Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Fix scratched glasses with Rain-X

I've read many blogs and DIY sites about removing or minimizing the effects of small scratches in reading glasses, but none mentioned Rain-X, an automotive windshield glass protectant.

Other fixes include rubbing wet wood ashes, or Brasso, or Lemon Pledge. Others use rock polishing material such as aluminum oxide. The ashes, Brasso and rock (or metal rouge) polish actually will cut a layer of plastic off your specs and requires quite a bit of work to shine up your glasses like new. The Pledge is a wax that fills in the scratches and makes them seem less noticeable.

I remember when I was first introduced to Rain-X by off-road racer Ivan Stewart. He explained that Rain-X fills in the minute pits in your car's windshield. Water, snow and other wet material just beads up on your windshield as a result and flies away or rolls off. I've used this product off and on for decades. I even drove through a thunderstorm near Lake Elsinore and didn't need my windshield wipers, it's that effective.

I wanted to fix up some reading glasses and tried the other methods with unsatisfactory results. I didn't have Pledge so I just used a candle. It helped a tiny bit. The wood ashes, Brasso and rock polishing compound didn't work at all, in fact the Brasso just made the glasses worse by imparting a dull haze to the plastic.

Looking through old boxes for something else one day I found a new bottle of Rain-X, I hadn't used the product in quite some time and totally forgot that I had used it many years ago on a regular basis. Hey, that fills in microscopic pores on your windshield, would it work on glasses? Answer is YES!

Here's what you do, it's quite simple.

  • Clean glasses thoroughly with window cleaner and soft rag.
  • Wash your hands (actually just a fingertip) well to remove any oil.
  • Apply one drop of Rain-X to the glasses surface.
  • Rub around with a fingertip, let dry a bit, rub some more, let dry, keep doing this until the light scratches in your glasses disappear and the Rain-X has dried to a thin, invisible layer.
  • You're done! You will have to re-apply the Rain-X fairly often but hey, with only one drop at a time and a couple minutes, a bottle of the stuff will last you forever and you've saved money on repair or new glasses!
  • Works on plastic, and I'm sure it'll work on regular glass, too since it was designed for cars.