How to Remove Anti-Reflective Coating From Eyeglasses?

An anti-reflective (AR) eyeglass coating can improve vision dramatically, especially in snow, but when the coating is scratched, it impairs vision. The coating isn’t supposed to be removable, but you can get it off. The process depends on whether the glasses have plastic or glass lenses. You use a glass etching compound on plastic lenses, but when it comes to glass lenses, you mechanically scrape off the coating after softening it with isopropyl alcohol.

How to Tell if Lenses are Plastic or Glass?

If you want to be sure if your lenses are made of glass or plastic, the safest bet is to ask the optician from whom you bought the glasses.

In case you can’t ask an optician, there are several easy ways to differentiate glass from plastic lenses.

  1. Sound. Lightly tap the lens against your teeth or your ring. If the lens emits a high, ringing tone, it is a glass. In contrast, the plastic will have a low “thud” like sound when tapped.
  2. Weight. Glass is much heavier. Generally, glasses with plastic lenses will feel more balanced in hand, while those with glass lenses will be more front-heavy.
  3. Temperature. The glass feels colder to the touch, while plastic feels warmer since it is a better insulator.

How to Tell if Glasses are Anti-Glare

Nowadays, there are many types of coatings that can be applied to lenses to improve their optical properties. Coatings such as UV-coating, scratch-resistant coating, and anti-fog coating are just a few of the many options you can choose from.

In case you are not sure if your glasses have an anti-reflective layer, just hold them to reflect light. If the glare on the lens contains shades of green, turquoise, pink, purple, magenta, blue, or gold, they have an anti-reflective coating. On the other hand, uncoated lenses reflect the same color of light as the light source.

How to Remove Coating from Plastic Glasses?

To remove the coating from plastic glasses, you need to prepare some things which are etching cream, cotton buds or a small brush, rubber gloves, protective glasses, and microfiber cloth.

Now, we will show you how to remove the coating from glasses.

  • With a cotton swab, scoop a little bit of etching cream. Carefully apply it to the whole surface of the lens. (Both front and back).
  • Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • With another cotton swab, do a little scrubbing around the surface of the lens. (Both front and back).
  • Wash thoroughly with soap and water.

Then repeat the processes if there is any coating left. After all steps are finished, you can successfully remove the coating from plastic glasses.

How to Remove Coating from Glass Lenses?

To remove the anti-glare coating from glass lenses, you need to prepare the following things: isopropyl alcohol, a plastic scraper of some kind, salt water, water, plate, or bowl.

Now, we will show you how to remove the coating from glasses.

  • Mix 5 parts of isopropyl alcohol with one part of saltwater.
  • Place your glasses onto a plate and pour out the prepared solution just enough so the lenses are entirely submerged.
  • Let it sit in the solution for an hour to soften the anti-reflective coating.
  • Scrape off the anti-reflective coating using a plastic scraper.

After that, you have removed the coating from glass lenses.

Not Happy with the Result?

Different manufacturers use different technologies, and it is possible that you may not be able to remove the anti-reflective layer. Keep in mind that your glass lenses can be damaged in a different ways.

The methods described above are intended to help remove the scratched and peeling anti-reflective layer of the lenses. If the surface of the lens itself is scratched, the scratches will remain visible even after the procedure. In this case, you will most likely need to at least replace the lenses or buy a new pair of glasses.