaste brands to determine how abrasive or how soft their product is. Try to get anything below 80 RDA so you do not risk damaging your glasses even further.
After thinly spreading the toothpaste around, you can let it rest for a few minutes on your lenses. When they have hardened a bit, rinse them all off with a soft stream of water. Make sure to remove everything thoroughly because toothpaste can harm your eyes if you wear your glasses with residue still on them. Once you have removed all the toothpaste, wipe your glasses gently with microfiber again and check for scratches.
Try Using Sunscreen
For glasses with mirror coating, the sunscreen method is slightly more reliable than baking soda or toothpaste. This is assuming the scratch is only on the mirrored layer surface of your lens. If it is deep enough to cut into the plastic or glass, this method may not be too effective.
Furthermore, this also does not work as a spot treatment. The only way for this to work is by removing the entire layer of mirror coating, which is not exactly a good idea in the first place. However, desperate times require desperate measures, so with caution, we will teach you how to do it anyway.
Use sunscreen with SPF 45 for optimal results with this method. Rub the sunscreen on your lenses using a microfiber cloth. The fine aluminum powder in the sunscreen is meant to patch up the small scratches on your glasses. Spread the sunscreen thinly and let it sit for a few minutes. After that, you can wipe or wash it all off in the sink. Do this carefully to prevent scratching your lenses further.
After you have washed your glasses, wipe them clean with a microfiber cloth again. Check for any scratches and see if the method worked well. Remember to always be careful, especially with glasses that have UV protection or dark lenses as this method may end up damaging the coating instead. If the scratches are too minor and do not really hinder you from functioning properly, we suggest that you refrain from trying this method at all.
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Glass etching is an effective but dangerous method in removing scratches from your glasses. This method takes off damage coating from your lenses if they are too scratched. You will need etching cream, glass cleaner, some tape, plastic gloves, and microfiber cloth.
You should only use this method on plastic or polycarbonate lenses and never on actual glass. Otherwise, it will completely ruin your glasses to a point that you may not be able to use them anymore. First, hold your glasses facing away from you while wearing plastic gloves. You can then pour a small amount of the glass etching cream on the lenses.
Rub the etching cream gently all over the lenses. Make sure not to rub any etching cream on the frames because it may damage the color or structure. Do this for about two minutes or so. After that, you can rinse away the cream under soft, warm water. Try to remove everything, especially the residue that may get stuck in between the lens and frame.
Wipe off the water from your glasses using a microfiber cloth. Check your glasses under some light to see if the scratches have been removed successfully. If there are still minor scratches remaining, you can repeat the process the next day. Do not apply the glass etching cream immediately after the first clean as it may damage your lenses permanently.
Carefully Use Sandpaper
Sandpaper may sound like a very dangerous item to use on your precious glasses and that is because it is. This method is more likely to damage your glasses than fix them, so you should only ever do this as a last resort. If your glasses are still fairly usable, do not use sandpaper on them. Reserve this process for glasses that are full of scratches and otherwise barely usable.
This method works under the idea that the sandpaper will grind your lens down to the level of the scratch. This thins down your lenses and may damage the vision correction and UV protection features. Sandpaper is best used for cosmetic eyeglasses or sunglasses. Never do this for prescription eyeglasses.
Rub the sandpaper on your glasses for a minute or two. Once you feel like you have leveled out the scratches, stop using the sandpaper. You can then use a buffing wheel to polish and smooth out your lenses further. This will give them that brand new shine back.
After that, wipe off your glasses with a microfiber cloth again to remove all the extra glass particles. Do this thoroughly because tiny glass particles can cause a lot of damage to your eyes if they are in contact with them. In some cases, you may even need medical attention if too much gets in your eye.
Just Get New Glasses
If you have exhausted all means and your glasses are still scratched, it would be best to just buy new ones. If they are prescription glasses, go to your local optical clinic to have them replaced. This may also be good for you in case your vision correction levels have changed. That way, you can get new glasses that are better fitted for you.
In the unlikely event that you tried all the methods but your glasses are still somewhat usable, you can probably keep them as your backup pair just in case. You can use them at home or when exercising.
When purchasing a new pair of glasses, make sure they have an extra protective coating that prevents scratches in the future. While you are there, you can also ask the doctor or staff for suggestions on how to prevent scratches. They can give you some tips or even products that will help you with this.
Prevent New Scratches
Once you have purchased new glasses, your top priority should be protecting them from scratches. You do not want to go through the entire process of removing the scratches once more without any guarantee that the methods will work.
A good way to achieve this is by putting your glasses back in their case whenever you are not using them. Avoid placing your glasses on any hard surfaces like tables or chairs. Also, never wear your glasses on your head as your hair could scratch the lenses. Putting them in your shirt pocket is another way to damage your lenses accidentally. If you do not have your case nearby, avoid taking off your glasses at all.
When your glasses have been exposed to the elements for a while, clean them with a microfiber cloth. But check it first and make sure there are no coarse materials on the lenses to avoid scratching them instead.
One of the oldest and most practical pieces of advice that doctors will give you is that prevention is better than cure. You should always handle your glasses with care so you won’t have to bother trying to remove scratches from your glasses in the future.
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