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How to Fix Scratched Sunglasses

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A woman holding a pair of sunglasses at her side

Whether your sunglasses are prescription or not doesn’t change the fact that scratches on them are a major bummer. Fortunately, there are several options for fixing scratches. Although, if they are prescription sunglasses, you’ll likely want to take extra care with these fixes or see a professional instead, as prescription sunglasses are typically much more expensive.

Depending on how deep the scratches are on your sunglasses, talking about lens replacement with an optician may be the best bet. However, many surface scratches can be fixed—at least temporarily until you can find a permanent solution.

Home Remedies for Fixing Scratched Sunglasses

Care must be taken with some home remedies because they could cause more damage in some instances. In the case of inexpensive sunglasses, these are viable. However, if you have prescription sunglasses, you should take them to your optometrist’s office and speak with an optician.

Wax Coating

There are special waxes you can purchase for fixing scratches. These are typically applied and then polished into the lens. The usual result is a shine on the lenses that helps conceal the scratches or makes them less noticeable. These wax products also help prevent future damage to the lenses.


You’ve probably heard of using toothpaste to re-shine a headlight cover. Well, the same principle applies to your sunglasses. Spread a dab of white (non-gel) toothpaste on the scratched lens and gently rub it in a circle. Once the lens is polished smooth with the toothpaste, rinse the toothpaste off and repeat until you’re happy with the results.

Baking Soda and Water

This treatment is a pretty popular one and only takes a few simple steps:

  • Remove the lenses from the frames.
  • Mix a baking soda solution of 2 parts baking soda to 1 part water—this should create a thick paste.
  • Spread on the lens and rub gently in a circular motion until the scratch is gone.
  • Rinse the lens and put it back in the frames. 

What is the Best Home Treatment?

There isn’t really a “best” home treatment. In many cases, these will be temporary fixes at best; at other times, you could cause further damage. For example, baking soda paste and toothpaste both work through abrasion. Essentially you’re sanding out small scratches with very fine grit.

This may be effective for minor surface scratches. But if done incorrectly, you could end up scratching the lenses more, or worse, changing the prescription!

A woman using a soft cloth to clean the lenses of her sunglasses

Alternative Scratch Removal Options

If you visit your local optometrist or optical store, you may be able to find a commercial-grade scratch remover. This is still an at-home treatment but is a little more reliable than toothpaste or baking soda.

Additionally, you could also discuss lens resurfacing with a qualified professional like an optician. This is probably the best route in many cases, especially if the scratches are deep. Also, this is a safer option than others for prescription glasses.

Replacing the Scratched Lenses in your Sunglasses

For inexpensive sunglasses, simply replacing them once the scratches are too bad is the cheapest option. However, it may be cheaper to replace the lenses in expensive frames and prescription sunglasses. Plus, if you love the frames, it’s possible you wouldn’t be able to get the exact same ones if they’re discontinued.

If replacement is the route you’re going, it may be a perfect time to book an eye exam to ensure your prescription is current. It’ll also allow you to discuss your vision needs with your optometrist. They may be able to recommend different coatings to include on your new lenses, such as polarization or UV protection.

Preventing Scratches in the First Place

Even a professional resurfacing exposes your sunglasses to the risk of further damage. So, the best way to fix the scratches is to prevent them from ever happening. This is definitely easier said than done, but here are a few tips to help you:

  • Wear them whenever they’re out of their container.
  • Store them in a soft case designed for glasses storage.
  • Clean them properly with a suitable cloth and solution.
  • Don’t ever place the sunglasses lens-side down.
  • Get scratch-resistant lenses.
  • Don’t wear them during activities that could result in damage unless they’re designed for it.

Talk to a Professional About Your Options

It’s just as important that you can see clearly out of your sunglasses regardless of the type of lenses in them. So, if you have scratches affecting your vision, they should be repaired or replaced.

Stop by our office and let the team at Precision Eye Care help you. By asking you the right questions about your vision needs, we can ensure that you get lenses that not only look great but also give you clear vision in the sun.

Written by Dr. Judy Chan

Dr. Chan received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California San Diego in 1986 and her Doctor of Optometry degree in 1990 from Pacific University College of Optometry. To broaden her skills, she also completed a year of residency training, specializing in geriatrics and ocular diseases at the Veterans Hospital in Portland. After practicing in the Portland/Vancouver area for nearly 7 years, Dr. Chan purchased her first clinic in Battle Ground, Washington. She found private practice very fulfilling and promptly acquired her second office in 1999.

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