How to Remove Scratches From Glass Lenses
Social media is full of ‘life hacks’ and DIY videos on how to remove scratches from glasses, but do they really work? It’s important to remember that channels like these usually produce bizarre or low-effort content in order to drive clicks, as opposed to actually providing good advice.
The most common tip we’ve seen online is to use toothpaste. You apply a small amount of non-abrasive toothpaste on some cotton wool and gently rub your lens in a circular motion, slowly buffing away the scratches. Baking soda can be used as an alternative by adding water and making it into a thick paste, making slow circular motions on the lens. Other tips involve using car cleaning wax and glass etching cream.
Just to let you know, this is a phenomenally bad idea.
All these ‘hacks’ involve buffing or removing scratches by sanding down the surface until the scratch disappears. Essentially, a scratch is a depression on the surface of the lens. By buffing, you are grinding the surface of the lens to the same level as the scratch. This may create an uneven surface, distorting the quality of the lens - especially those with special lens materials like anti-reflective or UV protective coatings. and ultimately ruin the optical performance and purpose of the lenses. After all, remember how glasses work. They correct your vision based on the thickness, size and shape of the lens. By playing around with these variables, you’re undoing all the work that’s gone into perfecting the lenses to suit your eyes.
These solutions may work on small scratches that aren’t in the middle of your lenses, but if your lenses are badly scratched in the middle, it’s a good option to get them replaced.
The easiest way to have scratch-free glasses is to take necessary precautions when storing and cleaning them. Buy a hard case to store your glasses when you’re not using them; that way, you can put them in your bag or leave them at home without having to worry about scratches or accumulating dust. When cleaning, always use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the lenses.
If you know you’ll be doing activities that may potentially scratch your lenses, wear contact lenses or buy some protective glasses. Remember, nothing beats taking good care of your glasses in the first place!