Glasses always have a tough experience in the hands of its owner. Whether its prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses, they all end up scratched, bent, or broken at some point. And for most of us, this seems to be the point where we just throw them in the trash and buy a new pair.
But before you go that route, you should look at other options such as DIY repairs. Of course, this doesn’t always mean that your glasses will be all good and dandy once you’re done. Sometimes it will, sometimes it won’t. The main thing is that you don’t need to throw out your favorite pair of glasses just because it’s got a broken part in an emergency situation when you don’t have any alternatives. So how do you go about repairing your broken eyeglasses or favorite sunglasses? Let’s tackle this part by broken part.
Dealing with Scratches
This is the most important part of one’s glasses, especially if you’re wearing prescription ones. Obviously, a broken lens is a disaster. There is really nothing more to do other than to visit your optician for a replacement. Scratched lenses, on the other hand, are simple enough to repair if you know how. We’ve listed a couple of hacks recommended by professionals that you can try out the next time you need your glasses to become scratchless.
Toothpaste: you may already have heard of this hack and some are mighty skeptical about it. Who wouldn’t be? Toothpaste?! Well, apparently, this hack works. First, you’ll need to thoroughly clean your glasses wit some eyeglasses cleaner and microfiber. Make sure that you remove any smudges on both sides of the lenses. Then put some non-abrasive toothpaste (not gel) on the scratches. Use a wool or cotton cloth to rub the toothpaste firmly onto the scratches in a circular motion for half a minute. Rinse with cold water and dry with the microfiber. You may have to repeat the process if the scratch is deep and hard to remove.
Baking Soda: this hack is similar to the toothpaste. Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of baking soda with water in a small cup until you get a thick paste. Buff the paste into the scratch with a cotton cloth using small, circular motions. Rinse with cold water once you’re done then dry them.
Scratch Removal Products: In the supermarket, you’ll find several products designed to get rid of scratches. While some of these will help you get rid of scratches, they are not suitable for glass lenses unless otherwise specified. These products usually removes scratches with the help of hydrofluoric acid which dissolves the coating on plastic lenses. One example is Armor Etch, a glass etching compound. This product cannot be used on glass lenses because it will damage it. For plastic ones, simply apply a thick coating of the Armor Etch on the lens (both sides) and let it sit there for 5 minutes. Don’t rub it into the lens. Rinse the compound off with water before patting it dry with microfiber.
Car wax: Some people have been successful in removing scratches on lenses by filling them in with regular vehicle cleaning wax. The scratches won’t really be gone; they’re just filled up temporarily with the car wax. To do this, simply rub some wax on each side of the lenses for a few minutes, as if you were polishing it. Wipe off the wax using a thin, soft cloth. No water needed. You’ll need to do this every week in order to maintain a “scratchless” lens. You can also use glass polish in the same way.
Windshield Water Repellants: These only work on superficial scratches or blemishes. You can apply some on the lens using a thin, soft cloth, rubbing it gently for a couple of seconds. As an added bonus, the repellant will stop your glasses from fogging up and prevent any dirt or moisture from sticking to your lens.
Optician: It must be said that using any of the above mentioned methods will require extra care from you. You’ll need to avoid rubbing the scratch off too much because it may change the curve of the lens, thereby changing the optical properties of the lens. If you aren’t confident enough in using any of the hacks we’ve talked about, there’s still one option open to you before you throw your glasses away – the optician/optometrist. You’ll need to check with the store where you bought your glasses if they can polish your lens for you for free. A lot of warranties do not cover scratches due to wear and tear as well as incorrect storage. Some optical stores do offer free polishing even for those glasses that were not bought from them. In any case, an optician will be able to let you know immediately if your lens is repairable or needs to be replaced.
The hinges are what holds the front piece and the arms of your glasses together. And the hinges are held in place by screws. The screw loosens, your glasses will keep falling down. You lose a screw, your glasses will fall apart. The first problem is easy enough to solve – just find a small screwdriver that fits and tighten the screws. This will not only ensure that your glasses fit you like a glove but also enhances your vision. The second problem is not really that big a deal as long as you know what to do.
Optical Repair Kit: This kit is often found in most drugstores. It contains the necessary screwdriver along with some screws that you can use to replace the one you lost. It might even have a small magnifying glass. A kit like this is usually cheap so no worries there. But for those who don’t have the time yet to drive to the nearest store to get a kit, you’ll have to try one of our hacks below.
Toothpick: Yes, you read it right. Your toothpick is the perfect replacement screw should you find yourself in need of one. To do this, just line up the frame with the arms so that the hinge’s holes overlap. Push the toothpick firmly through the hole until it securely holds the hinge in place. Break of the pieces of the toothpick that are sticking out of the hole. You wouldn’t want any part of it peeking out to be seen and pondered about, right?
Wire: You can use a wire the same way that you used the toothpick – push it through the holes of the hinge, twist the two ends together to hold the hinge in place, and cut off any excess wire.
One of the most irritating part of wearing glasses is that they tend to become loose over time. The nose pads sit too low or too high on your nose, or the arms are too wide that they slide down your face. Whichever the case is, the fact is that your glasses are no longer a perfect fit. And that isn’t only annoying, it’s not good for your vision too. Now, it’s perfectly fine to bring your glasses to the optician to have it tightened. Most shops won’t charge you if you bought the glasses from them. If you didn’t, it’s usually just a small fee. But if you feel like doing it on your own, below are some hacks that can help.
Bending the nose pads: the nose pads are those little transparent rubbers that sit on your nose and hold the glasses in place. Not all glasses have this feature though. If yours do, then by all means forge ahead. To do this, you will need to Slowly push up one of the nose pads using your thumb. Do the same for the other side. Try them on and see if there’s a difference in how high the glasses sit on your nose. Do the opposite if the glasses are too high on your nose.
Bending the arms: if the curved arm of your glasses no longer fit well around your ears, it will be uncomfortable to wear them. You’ll need to bend them to either tighten the grip or loosen it. To bend the arms of a plastic frame, simply dip it in hot, running water for a couple of minutes (or hot steam) to make the plastic malleable. Bend the arms slightly upwards to loosen their grip or downwards to make it tighter. For a metal frame, you’ll nee to use nylon jaw chain pliers for bending so that it doesn’t leave any marks on your frame. You’ll also need to make the metal a bit malleable by blowing hot air on it with a hair dryer. You’ll need to be very careful when handling a metal frame because they’re very fragile. Once you start bending them, the metal becomes weak and can easily break.
Bending the temple: Sometimes, the problem is with the temple – it sits too close on one side or both have widened considerably that they cause the glasses to slide down your face. In any case, the solution is simple – bend one or both temples to achieve the perfect fit. You can do this without exposing the temples to any form of heat. Just make sure to do so very carefully so that you don’t break them.
But what if part of the frame front is broken? What would you do then? If you have a metal frame, then you’re out of luck. You’ll need to bring it to the pros because it requires special welding. Even if you have the tools for the job, this is a very delicate task that can cause bigger problems if done wrong. One such problem is if the lens no longer fits the frame. For plastic frames, there are several DIY solutions you can choose from.
Super glue: This is a cheap but very effective solution to your problem. To do this, you’ll first have to ensure that your glasses are clean and the surface of the broken parts are clear of debris and will fit perfectly together. You can use sandpaper to ensure both surfaces are flat. Place glue on both parts and hold them together for about a minute, until the glue has set. Leave the frame on a flat surface for a few minutes so that the glue will completely dry.
Pins: You can use pins to stick the two sides of the broken frame together. Make the plastic malleable by exposing it to hot steam. Then, push one pin into one piece and another pin on the other broken piece. Then put both pieces together, pushing each pin into the opposite side just like when you’re completing a puzzle. Once the edges of both broken parts have joined together, just let the plastic cool down until it hardens.
We’ve talked a lot about DIY home repairs for your glasses and most of them really do work. But what if some parts of your glasses are really broken and need to be replaced? Where would you buy them? Well, the simplest answer would be from your local optical shop. You can also opt to buy them from online optical shops. All the various parts of your glasses can easily be replaced – lens, front frame, hinges, screws, nose pads, nose arms, temples, and temple tips. Now, it’s easy enough to find unbranded parts online. Some of the popular stores include OptiSource and Taili Glasses Parts. Some brands such as Oakley and H3O offer replacement parts for their glasses. Your best bet? The store where you got your glasses from. If they don’t have it in stock, they can easily tell you where to find it.