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How To Remove Scratches From Glasses

A close-up of a woman cleaning eyeglasses with microfiber to prevent scratches.

For regular eyeglass wearers, there’s always a possibility of wear and tear, such as marks that appear when you use your clothes to wipe your lenses. Issues like scratches on your glasses can be frustrating—and they may affect your vision too. 

Not all scratches on glasses can be removed, but you may be able to remove minor marks by cleaning your glasses. While you might find DIY ways to remove scratches, it’s important to note that these methods may not work for all types of scratches or glasses. And if the scratches are too deep or the glasses are made of specialized material, they may require professional help from your eye care team

Using the wrong method or tools to clean your glasses can cause further damage. Let’s look at what you can do, what not to do, and how to prevent scratches on your glasses. 

Eyeglass Scratches

Eyeglasses aren’t indestructible and can sustain breaks, cracks, and scratches over time. So, why are glass lenses prone to scratching? 

The reasons your glasses can be scratched include:

  • Your lenses are not made of glass but rather durable plastic, which is safer than glass but can scratch easily. 
  • The plastic lens material tends to attract lint, dirt, and dust mites. If you rub your glasses, the small debris on them can cause scratches. 
  • Cleaning lenses with tissue, clothing, towels, and toilet paper can end up scratching the lenses and leave them covered in lint. 
  • Using household glass cleaner can strip the lens of its protective coating and make them more susceptible to scratches. 

Do Scratches on Glasses Affect Your Vision?

Small scratches that don’t affect your vision can be left alone as long as you care for them to prevent further damage to the lens. You should visit your eye doctor if you experience the following issues from scratches on your lens:

  • Visual disturbances
  • Vision obstructions
  • Headaches
A close-up of eyeglasses with a lens covered in scratches.

What to Do When You Have Scratched Glasses

It’s important to know what to do with scratched glasses, especially when scratches are blocking your vision. Even minor scratches can be irritating. It’s tempting to try and wipe them away with the first thing in sight, such as your clothing or a tissue, but before you do that, try this:

  • Gently clean your glasses with a microfiber cloth specific for eyeglasses that can clean lenses without smearing or scratching them.
  • Clean your lenses with an eyeglass cleaner that’s safe for polycarbonate lenses and lens coatings or lotion-free dish soap and water with minimal pressure. 

How to Properly Clean Your Glasses

Here are 5 steps on how to clean your glass lenses safely and hygienically:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly to remove germs. 
  2. Run warm water over your glasses to remove dust or other things that might scratch the lenses.
  3. Wipe your lenses with a microfiber cloth.
  4. Spray your glasses with a cleaning solution or use a single drop of dish soap and rub and rinse with water after. 
  5. Dry your glasses by shaking off excess water droplets. 

What Not to Do with Scratched Lenses

Trying to rid your glasses of scratches at home with quick DIY fixes might not work and can cause more damage that further affects your vision. For this reason, avoid using DIY methods like toothpaste and baking soda, as they can scratch your glasses permanently. 

Baking soda can be abrasive and erode lens treatments, and toothpaste has a gritty texture and can contain abrasive chemicals that may remove or damage protective coatings on your lenses, such as UV coatings, anti-glare coatings, or tints.  

How to Prevent Scratches on Your Glasses

If your glasses get scratched often, speak to your eye doctor about scratch-resistant coatings at your next eye exam. Protective coatings can save you money in the long run because you won’t need to change your lenses as frequently. 

Here are the best practices to care for your lenses to prevent scratches:

  • Use a hard case to store your glasses when you’re not wearing them. Safe storage helps prevent scratches and protects your frames from breakage and bending out of shape. 
  • Avoid putting your glasses face down, keeping them in your pocket or purse/bag, or hanging them from your collar. 
  • Avoid cleaning your lenses with your clothing or tissues. 
  • Avoid leaving your glasses in the car. Hot temperatures can destroy the anti-scratch or anti-reflective coatings on your lenses, and the damage can make the lenses look cracked. Extreme heat can also warp the shape of your lenses, which may significantly affect your vision.
  • Keep a microfiber cloth and approved lens-cleaning spray handy to ensure proper cleaning of your lenses. 

Eyewear Suited to Your Needs

A small scratch might not adversely affect your vision. However, when a scratch affects your vision or the integrity of the lens, it’s best to visit your local eye care professionals at Eyes on Plainville to replace your lenses. 

If your frames are in good condition, you may only need to swap out your lenses, but getting new lenses can also be a great opportunity to browse your options for fantastic frames. Book an appointment or visit us in person if you’d like to browse our range of eyewear and discuss protective coatings to prevent future scratches.

Dr. Sabrina Gaan

Written by Dr. Sabrina Gaan

Dr. Sabrina Gaan is the owner of Eyes on Plainville in Plainville, Massachusetts. She has a particular interest in myopia control and dry eye.

She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Biology from San Jose State University while earning her license as a dispensing optician. She decided to move to MA after her VA rotation in Jamaica Plain.

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