No matter how careful you are with your glasses, you are probably going to deal with a scratch or two over their lifetime. While some scratches may not bother you, as they are out of your line of sight, others create problems with your vision when they are directly where you need to look. If you are suffering from scratched lenses, you may be able to remove them with just items you have around your own home.
Plastic Versus Glass
One variable to consider when looking for a scratch repair option is whether your glasses are glass or plastic. Many of today’s lenses are made out of metal plastics, such as polycarbonate, in order to reduce the risk of breaking. These lenses also weigh far less than traditional glass lenses. Many of the scratch repair options work only on plastic lenses, so if you have glass ones you are going to struggle to repair the scratch.
For instance, many solutions you can buy to repair scratched glasses are polymer-based solutions. Polymers and plastics are both made from carbon, so when you bring them together they bond with one another, and this can effectively fill in a crack. These do not work well on glass at all. In fact, the only likely option you will find to repair a glass lens that has been scratched is to have it professionally restored, and the price of purchasing a new lens for your frames is typically more affordable.
The Toothpaste Method
One way to remove scratches from plastic designer lenses is to use toothpaste and a soft, non-abrasive cloth. Get a regular toothpaste, not one with whitening and other fancy aspects to it, and then rub it on the lens in small circles using the soft cloth. Spend about 10 seconds rubbing the toothpaste on the scratched lens. Then, use water and a new soft cloth to remove the toothpaste.
This does not always work the first time. If you still notice the scratch, repeat the process again. Keep in mind that glasses that have a coating on them will be harder to treat in this manner. You will have to use the toothpaste to rub off all of the coatings, so you may wish to bypass this option on your next pair of glasses, as they also will likely get scratched.
Using Jeweler’s Rouge
Jeweler’s rouge is another product you might be able to use to remove scratches from your glasses. Choose a low abrasive jewelers rouge. Then, make a mix using two ounces of ammonia and two quarts of water. This is more of the mixture than you will need, but these measurements ensure that you get the right ratio. Use a polishing cloth to first apply the jeweler’s rouge to the scratch in a circular motion. Buff the glasses for a while until the scratch becomes less visible. Then, don some protective glasses and rubber gloves, and use the ammonia mixture to clean the glass using a soft sponge. When you are done, dry the lens completely using a lint-free, scratch-free cloth.
While your designer glasses may have been expensive, part of this expense goes towards the purchase of the frames and having the glasses fitted. You may find that simply replacing the scratched lens is more affordable than you think.
If you attempt to use any of these methods to repair your scratched lens, you need to know that they could end up damaging your lens if you do them improperly, so do so at your own risk. Often lenses are coated for various reasons, including glare reduction and scratch protection, and attempting to fix a scratch will almost always damage this coating. However, if the cost of replacing your lens is out of reach, you may wish to try to repair the scratch yourself, but understand the risk if you do.