How to repair scratched eyeglasses?
November 6, 2006 12:17 PM   Subscribe

Anything I can do to repair scratches on my eyeglasses?

I've got a plethora of tiny lines scratched into my lenses as well as a few decent dings. Is there a product that anyone has experience in using to fill-in/repair scratches in eyeglasses (bonus points if it can also work on motorcycle helmet visors)?
posted by iurodivii to Grab Bag (14 answers total)
Are your glases coated? (I.e., with non-reflective coating.) That would probably make a difference in what can be done.
posted by LeisureGuy at 12:38 PM on November 6, 2006

This might work. Although like LeisureGuy said, coatings make things more difficult.
posted by hindmost at 1:39 PM on November 6, 2006 [1 favorite]

I was once told that using micro-abrasive plastic polishes on motorcycle visors was illegal in my state, because it could distort the view.

Of course, this was told to me by a salesman trying to sell a new helmet...
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 2:12 PM on November 6, 2006

I've used a cerium oxide paste to polish out a scratch on a car windshield. It should work on eye glasses or a visor. But if the scratch or pit is too deep. you'll need to use a more abrasive grit.
posted by jaimev at 2:59 PM on November 6, 2006

If they're not coated, you could also try furniture polish. Works for minor scratches.
posted by DenOfSizer at 3:08 PM on November 6, 2006

Some people swear by Brasso.
posted by oxford blue at 3:33 PM on November 6, 2006

Brasso will fog plastic lenses. Toothpaste (the old-fashioned white stuff) works fairly well for small scratches.
posted by Etaoin Shrdlu at 3:54 PM on November 6, 2006

I don't have a link or a name, but I've seen a product for repairing the optical surface of CDs that uses an optical filler (ie a liquid of similar refractive index that fills in the scratches and then sets as a plastic). Perhaps try some of that stuff.
posted by -harlequin- at 4:03 PM on November 6, 2006

The problem with all those suggestions is that they involved products which remove material around the scratch to level it out.

But if you do too much of that, you also change the shape of the lense, which means it won't correct your vision any longer -- or at least, it won't correctly correct your vision.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 4:58 PM on November 6, 2006

I realize you're looking for a DIY solution, but if you do have an anti-reflective coating on there, you can have them sent off to the place that applies the coating, where they can remove and replace it. If they're coated, the scratches are quite likely to the coating rather than the lens itself.
posted by redfoxtail at 5:45 PM on November 6, 2006

Whatever you try, please test it on an old pair that have the same general properties as your current ones (i.e. coatings and composition). Being half blind sucks, trust me.
posted by IronLizard at 8:18 PM on November 6, 2006

I want to reiterate what some previous posters have said: The glasses are probably impossible to fix--if the scratches are at all deep, you will have to remove so much material that the optical nature of the lens will be changed.

That being said, you might be able to give them a light polish, with the goal not being to remove the scratches, but just to sort of smooth the edge of the scratch. Essentially, turning a saw wave shape into a sine wave, hopefully making the scratch less visible with a minimal amount of material removed. But it's still risky, so be prepared to learn a life lesson about listening to strangers on the internet. Good luck.

On the other hand, I don't think the motorcycle visor works like a lens, nor is it made to such tolerances. I suspect you could get very acceptable results with the micro-mesh polishing kit. Unfortunately, my motorcycle visor has a coating on it, so polishing it is right out. (Note: If the helmet is halfway popular, you can probably find someone selling lenses not-too-expensive on ebay.)
posted by IvyMike at 10:54 PM on November 6, 2006

I can't recall if my eyeglass lenses have any sort of coatings on them. I was hoping that something like this would serve to fill in the scratches while it cleaned. I am definitely not going to try polishing the lenses with abrasives.
posted by iurodivii at 4:58 AM on November 7, 2006

fill in the scratches while it cleaned

There is a plastic cleaner called Brillianize that does that to some extent.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:38 AM on November 7, 2006

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