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How To Remove Scratches From Sunglasses

May 12, 2023

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Got a pair of scratched sunglasses? Don’t throw them away just yet. With a few everyday household items, you may be able to get scratches out of glasses. Let’s look at a few common ways to repair scratched sunglasses.


One of the simplest ways to remove scratches from your sunglasses relies on something you probably have in your home right now: liquid dish soap. Really? Really. Just take a dab of dish soap and gently work it into the face of your lenses with your fingers, dabbing your fingers with lukewarm water to spread the liquid soap. Not working? Then you might try using a microfiber cloth with a bit more pressure, working the dish soap into the faces of the lenses in circular motions. Let the lenses dry naturally, then clean them with a fresh glass-cleaning cloth.


You probably know about the cleaning power of baking soda, but not everyone knows this common household item can help remove scratches from glasses. How? First, clean your glasses with a microfiber cloth. Next, mix a small amount of baking soda and water in a bowl until you have a paste with a nice consistency—not too firm nor too watery. Apply the paste to the lenses and gently work it in using a microfiber cloth in circular motions. Rinse the glasses with water to remove the paste, and dry with another microfiber cloth.

Baking Soda used to remove scratches from sunglasses Photo Credit: NatureFriend /


With tiny abrasive particles in its mix, common toothpaste is effective for removing scratches from sunglasses. But go for the least-harsh options; toothpastes with whiteners and gel toothpastes are often harsher and could damage your sunglasses further. And understand that plastic lenses hold up worse than glass lenses with any abrasive. Using a damp cotton ball, rub the toothpaste into the lens, using circular motions for about ten seconds. Then wash the sunglasses clean with water. Just bear in mind that even less harsh toothpaste could be too abrasive for sunglass lenses—making this method more of a gamble than some others.

Photo of toothbrush and toothpaste Photo Credit: Bru-nO /


Metal, brass, and silver polish can all be effective in getting scratches out of glasses. Using a cotton ball or a soft cotton cloth, rub a small amount of polish on the lenses for a few minutes. Then rub the polish off with a clean cotton cloth. Keep in mind that metal polish is harsh stuff, designed to remove rust, oxidation, and corrosion from surfaces. And so metal polish could strip a polarized lens coating right off with the scratches. Making metal polish one of the more extreme scratch-removal methods. It's best to try this one on glass lenses rather than plastic ones.


Not familiar with etching cream? Commonly available in hobby stores, etching cream is a compound used to create designs on the surfaces of mirrors or glass. It's an acidic substance, and that acidity also gives it the power to take scratches out of glass and plastic. First, apply a thick coating of the cream to the glass. Let it sit for about five minutes. Then rinse the lenses with water and wipe them clean with a cotton cloth. It’s important to understand this stuff will eat away at any blue light or UV protection coatings on the lens. And could also harm glass lenses, stripping the surface layer and ruining the finish.


If car wax can be used to buff out scratches on an automobile, there's no reason the same principle shouldn't apply to fixing sunglasses. Just as you would with a car, use a soft, lint-free cloth and a small amount of wax, rubbing in the wax using circular motions. And remove the wax with the cloth using the same motions. But understand that wax doesn't actually remove scratches; it fills them in to make them less visible. And so even if you get excellent results with this method, you'll have to do it again in the future when the filler wax wears off.


Another option that relies on acidity, vinegar is a less-harsh option than etching cream—and one you can dilute to lower the acid level. Begin by making a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar. Dip a cloth into the mix and gently apply it to the lenses in a circular motion. If the scratches don't come out, try sprinkling a small amount of baking soda on the cloth and working it into the lenses with the 50/50 solution. Then rinse the lenses off with water.

Photo of Vineagar from pexels Photo Credit: olia danilevich /


While rubbing alcohol alone won't likely be very effective in removing scratches, rubbing alcohol and baking soda together could get the job done. Make a mixture with a few tablespoons of baking soda and a few dashes of alcohol. Using a cotton ball or a microfiber cloth, work the mixture into the lenses for about ten seconds. Then rinse with water and wipe the lenses clean.


Also known as baby shampoo, baby wash is a mild solution that just might have enough power to take scratches out of glasses. Mix up a sudsy solution with lukewarm water and work it into the lenses with a microfiber cloth. Add in some baking soda if needed. Then rinse the glasses with water.


One of the costlier options, a scratch removal kit, is available online and sometimes found at vision centers and optometrists' offices. Kits usually cost between $10 and $15. Though some kits can go as high as $85. 


One of your best options—and an incredibly affordable one with Knockaround—is to get some new shades. With so many options, it’s hard to know where to start! So why not begin with our latest sunglasses? 

One of the amazing new arrivals are Campeones. With all-new Knockterra™ Lens Tech, these high performance wraparound sunglasses are built for all sorts of outdoor sports. Campeones fight oil thanks to an oleophobic lens coating that causes sweat, oil drops, and similar grime to slide off the lenses. Campeones repel liquid with a hydrophobic coating that causes water to bead up and roll off the lenses instead of clinging to the surface to block your vision. And they look simply awesome!


Are you a fan of Shark Week? A big enough fan that you’d like to put your love for the cherished TV tradition on display? That’s possible with our Shark Week shades! Celebrating Shark Week’s 35th anniversary (yes, 35), we’ve created a unique pair of Fort Knox with a breaching great white shark on each arm’s exterior. These celebratory shades have an ocean blue front, a sunset pink interior, a Discovery Shark Week lens etch, with silver hardware as eye-catching accents. Plus, they come with a Discovery Shark Week 35th Anniversary microfiber protective pouch!


While it may be true that nearly all sunglasses give off something of a summer vibe, there are a few styles that say “fun in the sun” more than others. One such pair of summer-ready shades: Mai Tais. Perfect for a day at the beach, Mai Tais offer a unique combination of sophistication and casual cool. With UV400 protection that can shield your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. With a rounded frame silhouette, Mai Tais epitomize the easy, breezy days of summer, and are available in a range of bright colorways that make them excellent summer companions. And if you have them on while you’re sipping a tropical Mai Tai with your toes in the sand, all the better!

A pair of Premiums could be your next pair of go-to summer glasses. An updated version of our ever-popular Knockaround Classics, unisex Premiums are up for any kind of warm-weather fun you can imagine. They’re built for exploration with impact-resistant lenses, UV400 protection, and durable, form-fitting frames that can take bumps you may encounter on your summer adventures. If those explorations take you out on the water, consider getting a pair of Premiums with polarized lenses for glare reduction.


Cruising with the top down doesn’t get much better than while sporting a pair of Fast Lanes. With rectangular lenses and a clean-cut design, Fast Lanes are ready to take off on a summer road trip any time you are! For a cool summer vibe, you might consider black on black. Or go with vibrant colors that put your love for summer fun on full display—we have so many colorways to choose from!

It’s great if you can remove scratches from your sunglasses. Hanging on to a favorite pair of sunglasses can be a wonderful thing. But so can trying out a new look by slipping on a new pair of shades. So, by all means, try to fix scratched sunglasses. But that shouldn't stop you from treating yourself to new ones.

Written by William McCleary for Knockaround.

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