How to Remove Scratches from Sunglasses

a well-organized collection of sunglasses

Did you know that sunglasses date back over 2,000 years? That’s right. The first people to use sunglasses were Eskimo hunters who used them to protect their eyes from sunlight reflected off the snow. The Eskimo hunters’ job was to gather food for the rest of the community. Hence, they could not afford to become snow-blind. Therefore, they created narrow goggles with slits that they carved from wood and bone. They did not have to worry about how to remove scratches from sunglasses like we do today. Their invention was perfect for them as it reduced the amount of glare while still providing enough vision.

Today, sunglasses are part disguise, part accessory, and part eye protectors; they are also ubiquitous. With designer sunglasses going for up to $400,000, keeping them scratch-free is a necessity unless you are Gwyneth Paltrow, Elton John, or Tom Jones, who have no problem wearing such expensive sunglasses.

Common Causes of Scratches on Sunglasses

sunglasses with scratches lying on the ground with sunset on its background

Scratched sunglasses can be quite frustrating and inconvenient. They not only obstruct your vision depending on how deep they are but also increase the chances of the lens breaking. When most people see scratches on their sunglasses, they either get new ones, pay a professional to get rid of the scratches, or look for tips on how to remove scratches from sunglasses. Rarely do people try to find out what the cause of the scratches is.

There are several things that can cause your sunglasses to have scratches. Cleaning sunglasses with rough fabrics is one of the major causes. How many times have you cleaned your sunglasses using your shirt or a paper towel? If it is often, this might be the reason behind why your sunglasses always have scratches.

Another common cause is careless handling of sunglasses. If you tend to throw your sunglasses inside your handbag or leave them lying around anywhere, the scratches will only get worse. Other causes of scratches on sunglasses include playing active sports with sunglasses on and using harsh chemicals to clean them.

Simple Tips on How to Remove Scratches from Sunglasses

It’s happened to even the most careful people on earth. You’re out enjoying your day with your favorite pair of glasses on when someone bumps into you and the shades fall down. When you pick them up, they have a huge scratch that you have no idea how to fix. Don’t fret. These simple tricks and tips will help you minimize the scratches on your sunglasses within no time.

Furniture Spray

The last thing most people think about when looking for ways on how to remove scratches from sunglasses is to use furniture spray. However, it is one of the easiest and fastest ways to get rid of scratches from your shades. It works by filling in the scratches, thereby making them less visible. All you have to do is spray a small amount of the furniture spray onto your sunglasses and use a lint-free cloth to rub it on. While this method works fast, the results are not long lasting. You might need to use the furniture spray every other day to maintain the results.

Toothpaste

Is it me or is toothpaste used for almost every hack? Apart from helping you get rid of zits, toothpaste has many amazing uses, one of them being removing scratches on sunglasses. However, you need to ensure your toothpaste is non-minty, non-abrasive, non-whitening, and non-gel for the best results. While your teeth might appreciate all these good things, your sunglasses will not. Therefore, stick to regular toothpaste. 

photo of toothpaste with back background

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All you have to do is to apply a thin layer of toothpaste using a cotton ball and rub the paste in circular motions for about 10 seconds. Next, rinse off the paste with cool water and rub off the excess with a lint-free cloth. You can repeat if the scratches are still conspicuous after the first try.

Baking Soda

Baking soda can also serve as a handy scratch remover for your sunglasses. However, you need to be very careful when it comes to this because baking soda is slightly abrasive. For the best results and to ensure your lenses do not get damaged, use two parts of baking soda and one part water. Use a cotton ball to rub the baking soda on the scratches and rinse off with cool water. You can repeat if the scratches are still visible. Do not try this on prescription lenses because it might weaken the lenses.

baking soda on a small glass bowl

Silver or Brass Polish

Silver and brass polish work the same way the furniture spray does. They work by filling in the scratches, hence making them less visible. Brass polish is best for sunglasses with a brown tint while the silver polish can be used on any other type of sunglasses. To use, simply apply a small amount of the polish on the sunglasses and use cotton balls to rub in circular motion. After about 10 seconds, clean off any excess polish on the lens with a lint-free cloth and repeat if necessary.

photo of a silver polish with a silver ornament on its top

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Vehicle Wax

Vehicle wax is also a great filler compound that minimizes the appearance of scratches on sunglasses. To use, apply a thin layer on your lenses and rub gently using a cotton ball. Clean the excess using a micro-fiber cloth to avoid further damage. Similar to the furniture wax, silver polish, and brass polish, you might have to repeat the process several times to get visible results. However, be careful not to use too much at a time, as it may damage your lenses.

Sunscreen

Sunscreen is also a very good option if you are looking for ideas on how to remove scratches from sunglasses. The only disadvantage of this method is that you can only use it for lenses with a mirror coating and it only works on scratches that are on the mirrored layer. In addition to this, you will have to remove the mirrored layer completely in order to use the sunscreen. This is because if it comes into contact with the plastic or glass parts, it will cause further damage. Therefore, if you decide to go for this method, be very careful.

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Glass Etching

The last thing most people would think of when considering how to remove scratches from sunglasses is glass etching. The name itself suggests that something bad will happen. However, this method is recommended if you want to remove scratches from sunglasses with plastic lenses that are also coated. The idea is to strip the coating that is scratched.

What makes this method a great choice is that glass etching products contain hydrofluoric acid that is very corrosive. The acid eats away all the coating on your plastic lenses. The downside of this method is that it is not easy to tell which coatings will peel off and which ones will not. 

Therefore, there is a chance you may end up damaging your sunglasses if you are not 100 percent sure the solution will work on your type of sunglasses. To use, simply, apply a small amount of the glass etching solution and rub with a microfiber cloth until you notice the scratches reducing.

Sandpaper

Yes. You read that right. This is probably the last thing you would imagine using when looking at how to remove scratches from sunglasses. However, if done correctly, your sunglasses might end up looking very good; emphasis on the word “looking.” Just be prepared to spare enough time because this process can take several hours. All you need to do to remove scratches from your lenses with sandpaper is to rub the lenses gently until the scratches are no longer noticeable.

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If all you care about is removing the scratches, then sandpaper is an excellent choice. However, if you want to preserve the UV protection, lens quality, and the anti-glare feature of your lens, sandpaper is not the best option as it strips all these from your lenses.

Replacement lenses

When trying to figure out how to remove scratches from sunglasses, getting replacement lenses is by far the most effective method. The problem is that most people do not know that this is an option. Most individuals assume they have to get a new pair of sunglasses when they get scratches. This is not the case. It is possible to have your lenses replaced as you would with prescription glasses. The best thing about this option is that you get to save a lot of money when you compare the price of replacement to the cost of getting a new pair. 

Image CCO via Pxhere

Therefore, if you don’t want to ruin your sunglasses with some of the extreme solutions mentioned above, this is a great option.

How to Keep Your Sunglasses Scratch-Free

Learning how to remove scratches from sunglasses is not a long-term solution. Since most of the aforementioned methods strip your sunglasses of important features like UV protection and anti-glare, you will end up needing a new pair sooner or later. For this reason, when it comes to scratches on your sunglasses, prevention is definitely better than cure. Here are some of the simple ways you can keep your shades scratch-free.

Ensure proper cleaning

close-up photo of cloth used for cleaning sunglasses

Have you ever wondered why people breathe out on their lenses before they clean them? It is because when lenses are cleaned while they are completely dry, it creates friction that not only causes the lens coating to degrade but also causes scratches. However, although most people do it, it is not the correct way to clean sunglasses or prescription glasses. Breathing on the lenses only causes dirt on your lens to spread, which can cause scratches and create smudges.

The correct way to clean your glasses is to rinse them with plain warm water. You can rub your finger around the lens to remove dirt and smudges. Once you are done, dry the lens with a microfiber eyeglass cleaning cloth.

Another mistake most people make is using their shirts and other rough fabrics to clean their glasses. Such rough fabrics also create friction and scratch your lenses. To clean your sunglasses, stick to the microfiber eyeglass cleaning cloth.

Proper storage

a slightly opened case with pink animal print containing sunglasses

Since most sunglasses are not prescription glasses, most people do not put a lot of thought into how they store them. Some people have them in their cars, in cabinets, and even on the couch if that is the last place they took them off. This is a very bad practice, and it could ruin your sunglasses within a very short time. If you want your shades to stay scratch-free and in perfect condition for a longer period of time, you should consider storing them in a case at all times. This way, they never come into contact with anything that may damage them.

Handle your sunglasses properly

If you have the habit of taking off your sunglasses using one hand, you could be slowly damaging your frame and lenses. When you take them off using one hand, the joints on the frame start becoming weak. There is also a great likelihood that they will get scratched by earrings, watches, and other accessories when handled this way. To maintain your sunglasses in great condition, make sure you always use both hands to take them off.

Ensure no harsh chemical come into contact with the lens

Corrosive chemicals strip away the coating of your lens, making it less protective. Therefore, the next time you notice a stubborn stain that doesn’t seem to come off, do not rush to your bathroom or the store to get the strongest bleach. Also, ensure your glasses are always stored in clean and dry places away from harsh chemicals.

Did We Find the Best Way to Remove Scratches from Sunglasses?

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Sunglasses are probably one of the most expensive fashion accessories, but they are very useful. Despite all the rage about looking cool, UV protection is a necessity. This makes sunglasses more than just fashion accessories. For this reason, you need to ensure that you take care of your sunglasses to not only protect them from scratches but also keep them in overall good condition.

While it is possible to remove scratches using the above tips on how to remove scratches from sunglasses, it is not recommended because they strip your lenses of their protective abilities. The best tip on how to remove scratches from sunglasses is replacing the lenses. This is the only method that will give you scratch-free results without ruining your sunglasses. Who wants a pair of sunglasses without anti-glare or UV protection anyway?

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