Armor Etch can be a cheap fix for your scratched eyeglasses
My wife recently scratched up her eyeglasses which we bought at a bargain from an online store (perhaps another story for another post). Holding them up to the light, the flaws were visible. Thankfully, searching the web yielded answers in short order, although they took some time to compile, so I'm sharing my experiences with you.
Many reviewers have suggested using Armour Etch to remove glasses' antiglare coating, and thus, the scratches. Note that this ONLY applies to plastic/polycarbonate lenses in general — do NOT use it on actual glass glasses, because it'll "frost" and RUIN them. I also recommend not doing the following if you only possess one pair of glasses... have a backup! After weighing our options: ~US$50 for a new pair of glasses vs. $10 for a small (3 oz.) bottle of Armour Etch, we opted to use the latter for an experiment.
I procured a bottle from eBay, and the process was very simple.
Here's exactly what I did:
- Wear vinyl gloves.
- Hold the glasses facing away from you, with one hand holding onto the frames.
- Pour a gumdrop-sized dollop of Armour Etch on each lens, then rub it in circles with your fingers. It'll feel sort of gritty and textured. Rather relaxing, really.
- Avoid rubbing Armour Etch onto the frames — my wife's glasses didn't experience problems with some slop, but others have reported discoloration and other adverse affects.
- Keep rubbing for about a couple minutes or so.
- Rinse the glasses under warm water, taking care to remove as much residue as possible. This is tricky.
- Dry your glasses off with a soft cloth. Don't make the mistake of using paper towel as I initially did, because not only is it composed of abrasive wood fiber, it sheds off onto the glasses, defeating the purpose of cleaning with them.
- Hold your glasses up to the light to view the results.
Then, I placed the glasses back on my wife's face. She was wowed by the noticeable difference, and while they appeared visibly more glare-y (obviously since the antiglare coating had mostly been removed), the clarity of vision is worth it so far.
It's not as comprehensive as a new pair of glasses, and not even as reassuring as getting those new glasses on a budget — US$100 is just too much, see GlassyEyes for why! — but it's a fun little experiment to try at your own risk. I was comforted having read through dozens of reports before me. Also, some have suggested cleaning with other materials like toothpaste, but I haven't tried that yet. Maybe next time, or if you have, do tell.
- Repairing Scratched Eyeglasses - The bulk of the reviews I read.
- Armour Etch mentioned on Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools - KK is an influential voice if he quotes you, and not just because one of his books was required reading for the stars of The Matrix: at times, he's like a high-tech Heloise.
Do you have an eyeglasses-related tip? Share it with us in the comments!