Polarized sunglasses are a popular choice of eyewear – they reduce glare and enhance color, so they’re perfect for driving and a range of outdoor sports. However, their price tag reflects their superiority, and so when they get scratched, replacing them can be a costly consideration.
Before putting your scratched polarized shades in the trash, however, wait a moment. There are several tried and tested techniques that could eliminate (or minimize the appearance of) the scratches and give you many months or years more wear of your sunglasses.
Repairing Scratches on Plastic Polarized Lenses
Start by washing your shades under warm water. Apply a small dot of dish detergent to the lens and gently rub it over the surface. Now rinse the soap away thoroughly, and gently dry the sunglasses with a clean microfiber cloth.
Next, apply a thin coating of scratch remover polish to the affected lens. If you don’t have this product to hand, you can also use furniture polish, petroleum jelly, or non-abrasive white toothpaste. The idea with all of these options is to reduce the appearance of any scratches.
The coating should be gently rubbed around the lens in a circular manner for five to ten seconds, again using a microfiber cloth. Now check the lens carefully. If the scratch is still visible, try repeating the process again.
Finally, wash the shades or prescription sunglasses again in warm soapy water to get rid of any remaining oily residue, rinse, and put the microfiber cloth into service again to gently and thoroughly dry them.
How About Repairing Scratches on Polarized Lenses Made of Glass?
Simply squeeze a small amount of non-abrasive white toothpaste onto a dry cotton ball and rub this gently over the surface of the lens, in a circular motion, for about twenty seconds. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe away the toothpaste, and then turn the cloth over to its clean side, dampen it a little with water, and then use it to wipe away all traces of any remaining residue on the lenses. This process may need to be repeated several times to render the scratches invisible.
Does Baking Soda Work or Sandpaper Work to Repair Scratches?
As an alternative to the methods above, you could try baking soda, which may help to repair minor, surface-level scratches on polarized sunglasses lenses. It’s definitely worth a try, as there’s no risk of abrasion – simply apply a small amount directly to the lenses and gently rub in, and then rinse thoroughly.
And although you’ll hear some people swearing that they’ve used sandpaper to eliminate scratches on their car’s bodywork or hardwood floors, never be tempted to try this reputed remedy on scratched glasses lenses. As well as likely making the problem worse, an abrasive surface like sandpaper could actually remove the polarized coating from the lenses.
Is There an Alternative to Fix Scratched Polarized Lenses?
Apart from buying a brand-new pair of sunglasses, another option is to simply have the lenses of your sunglasses replaced. This may be a particularly attractive option if your shades incorporate expensive designer frames. Your eye care practitioner or ophthalmologist’s office may be able to sort this out for you, or there are online services available that allow you to mail off your scratched glasses for a lens refit.
How to Prevent Your Polarized Sunglasses from Getting Scratched
When it comes to repairing scratched lenses, prevention is definitely better (and cheaper!) than cure. There are several key things you can do to minimize the chances of your sunglasses getting damaged. Most obviously, get into the habit of keeping your shades in their case when they’re not being worn. Most damage to lenses occurs when they’re not in use.
Also, get into the habit of regularly and thoroughly cleaning your sunglasses: debris that’s left on the lenses is one of the most common ways that scratches occur. Check out the section below, which covers exactly how to clean polarized sunglasses. Always use both hands when opening the arms of your sunglasses and putting them on, as manipulating the frames using a single hand can, over time, cause damage which can result in loose screws. And dropped shades are another key factor in lenses sustaining scratches and other issues.
How to Clean Polarized Sunglasses
To keep your polarized sunglasses clean and free of the debris that can cause scratches, get into the habit of cleaning them regularly. And by cleaning, we mean more than just a quick swipe over with the fabric of your tee!
Instead, wash them gently with lukewarm soapy water, or use a special solution designed specifically for polarized lenses to prevent damaging the coating. Avoid using tissues or paper towels on the lenses, which could cause minor scratches; instead, opt for a clean and dry microfiber cloth. Rinse thoroughly, and use a fresh microfiber cloth to dry your shades – and you’re done!
Keeping Your Polarized Sunglasses Scratch-Free
As mentioned above, prevention is way better than cure when it comes to repairing scratch damage to polarized sunglasses. Use a sturdy case to protect your shades when not in use, and be sure to clean them regularly and thoroughly. And – if the worst happens – use the guide above to help eliminate any scratches that do occur over time.