One of the most annoying things for those who wear glasses is the distorted view you get when your lenses are scratched. Even though many lenses today have a protective coating, scratches can still form and cause problems with seeing as clearly as possible. You may be wondering if you need a professional to help you fix these scratches, but fortunately for many glasses-wearers, there are a couple of DIY solutions to avoid those costly repair costs.
There are several methods by which you can reduce or even eliminate scratches on your coated lenses. Let’s take a look at some remedies you can use at home.
Properly Clean Your Glasses
In addition to the importance of daily cleaning to maintain your glasses, sometimes basic cleaning can remove light scratches from your lenses. One of the advantages of your protective coating is that it keeps scratches from penetrating the actual lens. As a result, proper cleaning can essentially buff out the scratches.
Make sure you use a cleaner suitable for coated lenses and a microfiber cloth or some material that is not damaging to the coating. A good and easy product cleaning kit is found here.
Apply a Toothpaste or Baking Soda Paste
Yes, toothpaste—or a baking soda paste as an alternative—is a great way to cover up scratches that simple cleaning cannot remove.
Make sure that the toothpaste you use is a non-gel, non-abrasive, non-whitening toothpaste. If you create a paste from baking soda, simply combine the baking soda with water until you get a paste that resembles the consistency of toothpaste.
The key to this method is to place a light amount of paste on the scratch and rub it in slowly and gently with a microfiber cloth in a circular motion in and around the scratch. Do not rush this method, as applying too much pressure or rubbing too fast can worsen the scratch. The paste will slowly and surely fill in the scratch and, when it dries, will leave your lenses looking essentially the same as before.
After you’ve treated your glasses with the paste, make sure that you rinse them with water to remove any residue, and then clean the lenses with your regular eyeglass cleaner.
Apply Vehicle Wax
Another home remedy option is to use vehicle wax. Think about it—vehicle wax is designed to shine and buff the metal AND plastic components of your car without scratching them. It is a product specifically designed to work on coated surfaces (since most contemporary cars have a layer of protective coating over the paint).
So, vehicle wax is a great solution for plastic lenses that have a protective layer of coating on them. It works very much the same as the paste solution. Put a light amount on the scratch and gently and slowly rub over and around the scratch with a microfiber cloth. Rinse and clean the glasses when finished.
This method will also leave your glasses looking just as good as before the scratches!
Use Brass or Metal Cleaner on Scratched Frames
This method should NOT be used on lenses but only on plastic frames. Even then, you should be careful to apply ONLY the amount needed to remove the scratches as it can be corrosive to the coating.
But, if you happen to have some fairly deep scratches on your lenses, metal cleaner is a method that can help eliminate them. Apply a light amount onto a microfiber cloth and rub and buff for several minutes. Again, rub slowly and gently. After buffing the scratch, take a clean microfiber cloth and gently rub the lenses to make sure all residue is removed. If the scratches are still present, repeat the process of buffing and wiping off the excess metal cleaner.
Once you are finished, it is especially important to rinse your glasses with water and then clean them. This is not only to protect the lenses, but it is also important for protecting your eyes as metal cleaner is very harmful and very painful if it does get in your eyes.
How to Fix Severe Scratches on Glasses
It may be tempting to use glass etching cream to repair serious scratches on your lenses, but this is often NOT recommended. This cream is extremely acidic, and it will almost assuredly dissolve the protective coating on your lenses. As such, as you eliminate the scratches, you will likely cause additional damage to your lenses (particularly plastic lenses).
If your scratches are so deep that none of the above home remedies have worked, then it is time to visit your local eyeglass store and ask them to do the repairs. While it may be expensive, it will cost much less than having to totally replace ruined lenses from using a substance that is too caustic. In the case of deep scratches, your eyeglass store can not only repair the scratches but also restore the protective coating over your lenses.
Whether they are scratch-resistant, UV protective, or glare-resistant, your protective coatings are an important part of your lenses. All of these coatings also offer added varying levels of added protection for your lenses from scratches. As such, they allow you to find low-cost methods such as those discussed above to make sure your glasses stay in top form. As long as you properly care for your glasses, they will take good care of you!