Dealing with Scratched Spectacles
This is the most important part of one’s glasses, especially if you’re wearing prescription ones. Obviously, a broken lens is a disaster. There is really nothing more to do other than to visit your optician for a replacement. Scratched lenses, on the other hand, are simple enough to repair if you know how. We’ve listed a couple of hacks recommended by professionals that you can try out the next time you need your glasses to become scratchless.
TOOTHPASTE: you may already have heard of this hack and some are mighty skeptical about it. Who wouldn’t be? Toothpaste?! Well, apparently, this hack works. First, you’ll need to thoroughly clean your glasses wit some eyeglasses cleaner and microfiber. Make sure that you remove any smudges on both sides of the lenses. Then put some non-abrasive toothpaste (not gel) on the scratches. Use a wool or cotton cloth to rub the toothpaste firmly onto the scratches in a circular motion for half a minute. Rinse with cold water and dry with the microfiber. You may have to repeat the process if the scratch is deep and hard to remove.
BAKING SODA: this hack is similar to the toothpaste. Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of baking soda with water in a small cup until you get a thick paste. Buff the paste into the scratch with a cotton cloth using small, circular motions. Rinse with cold water once you’re done then dry them.
SCRATCH REMOVAL PRODUCTS: In the supermarket, you’ll find several products designed to get rid of scratches. While some of these will help you get rid of scratches, they are not suitable for glass lenses unless otherwise specified. These products usually removes scratches with the help of hydrofluoric acid which dissolves the coating on plastic lenses. One example is Armor Etch, a glass etching compound. This product cannot be used on glass lenses because it will damage it. For plastic ones, simply apply a thick coating of the Armor Etch on the lens (both sides) and let it sit there for 5 minutes. Don’t rub it into the lens. Rinse the compound off with water before patting it dry with microfiber.
CAR WAX: Some people have been successful in removing scratches on lenses by filling them in with regular vehicle cleaning wax. The scratches won’t really be gone; they’re just filled up temporarily with the car wax. To do this, simply rub some wax on each side of the lenses for a few minutes, as if you were polishing it. Wipe off the wax using a thin, soft cloth. No water needed. You’ll need to do this every week in order to maintain a “scratchless” lens. You can also use glass polish in the same way.
WINDSHIELD WATER REPELLANTS: These only work on superficial scratches or blemishes. You can apply some on the lens using a thin, soft cloth, rubbing it gently for a couple of seconds. As an added bonus, the repellant will stop your glasses from fogging up and prevent any dirt or moisture from sticking to your lens.
OPTICIAN: It must be said that using any of the above mentioned methods will require extra care from you. You’ll need to avoid rubbing the scratch off too much because it may change the curve of the lens, thereby changing the optical properties of the lens. If you aren’t confident enough in using any of the hacks we’ve talked about, there’s still one option open to you before you throw your glasses away – the optician/optometrist. You’ll need to check with the store where you bought your glasses if they can polish your lens for you for free. A lot of warranties do not cover scratches due to wear and tear as well as incorrect storage. Some optical stores do offer free polishing even for those glasses that were not bought from them. In any case, an optician will be able to let you know immediately if your lens is repairable or needs to be replaced.
QUICK FIX: Just dip your glasses in hot water running under the tap and squeeze them dry with a paper napkin or cotton t-shirt. The smudges and scratches disappear for the time being.