What are polarized sunglass lenses

It’s almost Christmas, and I can proudly say that I still have the fabulous pair of Ray Ban aviators my husband bought for me last year. The second I pulled them out of my stocking, I remember being simultaneously delighted and terrified. As fabulous as they are, I was about as ready to care for a pair of expensive designer sunglasses as I was to care for an infant, i.e. not at all.

I wish I could say that they made it through the year in the perfect condition in which they came to me, but that’s just not true. In July, we were boarding a plane to the Dominican to celebrate our one-year anniversary, and I casually tossed them into my bag for safe-keeping while we headed through security. In the ten minutes it took us to get through they made friendly acquaintance with my keys, and when I pulled them out they were the worse for wear. A horrible gouge extended diagonally across one of the lenses, and a few small scratches marred the other.

Not ready to give up, I did a little research about how to fix scratched sunglass lenses, and that research is what I’m here to share. I should warn you now that in the end, it morphed from learning how to fix scratched sunglass lenses to replacing scratched sunglass lenses. Still, it saved me from buying a new pair, and I learned a little bit in the process.

Part One: Trying to Fix Scratched Sunglass Lenses

My original plan was to minimize the scratches by filling them in or polishing over them. I tried a few methods to varying success.

  1. Brass polish- After dabbing a little Brasso on my sunglasses and removing the extra polish, some of the smaller scratches were gone, and the big one was only slightly less visible.
  2. Toothpaste- Nope. Nope nope nope. It left a huge white line across my lenses that I had to spend ten minutes rinsing away with the aid of a toothpick.
  3. Baking soda and water- This left my lenses really cloudy. The smaller scratches were all but gone, and the big one was less visible, but it wasn’t worth it. I had to do a lot of clean-up.
  4. Vehicle wax- This was the most effective. It totally removed the small scratches and did a great job on the big one, but I could still see the scratch when I wore the sunglasses.
  5. Lemon Pledge- I’m surprised people bother with this one. It lasted for maybe two days.

Part Two: Replacing Sunglass Lenses

In the end, I decided to spend the $50 on sunglass replacement lenses. There are a number of companies that replace sunglass lenses, and if you’re uncomfortable replacing sunglass lenses yourself (like I am), they’ll let you send in your frames so they can do it for you. They’re aftermarket lenses, so they’re missing the logo, but they’re still polarized and have the exact same color as my originals.

The vehicle wax would be my recommendation for a small scratch, but I think replacement lenses are definitely the right choice if you have a real catastrophe on your hands. If you’re smarter than I am, you’ll buy a hard case and reduce your chances of a major scratch. Maybe I’ll find that in my stocking this year!