How to fix broken glasses

“Don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone.”

There’s nothing worse when your glasses break. You’re left with perfectly fine lenses, but no way of looking through them.

If you need help fixing your broken glasses, this guide is here to help. Whether it’s a temporary solution or if you can’t immediately get new glasses.

 

Table of contents

Broken rim
Broken hinge
Broken bridge
Broken nose pad
Scratched lenses
Scratched plastic frame
Lenses have fallen out
Loose hinges
Lost screw

 

Can you fix glasses broken half?

Yes. Glasses broken at the bridge can be temporarily fixed using tape, adhesive or a mixture of both. Plastic frames offer larger surface area which glue and reinforcing tape can be used to make a temporary bond. Metal frames are less easily fixed, but can be held together using strong sticky tape.

Depending on what material your glasses are made of, scroll below for the best repair methods, materials and techniques you can use to fix them.

 

Illustrative instructions of how to fix a broken glasses rim using adhesive

How to fix a broken glasses rim

Plastic glasses broken at the rim can be welded back together using super glue, epoxy resin or nail polish remover which contains acetone. (Acetone only works on frames made of cellulose acetate.)

  • Clean the break with lukewarm water mixed with dishwashing detergent
  • Using a clean cloth, thoroughly dab the break so it’s completely dry
  • Cover your lenses in painter’s tape to protect them for the next stage
  • Between the broken halves of the rim, sparingly apply the super glue or acetone
  • Pinch the break closed, being careful not to squeeze any adhesive onto your lenses
  • Hold your frame for 60 seconds to ensure a proper bond
  • Leave your frame to fully ‘cure’ for 1-2 hours before removing the tape from your lenses

 

Illustration of spectacle hinge

How to fix a broken glasses hinge

Your glasses hinges connect the frame front to the temples (arms). If the hinge has sheared-off completely, then it must either be replaced or the frame cannot be re-joined back together again.

Metal glasses frames use soldered hinges which aren’t easily replaced or repaired. For this, we recommend you get new glasses.

Acetate hinges can be more easily refixed or replaced if they’re held on with rivets. At Banton Frameworks, we offer a hinge repair service for our acetate glasses.

If you have lost the screw for your hinges or it won’t tighten, click here.

 

Illustrative instructions of how to fix eyeglasses snapped in half

How to fix a broken glasses bridge

Plastic glasses frames which have snapped at the bridge can be repaired using adhesive or nail polish remover which contains acetone. Ideally the bond should be supported using tape or better still, heat-shrink tubing. Metal frames broken at the bridge are less easily repaired, but a similar method can be used.

 

Heat shrink method

  • Clean both halves of the break with lukewarm water mixed with dishwashing detergent
  • Using a clean cloth, thoroughly dab the break so it’s completely dry.
  • Cover your lenses in painter’s tape to protect them
  • Cut a section of heat shrink tubing that spans the width of your frame’s nose bridge
  • On both broken halves of the broken bridge, sparingly apply the super glue or acetone to the snapped surfaces
  • Slip the heat shrink tubing over one half of the broken bridge and pinch the break closed, being careful not to squeeze any adhesive onto your lenses
  • Hold your frame for 60 seconds to ensure a proper bond
  • Now you can use a heat source to shrink the heat shrink tubing around the bonded bridge
  • Leave your frame to let the glue or acetone fully ‘cure’ for 1-2 hours before removing the tape from your lenses

 

Tape method

Repeat the same stages above but reinforce the bonded nose bridge with sticky tape. For aesthetics, you can try to match the tape to the colour of your frame like black on black. For patterns or colours, it’s best to use clear Sellotape until you can get new glasses.

 

Illustrative instructions of how to adjust a metal glasses nose pad

How to fix a broken glasses nose pad

Metal or combination frames often use adjustable or removable nose pads. If your nose pad has become bent or lost, follow this guide to repair it.

Bent nose pads can be adjusted back into place, either using your fingers or with a pair of pliers. Be sure to gently tweak the pad arm back into place so the pads are at the correct width for your nose.

Lost nose pads can be replaced using kits purchased online. They’re usually held in place with a small screw or can also be a friction-fit. Check which types you need by looking at the remaining nose pad.

Acetate glasses with metal nose pad arms aren’t easily fixed, but you can try using super glue or epoxy resin to fix it back in pace. Alternatively, you can remove the other pad arm and replace them with adhesive silicone nose pads from Amazon.

 

Illustrative instructions of how to remove scratches from a spectacle lens

How to fix scratched lenses

If your lenses are scratched, there two ways you can help to polish or blend them-out. These methods won’t remove the scratches entirely, but will help to reduce their visibility. *Note, these methods are for the lenses and not the frame.

Non-gel toothpaste: With a soft cloth or cotton pad, apply a small amount of toothpaste to your scratched lenses. Rubbing in a side-to-side motion, gently buff-out the surface scratches. To clean your lenses, immerse your frame in lukewarm water mixed with dish detergent. Use your thumbs to gently rub the lenses clean of any residual toothpaste. Dry using a microfibre cloth.

Baking soda: Mix a small amount of baking soda with water to create a thick paste. With a soft cloth or cotton pad, apply a small amount of the paste to your scratched lenses. Rubbing in a side-to-side motion, gently buff-out the surface scratches. Clean your lenses in lukewarm soapy water and dry with a microfibre cloth.

To prevent scratches, it’s best to keep your glasses in a protective hard-case when you aren’t wearing them. This prolongs the life of your frame and lenses and minimises the chances of scratches.

 

Illustrative instructions of how to remove scratches from a plastic spectacle frame

How to fix a scratched glasses frame

Glasses frames made of acetate can be re-polished to remove any scuffs or scratches. Avoiding your lenses, you can do this at home using various polishing methods and a soft cloth. However, there are services online or willing local opticians who can do this for you professionally using motorised polishing mops.

 

Doing it yourself at home

To remove scratches from your acetate glasses, we recommend using plastic-specific polishing cloths and pastes made by Novus which you can buy here. Before you start, it’s crucial to protect your lenses using painter’s tape (masking tape) to prevent damaging your lenses.

  1. Sparingly apply the liquid from bottle no.3 (green) to the cloth provided. Avoiding your lenses, start polishing the worst of the scratches on your acetate frame. If you need to apply pressure, support your frame on a soft cloth upon a desk to prevent straining your frame’s hinges.
  2. Use a fresh cloth and bottle no.2 (red) to polish over the remaining scratches. This stage should start to become shiny and less scratched.
  3. For a high shine, use another fresh cloth and bottle no.1 (blue). This stage will take the longest but will bring your acetate back to a shiny surface finish.

 

Illustrative instructions of how to fit a lens back into a full rimmed glasses frame

How to fix glasses lenses that have fallen out

For plastic glasses

  • Using a hair dryer, carefully heat the frame on the side with the missing lens for around 30-60 seconds
  • From the front side of the frame, locate the lens into the lens groove as best you can
  • With both your thumbs, push the remaining lens into place
  • If the lens is being stubborn, you need to heat the frame more thoroughly to make the plastic more malleable
  • Don’t apply direct heat to either of your lenses as this can cause damage to the coatings (a reaction called crazing).

 

Illustrative instructions of how to re fit a loose lens into a wire glasses frame

For metal glasses

Metal glasses frames use a screw which holds the entire rim closed around the lens. If this screw comes loose, follow this guide to re-fit your lens back in place.

  • Using a flat-head or star-drive screwdriver, loosen the rim screw without removing it
  • The rim should still be closed but open-enough to ‘accept’ the lens
  • Locate the lens back into the metal rim
  • Re-tighten the rim screw so it holds the lens securely

*If you have lost the rim-screw, you’ll need to get a replacement from a repair kit

 

Illustrative instructions of how to tighten a spectacle hinge screw

How to fix loose glasses hinges

If your glasses hinges have become loose, you’ll need a micro screwdriver and compatible screw to tighten them again. If the screw or hinge threads have become worn and won’t fully tighten, you may need some thread tape or thread sealant to help secure it in place.

Thread tape or sealant improves the marriage between the male and female threads within the hinge so the screw is less likely to come loose. Using tape is very fiddly, so it’s usually easier to use sealant which can be applied to the screw’s threads.

To make this job easier, it’s a good idea to work sitting down at a desk over some white paper. This way, you can see more easily and the screw is more visible in case you drop it… which is pretty much inevitable. Optical screws just looove rolling under heavy objects or falling between floorboards. You’ve been warned.

 

Illustrative instructions of a paperclip replacing a spectacle hinge screw

How to fix a lost glasses screw

Spare screws for glasses or sunglasses hinges are readily available online or in hardware shops. To tighten a replacement screw, you’ll need a compatible screwdriver with the correct driver/head.  But if you’re looking for a quick fix, here’s some temporary solutions.

How to fix glasses arm hinge

A paper clip can temporarily loop through your hinge to hold your glasses together. But be careful not to open and close the frame to prevent damaging the internal hinge threads.

A metal hairclip or ‘Kirby’ can be used to temporarily replace your missing screw. This is just a quick fix that can keep your glasses in-action.

A toothpick can be jammed into the hinge where the screw previously located. You can snap or trim the toothpick to-length as a temporary fix, until you get a new screw.

 

Can snapped glasses be fixed?

Yes, if your plastic glasses are snapped, they can be fused together using acetone and reinforcement such as adhesive tape or heat shrink tubing. Metal glasses frames are less easily fixed and will probably need replaced if they are snapped at the bridge, hinges or temples (arms).

 

Hopefully you found this article helpful.

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