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DIY vs. Professional Sunglasses Repair

No matter how careful you are, or how much you take care of your glasses, anyone can scratch their lenses. Many people get discouraged when this happens, thinking that’s the end of the pair, or that they’d have to spend hundreds of dollars for replacement lenses. However, what they might not know is that sunglasses scratch repair is a viable solution, whether you choose to do it yourself, or have a professional do the job. There are various DIY methods you can use if you choose to go that route, but I personally always take my scratched sunglasses to a professional optometrist.

While there are many products on the market specifically made for repairing scratched lenses, these scratches must be very small for the repair to be successful. Glass etching products can remove the anti-scratch and anti-glare coating on the lens, and leave the original lens almost intact. The etching product will only fill the scratches on the lens so they’re less visible. But as you keep polishing and cleaning the lenses, it’s important to not overdo it, simply because it will alter the thickness of the lens. This is especially important if your lens comes with a prescription and they’ve been designed for your eyes specifically. Toothpaste, baking soda and abrasive cleaners can be used for sunglasses scratch repair, and wax products are used for filling the scratches in the lens.

scratched sunglasses toothpaste

Source: YouTube

Besides lens scratches, the frames of your sunglasses are susceptible to damage. Even the strongest frames can be broken or bent when you aren’t careful. In my experience, Murphy’s Law ‘anything that can go wrong will definitely go wrong’ applies to glasses more often than not when they don’t fall on a cushy surface but instead drop right next to it on the concrete. If you have plastic frames, the broken plastic can be melted with a hot pin that you can push into the broken edges. When plastic is hot, it’s manipulable, allowing you to smooth it over the pin from both sides. But such a repair shouldn’t be performed if you don’t have previous experience, so it’s a job best left to a professional. If you insist on doing the repair yourself, practice on an old plastic frame before you do it to the sunglasses you’re trying to fix.

After sanding and cleaning broken pieces off a frame, you should use sandpaper to roughen up the area that’s going to be glued. Use high-quality glue that sets within seconds for the best results. When doing so, always cover the lenses with wax paper to prevent further scratching before pouring glue. You can use a rubber band to hold the damaged frames together until the glue sets. For adventurous DIY experts, drill a small hole in both sides of the frame, which you can pass a thread through so they don’t break. You can then use a small wrap with glue on the inside to hold the two pieces of the frame together. Avoid duct tapes for the wrap and your DIY repair may keep your sunglasses going long enough until you can get them professionally repaired or get a new pair.

Even if it’s a small issue like a simple screw replacement, you’ll find adequate screws in drug stores, sunglass specialty stores or online. There are even stock sunglass repair kits that you can buy to ensure you have suitable replacement parts for your particular type of sunglasses. The kit will usually include screws of various sizes, a small screwdriver and sometimes a magnifying glass. After removing the old screw, if you still have one, it’s a simple task of replacing it with a same-sized screw and thread. If the screw is too long, it can be a temporary solution until you find a more suitable replacement. If a small part of the screw is stuck inside the frame or hinge of the sunglasses, you can use an eyebrow plucker or small tweezers to remove it. You can then use a toothpick or a paperclip to line up the parts of the sunglasses that you need to screw together.

At the end of the day, there are only so many adequate repairs you can do yourself. When your sunglasses break, bend or become unusable, it can take a lot of time and effort to repair them, so it can become a challenge to keep them in top shape. This is because most people think that repairing sunglasses is very expensive. However, this doesn’t always have to be the case. There are many repair services that won’t break your bank, and the work will be performed by experts who have dedicated their lives to the craft. Their results will almost always be better than your DIY efforts.