There are many home hacks and Tik Toks showing you how to quickly and magically remove scratches from your lenses. But like a lot of things on social media, they don’t always deliver the results promised. In fact, in a lot of cases you could end up with a worse scratch than when you started.
Let’s look at which are real life hacks and which are just a hack. We’ll even throw in some of our own tips for how to remove a scratch on sunglasses and regular lenses too.
🚩Fact or fiction? The truth about glasses scratches
The internet is full of ideas for how to remove scratches from sunglasses. We don’t recommend any of them.
Often it will do more harm than good. With corrective lenses, for example, there’s unfortunately no magic solution that will help remove scratches.
Glasses lenses are curved, and it’s this curvature that corrects poor vision. When buffing out scratches there’s a high chance you could accidentally alter the lenses curvature, rendering them as useless as Spider-Man’s glasses.
It’s nigh on impossible to fix scratches on eyeglasses, however, sunglasses work slightly differently…
⚡ The scratches on the coating of solar lenses…
…are just as irreparable as those on prescription glasses. So, while they work differently, the outcome is unfortunately still the same.
Sunglasses are equipped with treatments that polarize the lens, reduce glare and reflections, block UV rays, prevent small scratches and more.
But over time this surface coating deteriorates. It’s even worse if you don’t take care of your sunglasses and store them safely.
Most scratched lens removal methods involve wearing down lens coatings so the scratches appear to disappear. Like a knock-off version of David Blaine.
⚠️ While the scratches disappear, it is at the cost of the coating of the glasses which are the whole reason for wearing them.
Remember: Destroy the ring = Destroy Sauron.
Glasses work the same way.
Destroy the coating = destroy the glasses.
Wearing down the coating reduces sunglasses’ effectiveness at filtering blue light and UV rays. This will, in the long term, affect your vision. This is particularly true of sunglasses where you’re no longer blocking the sun’s harmful rays.
The different ‘hacks’ debunked
🧴The toothpaste trick for sunglass scratches
This is one of the most well known hacks. It’s easy to try because everyone has toothpaste on hand at home (well… nearly everyone. We don’t think Gollum does much teeth brushing), and seems to make the most sense. It polishes your teeth – why not your glasses too?
This hack has been repeated and repeated across tons of sites and socials so it’s obvious why so many people fall into the trap of believing toothpaste will work to clear out scratches.
However, teeth and lenses aren’t the same. The gritty texture and ingredients that good for your teeth can cause more damage to your sunglasses and regular eyeglasses coatings. Scratches may appear to have vanished, but it’s because you’ve also gotten rid of the whole damaged layer, revealing the smooth one underneath and exposing your eyes.
So, while it may look effective, the toothpaste trick for removing sunglass scratches does more harm than good. And ironically, that grainy texture can help create new scratches too.
Another every day, household item; baking soda is often recommended for polishing glasses and helping remove scratches.
However, that doesn’t apply to scratches on glasses. Baking soda has an abrasive texture, meaning it’s certain to scratch your lenses.
But wait … there’s more!
Baking soda can also trap and displace dust, dirt, and other particles, leading to more scratches than you started with. And the classic recommended solution of baking soda and white vinegar or water wont’ work either.
In some cases, the chemical reaction can even deform the glass completely. So put the baking soda down … or go and make some cookies with it instead.
Using wax is another tip that comes up often. The hacks will tell you that rather than removing scratches, wax just fills them in so they look like they’ve disappeared.
Well, the hacks lied. Wax is thick and opaque, not conducive to vision! Plus, it’s unlikely it will do anything to help the scratch and might even make it more obvious.
How to remove scratches on sunglasses
In short, you can’t.
Trying any of the “super helpful” social media hacks above will leave you with damaged sunglasses that have lost their protective coating and treatments, exposing your eyes to the elements.
The same applies for regular corrective lenses, which you’ll ruin the curvature of at the same time.
If your glasses are scratched there’s only one solution. Visit your optometrist.
They’ll be able to perform a professional tratement tto reduce the scratches. Or, if nothing can be done, they can order you a replacement lenses. It might be costly, but it’s cheaper than having to buy a whole new pair because you spent an hour rubbing them over with baking soda.
Your best option is finding yourself a good, resistant, and effective pair of sunglasses that won’t scratch easily.
🙅♀️ How to avoid scratches on sunglasses
- 🧣 First, use a high quality microfiber to clean your sunglasses. The microfiber is soft and does not leave marks. Avoid rough fabrics that could scratch the glasses … like the bottom of your t-shirt. Start by rinsing your glasses with water to get rid of the dirt that could scratch your glasses when you rub, and scrub gently to get rid of dirt and fingerprints. Microfiber is your ally to keep your glasses clean and scratch-free.
- 🛡 When you're not wearing your glasses, store them in a protective case. This will protect them from shocks, friction, and accidental scratches. Never lay them face down on hard or rough surfaces as this may damage the lenses.
- ⚗ Avoid cleaning your glasses with harsh chemicals. Instead, use a special cleaning spray designed for glasses. These sprays are formulated to gently remove impurities without damaging lenses. Apply a few drops of the spray to the lenses and wipe them with a microfiber cloth.
- 😎 Finally, don't forget to take off your glasses properly. Use both hands to remove them by holding the branches. Avoid putting them on your head or hanging them from your shirt collar, as this could scratch or damage them. Plus, it doesn’t look as cool as you think it does.
How to remove a scratch on sunglasses: Final thoughts
There is no miracle cure for removing scratches from sunglasses or other lenses. Scratches on sunglasses can be frustrating, especially when they happen quickly, but repair techniques that can be found on the internet inevitably do more harm than good.
So put the toothpaste back in its holster, smooth away the wax and put the baking soda to the back of the cupboard for another 5 years.
The only really effective way to fight scratches is to take care of your glasses so you don't scratch them. Use a protective case when you're not wearing your glasses, and clean them regularly with a soft microfiber cloth.
Our maintenance advice: to keep sunglasses and corrective lenses in condition, use cleaning products specially designed for glasses and avoid harsh chemicals. Also avoid wiping sunglasses with rough fabrics or clothing.