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How to Remove Scratches From Glasses

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A close-up of a severely scratched eyeglass lens.

Glasses are essential tools for those who rely on them for clear vision. When you wear glasses, scratches can become a daily part of your life. Even if you take the best care of them, accidents—and damage—can happen.

There are a few simple ways to get rid of the scratches on your glasses. However, attempting to remove scratches with DIY methods can cause additional damage. For scratches on glasses, consult your eye doctor or optician before you try any fixes.

Eyeglass Lenses

Sometimes, no matter how much you care for your glasses or sunglasses, they can scratch easily, especially if they don’t have an anti-scratch coating. Compared to older-style glass lenses, modern lenses are usually made of plastic. Plastic is safer than glass but more susceptible to scratches. 

Gritty substances, like lint and dust, can cling to your lenses, and rubbing your glasses with these on them can cause scratches. Other seemingly safe fabrics and tissues are harsher than they look. Clothing, tissues, and towels can scratch your lenses and leave them covered in lint. 

Improper cleaning techniques, storing glasses without protective cases, or dropping them accidentally can increase the likelihood of scratches. Despite advancements in lens coatings and treatments that enhance their durability, always handle your eyeglasses carefully and adopt practices to prevent scratches, ensuring that your lenses maintain their pristine clarity for as long as possible.

Are Scratches on Your Glasses Bad?

Scratches on your glasses, while often inevitable, can impact your vision and eyewear experience. Minor scratches might cause slight visual distortion and be tolerable for daily use, but deeper or numerous scratches can:

  • Cause visual disturbances
  • Obstruct your vision
  • Give you headaches

Why You Shouldn’t Remove Scratches Yourself

It might be tempting to take matters into your own hands and try various household remedies to remove scratches from your lenses. But DIY methods can cause more harm than good. 

Your eyeglass lenses may have a special coating and treatment to provide optimal vision and protection against glare and harmful UV rays. Attempting to remove scratches without proper knowledge or tools can strip away these coatings, leading to distorted vision, reduced clarity, and a shortened lifespan for your eyewear. Refrain from DIY methods using household products like toothpaste or baking soda, as these can be gritty and will likely worsen the damage.

It’s best to consult your eye doctor or optician before attempting DIY repairs on your glasses. Professionals have the expertise and tools necessary to assess the extent of the damage and recommend appropriate solutions. 

They can advise if the scratches are removable (very rarely an option, unfortunately), if you need a new pair of lenses, or even suggest that if the scratches are minor and don’t significantly affect your vision, you might choose to leave them as they are.

A close-up of a pair glasses being stored in a hard storage case that is being held by a man.

Preventing Scratches

Maintaining a good cleaning and storing practice can help you prevent scratches on your eyeglasses or prevent further damage:

  • Use a hard storage case to protect your glasses when not wearing them. Also, avoid placing your glasses face down, putting them in your pocket or bag, or hanging them from your collar. 
  • Never leave your glasses in the car. Hot temperatures can destroy scratch-resistant coating and warp your lenses. 
  • An effective way to prevent scratches from forming on your glasses is by keeping them clean. Always use a microfiber cloth to clean your lenses, as it can remove dirt, dust, oils, and fingerprints without scratching the lens surface. 
  • Use an optometrist-approved lens cleaning spray that’s safe for your lenses and lens coating. You can also use dish soap and water applied with minimal pressure. 

Lens Longevity & Clear Vision

Proper care and maintenance are essential to keep your eyewear in top shape, so clean and store them properly to help minimize the chances of scratches. 

If you do end up with scratches on your glasses, book an appointment with The Eye Care Centre in Red Deer. We can help you keep your glasses looking clean and new for longer with scratch-resistant coating options and best practices. 

Written by Dr. Daryl Berger

Dr. Berger was born and raised in Red Deer. After studying at Red Deer College and the U of A, he graduated with honours from the optometry program at Waterloo in 2007. Daryl enjoys music, cars, biking, hiking, snowboarding and travel. He and his wife, Pamela, have twin boys and a dog named Gus.
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