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How to Remove Anti Scratch Coating from Glasses?

Writen by Joshua Clark

Fact checked by Daniel Rocha

how to remove anti scratch coating from glasses

Do you notice scratches forming on your glasses that it is affecting how you see things through the lens? If you do, it could be because the anti scratch coating is beginning to wear thin or degrade. Knowing how to remove anti scratch coating from glasses can help retain the lenses’ full functionality.

Unfortunately, you will not be able to replace the coating. At least, removing the damaged coating from your glasses will help you see clearly through the lens.

Things You Need for this Tutorial

Removing coating from glasses is a straightforward process of dissolving the scratch-resistant coating and scraping it off the lens surface. However, it would also be best to come prepared with a few things for this tutorial.

Understanding of Scratch-Resistant Eyewear Coatings

No eyewear is 100% scratch-proof. Manufacturers coat the lens surface to increase its scratch resistance.

Some high-end eyewear already has anti-scratch technology embedded into the lens. For example, Trivex lenses are famous for their exceptional scratch resistance. Advanced polycarbonate lenses are also more resistant to scratches than ordinary plastic lenses.

Manufacturers of plastic lenses often apply a thin polycrystalline diamond or diamond-like carbon (DLC) film on the lens surface.

Tools and Materials

If you have a plastic lens, a glass etching cream is needed to remove the anti scratch coating from your glasses. You will also need cotton swabs or Q-tips to apply the cream and rub it off the lens.

Glass eyewear requires a different approach, such as a saltwater solution and isopropyl alcohol. A plastic scraper is also necessary, although you can use any straightedge materials, such as a plastic ID card.

How to Remove Anti Scratch Coating from Glasses (Plastic Lenses)


Step 1. Assemble your materials.

I cannot emphasize this enough. You will want everything you need for this activity within arm’s reach. I suggest working in a well-lit environment to allow a more thorough inspection of your glasses.

If you have a work table or desk, you can drape it in a clean piece of soft cloth with your materials on one side of the table. You can use a drop light to focus the light on your work.

Pro Tip: I recommend wearing plastic gloves to avoid smudging the glasses with your fingerprints.

Step 2. Apply a glass etching compound on the lens.

Get a Q-tip or cotton swab and scoop a small amount of glass etching cream. Apply the cream to the lens surface, covering the front and back.

Be careful not to put any cream on the frame or any other part of your glasses. If you do, wipe the cream off immediately using a clean Q-tip. Do not use the same cotton swab for applying the cream.

I find the Armour Etch 15-0200 Etching Cream perfect for this job. You can try other etching creams if you wish.

Leave the cream on the lens for about five minutes to allow its active compounds to begin dissolving the coating.

Step 3. Scrub the lens.

Use a new cotton swab to gently scrub the lens surface to remove coating from glasses.

Under no circumstances should you use scrapers because they can etch into the plastic surface. It would be wise to remember that plastic is not as scratch-proof as glass.

Place the lens under the light and check if you can see any sections you missed. Work on these sections using a clean cotton swab.

Get a glass cleaning cloth and wipe the lens’ back and front surfaces. Also, I recommend using a special cloth to clean your lens, like eyeglass wipes. This cloth is reusable to avoid waste, if this still doesn’t convince you, check out this article on the way to clean eyeglasses cloth, I’ll prove it!

Step 4. Rinse and dry the lenses.

Take your newly-cleaned glasses in the kitchen sink and place them under running water. Rinse it first to remove any cream residue.

Dip your glasses in a bowl of warm soapy water made of mild detergent. Scrub the lens surface using your gloved fingers, ensuring you clean the whole lens. You can also use cotton balls to clean the lenses.

Rinse the glasses in warm running water and dry with a soft, non-streaking glass cleaning cloth.

Pro Tip: The Chairwoman of the American Optometric Association, Teri Geist, recommends rinsing the lens in warm water and placing a tiny amount of liquid detergent on the finger. You can then swirl it around the lens to create a lather.

How to Remove Anti Scratch Coating from Glasses (Glass Lenses)


Step 1. Prepare your coat-removing solution.

To remove anti reflective coating scratches from glass lenses, you must prepare a homemade coat-removing solution.

First, fill a glass with 3.5 ounces of clean water and add a tablespoon of table salt. Mix it well to dissolve the salt grains. You will want a homogenous mixture for this trick.

Second, pour 17.5 ounces of isopropyl alcohol into a bowl and add the saltwater solution. Stir thoroughly to produce a diluted solution.

Pro Tip: You can make more of this solution by observing the recommended alcohol-to-saltwater ratio of 5 to 1. As for the saltwater solution, the ratio is always a tablespoon of salt for every 3.5 ounces or 100 mL of water.

Step 2. Soak your glasses in the solution.

Pour the coat-removing solution into a shallow bowl, which should be large enough to accommodate the glasses lens side down.

Position your glasses with the lens touching the bowl’s bottom, ensuring complete submersion of both lenses in the solution.

The solution softens the coating, making it easy to scrape it later on. I recommend immersing your glasses in the solution for at least an hour.

Step 3. Scrape the coating off your glasses.

If you want to see the coating on glasses coming off, gently scrape the lens surface using any straight-edge tool. An old ID card will suffice if you do not have a scraper.

Check the lenses for any residual anti scratch coating. If there are, you may want to immerse the glasses for another 30 minutes.

Try scraping the coating off your glasses again.

Step 4. Rinse and dry your glasses.

Most folks stop at Step 3. However, I think you must rinse your glasses in running warm water to remove any salt water residue.

While alcohol has drying properties, you still will want to ensure that the lenses are as clean and clear as possible.

You can follow the procedure we described in Step 4 of the preceding section.

Bonus Hack for Removing Anti Scratch Coating from Glasses

I saw a video by MotoLad Pavan using ordinary household items to remove the anti scratch coating from eyeglasses.

He used shaving cream instead of a glass etching cream. MotoLad also replaced the cotton swab with the end cap of an ordinary ballpoint pen, serving as a scraper. He also used a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove bits of the coating left on the surface.

You might want to give this hack a try if you already have these materials at home.


Learning how to remove anti scratch coating from glasses can help you retain your eyewear’s functionality. However, it will be more prone to scratches now that its protective coating is gone. Sadly, you cannot reapply a scratch-resistant coat to make it new again.

Nevertheless, I hope you found this tutorial helpful in rescuing your glasses from the trash. If you do, you might want to share this article with your friends. If you have a comment or suggestion, I will gladly welcome it as well.

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