How to Remove Scratches from Eyeglasses: Step by Step

Despite everything that’s advertised about your lenses – the special coatings or the durable materials used – scratches are something that you should expect to be natural in time.

And you might expect that this kind of damage is repairable, just like how one could fix a broken frame with special tools and unique products.

But you can’t!

And as if this wasn’t enough, there are these so-called “alternatives” you can do by yourself to “remove” scratches from your glasses and make them look “good as new.”

I know, the thought of them being DIY must’ve raised a bunch of red flags because these “solutions” often do more damage than good!

Don’t believe us? Check out some of these popular ways that are said to get scratches OUT of glasses:

Toothpaste Method

Since it’s the most common product to have in one’s household, toothpaste took up more than its fair share of being the greatest scratch remover across the web.

It’s said that it can buff out the scratches on the glass, as long as they’re minor enough for it to be done well, but you can’t use just any toothpaste, of course.

Non-abrasive is one of the criteria that need to be fulfilled.

This means the toothpaste you use shouldn’t be for whitening the teeth as there are chemicals mixed in that can worsen the damage.

Here is how you can use toothpaste to remove the scratches:

Step 1. Put a dollop of that toothpaste on the lens.

Step 2. Rub it in a circular motion using a soft cloth for 10 seconds.

Step 3. Rinse it with cool water.

Sounds easy enough, right?

On the bright side, you get to clean your glasses nicely.

The downside is that it might not always work or remove the scratches.

So, you just wasted a brush-your-teeth’s worth amount of toothpaste when you could simply use water or a cleaning solution if your lenses are just dirty in the first place.

Baking Soda Method

Another popular solution that is easily accessible is baking soda.

It might sound peculiar (for now) because how can a cooking ingredient like baking soda be used to remove scratches from materials like polycarbonate or glass?

Well, in the same way, it found itself as an effective cleaning agent against stains or dirty appliances.

Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate- think of it as a cheap version of salt.

Since it’s technically salt, it’s a natural substance that’s neutral; therefore, it can neutralize acids and bases. 

This makes it capable of absorbing odors. 

Another perk is the mild abrasive quality that makes it ideal for cleaning.

This abrasion is put into play for scratched lenses.

Check out the following steps used to remove scratches with baking soda:

Step 1. Combine baking soda with water until it turns into a substance similar to glue.

Step 2. Rub it into the scratches using a soft cloth in circular motions, just like with the toothpaste.

Step 3. Continue rubbing it for 30 seconds or more.

Step 4. Clean the baking soda mixture with a clean, damp cloth.

Step 5. Leave it to dry.

It’s recommended to keep repeating these steps until those deep scratches come off, but it’s best if you don’t.

Because, yes, baking soda IS exceptionally effective in cleaning appliances, but that doesn’t mean it’s suitable for your glasses, too!

Appliances are generally made out of metal that’s sturdy enough to handle high heat, so what made you think baking soda could leave a dent when you use this on it?

Baking soda’s abrasion is built more for stains left on stovetops from oil or spilled food, and you surely won’t notice the scratches you left behind once you’re finished getting the dirt off.

So imagine if you use baking soda on your lenses.

Instead of lessening those scratches little by little, this method will only leave more and more scratches in its wake that can leave your glasses unusable.

Unless you have a particular hatred for your glasses and you think this is the quickest way to get rid of them, maybe DON’T use baking soda on your lenses.

Using Car Wax

If the baking soda method has baffled you already, then prepare to have your mind blown when you could (supposedly) use car wax as another way of repairing scratched glasses!

It’s general knowledge that car wax is essential in owning a car, right?

But why is it required?

For those of you who are new to the entire car experience, car wax does the job of keeping your car shine bright like a diamond after you have it cleaned up.

Not only that, but the car wax also serves as a backup protective layer against rust and the usual wear and tear when the clear coat of the car paint starts to get washed off in time.

But, in this case, car wax serves as a buffer for the scratch marks on your glasses, just like the toothpaste.

Here is how car wax is used to remove scratches from the glasses:

Step 1. Clean up any dirt from your glasses.

Step 2. Choose the most highly recommended waxes (like Turtle Wax).

Step 3. Using a microfiber cloth, rub some of the wax into it and apply it to the scratches.

Step 4. Gently rub the wax in circles.

Step 5. The deeper the scratches, the more number of times you have to repeat these steps.

See, there’s already a problem at the beginning of this section:

Car wax is made for just that: the car.

As mentioned earlier, the car wax serves to double the protection of the car’s clear coat.

And a car’s clear coating is absolutely different from your glasses’ coating.

What’s more, you can seriously risk your eyes being exposed to the wax’s chemicals since washing it off from the lenses will also wash away this “solution.”

But it doesn’t change anything, though. 

If you tried this out in the first place, you’ll STILL lose that precious amount of car wax that you could’ve used on your ride.

So that’s twice the loss you get to enjoy!

Tips to Remove Scratches from Eyeglasses: Step by Step

Using Glass Etching Cream

Have you ever seen pieces of glassware (usually glass cups or pitchers) that have those sheer, white patterns that LOOK like they’re just printed, but once you take a closer look at it, you’ll notice they’re etched into the surface?

Of course, anyone might assume it’s done by an expert at glassmaking, but that’s not the case at all!

Those etches are made using a glass etching cream.

Any glass etching compound has a plethora of chemicals that eat away whatever glass surface it gets on.

Since those chemicals are wordy and might not make a whole lot of sense for everyone, here’s the gist of it:

It contains a ton of acid and a pint of ammonium.

And all of those together make up the cream!

The most popular brand for this would be the Armor Etch, but you might not find this product available from where you’re living.

Because the cream can’t be simply bought and used, some local governments made sure to keep this away from the public in case someone goes nuts one day and uses this to vandalize glass windows. 

In that line of thought, you’ll need to replace the glass entirely because the solution will be permanently etched onto it from that day forward.

That’s why it’s advisable to use this on plastic or polycarbonate only instead of glass lenses because the solution will only eat away the coating that bears the marks!

Check out the subsequent steps usually followed with glass etching cream to remove the scratches:

Step 1. Wear disposable gloves to guard your hands against the compound.

Step 2. Carefully apply a small amount of it on the lenses (use a cotton swab to be extra careful) and keep your frames from touching them. Don’t rub it into your lenses!

Step 3. Let it sit for five minutes.

Step 4. Using room temperature water, gently rinse it off until it’s completely gone.

Step 5. Dry your glasses using a microfiber cloth.

Although it is advised against using it on glass lenses, this kind of substance is STILL dangerous for your glasses!

Besides that, those thin strips of scratches you got before will be gone because they’ll be replaced by even MORE scratches that are WAY deeper than the last!

“Oh, maybe you left it for too long.”- again, the substance has two kinds of acid in its ingredients. TWO! 

Regardless of its material, leave the substance on your lenses for even a MINUTE, and it WILL start to cut into it!

These four are not the only DIY fixes available out there because there are many – and I mean MANY – others that go beyond logic. 

There’s one with a metal polish if that car wax wasn’t good enough yet. 

Do you have a bottle of baby oil lying around your house? Somehow, THAT can buff out the scratches, too!

Many solutions, cheap ingredients, but dirt-poor results.

All you can get out of these methods is regret.

But, to keep yourself from feeling awful about your choices, here’s what you SHOULD do to prevent any scratches or any other damages from falling on your glasses:

Things to Prevent Damage to your Glasses

Handy Buddy

Dirt or smudges could leave marks on your lenses if you left them there for too long.

Cleaning the dirt with your shirt can make more damage.

That’s why a microfiber cloth will be your handy buddy the entire time you’re wearing glasses!

Its smooth, soft material is so fine that it could absorb any stains you left on your lenses without leaving those thin, spidery marks that come when you use plain cotton.

Just a helpful tip: if you’re a new glass wearer, don’t use water and soap on your lenses if there’s a tough stain that doesn’t want to come off. 

The chemicals from the soap can wash away any coating your optometrist put on, making your lenses far more vulnerable to scratches.

Pair your handy buddy with a lens-cleaning solution (approved by your optometrist, of course), and now you can clean your glasses on the go!

Too Hot to Handle

Other than soap, high temperature is another thing you have to look out for.

Don’t leave your glasses inside someplace hot (like your car) or even under direct sunlight for too long.

Too much heat can affect the coatings on your lenses, rendering them ineffective as you continue to use your glasses.

Besides that, temperatures bordering extreme can also affect the shape of your lenses, causing them to bubble up and inevitably ruin your vision even further.

Think of your glasses as a part of you.

If you don’t like uncomfortable heat, then your glasses won’t like it, either!

Safekeeping

Always carry your glasses’ hard case with you at all times!

Those cloth pouches that look so “chic” that you JUST have to get them? Cross that out on your wishlist.

Hard cases may be bulky, but they keep your glasses safe and sound.

Since it never fails to maintain its shape, both your lenses AND your frames won’t be bent or damaged!

While, yes, maybe it does look stylish if you hang them in front of your shirt collar. 

Or maybe it’s too much time wasted to get your hard case out of your bag that you just stuff your glasses in your pocket.

But that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do!

If you want your glasses to stick around for a longer duration, don’t part with your hard case every time you go out! Instead, keep it with you and your hand buddy microfiber cloth!

Consult a Professional

The last, and the most effective way of taking care of those scratches, is to talk to your optometrist (or your glasses manufacturer).

Before getting a pair of glasses, you could ask if they have anti-scratch options available, and hopefully, they could provide you with options.

Be it for anti-scratch or UV protection; the coating still gets the full brunt of the scratches. 

If it gets too much and you can’t see too well anymore, ask your optometrist if they could apply a fresh coat on your lenses. 

This way, it’s far cheaper compared to replacing it entirely.

Final Thoughts

“Fixing” your lenses is impossible; there’s no “scratch repair kit” that exists this 2021, and I doubt there would be on the next one.

Even your optometrist can’t repair these scratched lenses!

That’s why entertaining those DIY solutions that you see all over the web will not only ruin your glasses but also makes you feel like an idiot for falling for them.

As the saying goes, “prevention is better than the cure.”

Stay faithful to those helpful tips in order to take proper care of your glasses, and trust me, your glasses will be grateful for them.

Leave a Comment