Unless you spring for the expensive anti-scratch coating, or take really good care of your glasses, chances are you’ll end up with a few scratches on your lenses from time to time. And even if you don’t wear prescription glasses, you probably have a pair of sunglasses sitting around somewhere, and they also have a tendency to get scratched (especially if you throw them in the glove compartment of your car without a case).
But the good news is that not only are there ways to prevent your glasses from getting scratched in the first place, but it’s also possible to get rid of existing scratches. Here are some tips for doing both.
Of course, when we talk about “glasses” getting scratched, we’re really referring to the lenses, rather than the frame (although those can get scratched too). And the scratches we’re dealing with here are relatively minor ones from everyday wear-and-tear—nothing too deep or damaged.
Before you do anything else, Jonathan Zavaleta of Spy recommends rinsing the glasses with warm water, then using a microfiber cloth to wipe off any dirt or dust on your lenses. Next, it’s time for a DIY solution to help tackle the scratches.
Mix a couple of tablespoons of baking soda with a small amount of water to create a thick paste, Zavaleta says. Then grab a clean microfiber cloth (i.e. not the one you just used) and gently rub the solution onto the lenses.
After that, rinse the glasses with warm water once again, and use a third clean microfiber cloth to give them a final wipe-down, per Zavaleta’s instructions.
Now that you know how to get rid of minor scratches on your lenses, let’s talk about how to prevent them from happening in the first place. It should go without saying that storing your glasses safely inside an appropriate case (meaning one big enough, secure, and with a hard shell) is the best way to protect them, but there are other things to keep in mind, too.
Here are a few tips, courtesy of Washington Eye Doctors:
Handle them by the arms (aka the temples) instead of the rims. “This way, your fingers avoid the frame and lens area altogether, reducing the chance of inadvertently scratching them,” they write. “Additionally, holding them by the temples with both hands ensures a better grip, so you’ll be less likely to drop them.”
Always place glasses down with their lenses facing upward (unless they’re inside a case that requires the opposite position). Beyond that, the safest position for them is with the arms/temples open and upside down, which Washington Eye Doctors says makes them more stable. Also, make sure you set your glasses down somewhere safe, rather than a place where they could be easily knocked over or accidentally damaged.
Instead of wiping your glasses on your shirt, a napkin, or a bathroom towel, use a soft microfiber cloth. Other materials are more abrasive, which could cause you to unknowingly scratch your glasses (which kind of defeats the purpose).