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Resurfacing glasses

  1. Dec 30, 2007 #1
    i'm sure there are a lot of four-eyed nerds here so maybe someone will know the answer to this question. is it possible to get glasses resurfaced? i've had this pair for a long time and my prescription hasn't changed but they're covered in crap and very scratched. obviously these aren't thin lenses in the ideal sense but they're not coke bottle class either so i can't decide if changing the thickness by w/e ( a micrometer? ) would affect their focal lengths?

    actually do you guys think i could polish them myself with a soft dremel tool or something?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 30, 2007 #2
    Im sure it could be if you had the machine at the eye doctor that buffs the lense after its made, but I doubt they are going to do it for you. They would much rather you pay for new ones. I dont think your dremel tool would come close to the same finish. It would probably ruin them. Buy new ones made from polycarbonate, scratch resistant and light weight.
     
  4. Dec 30, 2007 #3
    mine are made from polycarbonate, nothing lasts forever
     
  5. Dec 30, 2007 #4

    turbo

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    Actually, polycarbonate lenses aren't very scratch resistant. They can be scratched quite easily, but they are quite shatter-resistant. Normal plastic lenses can shatter with a sharp blow - not as easily as glass, but nearly so. Polycarbonate is very light and shatter-resistant, and as an optician, I would encourage anyone with a very active life-style to choose that material, and I would strongly encourage the parents of active children to choose that material. Polycarbonate is the ONLY lens material for anybody who might be subject to impacts with hard materials, including bikers, horseback riders, mechanics, carpenters, etc.

    Those lenses cannot be re-surfaced accurately or cheaply. It is far cheaper to buy a new pair of glasses (or have the lenses replaced) and take good care of them. If your glasses get dusty or dirty, don't wipe them off. Rinse them in copious amounts of water if you have only water available, or spray them with a 50:50 solution of water and isopropyl alcohol. Polycarbonate lenses can last a good long time if you clean them properly. If they get dirty/dusty, and you wipe them off on your shirt, they're toast. It's even worse if you wipe them with toilet paper/tissue/paper towels, because these papers are made from recycled paper containing calcium carbonate and titanium dioxide, both of which are much harder than polycarbonate and will scratch your lenses.
     
  6. Dec 30, 2007 #5
    so after washing your glasses with copious amounts of water/water&alcohol...
    how d'you dry 'em? Clearly "with a clean, soft rag" is the wrong answer, because my clean, soft rags used to be cotton T-shirts.
     
  7. Dec 30, 2007 #6

    turbo

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    A clean cotton rag is the best way to wipe them dry. The point is that if your glasses get dusty or dirty or muddy, you have to wash them BEFORE wiping them with anything. If you wipe your lenses with a dry cloth or a dry piece of paper without first washing the lenses, you have just embedded that dirt into the cleaning cloth/paper and turned it into the equivalent of sandpaper. My main pair of glasses is over 5 years old, with polycarbonate lenses, and they are still in darned good condition, in spite of the fact that I wear them pretty much all the time, even when riding my motorcycle.

    In my optical lab, lenses were routinely cleaned with 50:50 water:Isopropyl alcohol and dried with clean cotton rags or shop-cloths. In terms of scratch resistance, polycarbonates are worst, followed by plastic and glass. In terms of light weight and resistance to shattering, glass is worst, followed by plastic and polycarbonate. If you will take good care of your lenses and clean them properly, polycarbonate is the way to go.
     
  8. Dec 30, 2007 #7
    Most (if not all) places which sell eyeglasses also sell microfiber cloths which work very nicely. Simply use them maybe 50 times, wash them in mild detergent, then use em again until a new one is needed.
     
  9. Dec 30, 2007 #8

    turbo

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    Microfiber cloths look great, but they pick up EVERY little grain of sand, dust, dirt, etc, and hold it forever, making them very effective abrasive cloths. It is not a good idea to use these to wipe your lenses, even if you think the lenses are clean. Please make up a 50:50 solution of rubbing alcohol and water, and gently clean your glasses with that, and dry the lenses with a soft cotton cloth, and throw that cloth in the laundry.

    The only difference between the isopropyl/water mix and the expensive lens-cleaning solution that your eye doctor sells is a couple of drops of soap and some blue food coloring. The soap is counter-productive, because it leaves a film that gathers more dirt, and the food coloring is innocuous, but somehow seductive to the uninitiated.
     
  10. Dec 30, 2007 #9
    Is it ok for me to use a tissue or TP to clean my lense if I first run water over it turbo? (Thats what I normally do)
     
  11. Dec 31, 2007 #10

    turbo

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    No. Do not use tissue or any commercially-available paper on your lenses except those that are designated as "lens tissue" and are guaranteed to be made from virgin pulp fiber. Commercial papers, tissues, paper towels, etc, are made with recycled commercial papers that contain calcium carbonate and titanium dioxide. These are abrasives that are guaranteed to scour your lenses. This warning goes out not only to people who have prescription eyeglasses, but to people who have bought expensive sunglasses, etc. You should clean your lenses, then blot/wipe them dry with very clean cotton rags/shop cloths.
     
  12. Dec 31, 2007 #11
    Thanks, Turbo!
     
  13. Dec 31, 2007 #12

    turbo

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    You're very welcome! As an optician, I was upset to see people bringing in their glasses that had been fogged with micro-scratches due to improper cleaning. Most of the time, I did the lab-work, and didn't get to educate the customers in caring for their glasses. Some of the dispensing opticians on the sales floor were more interested in keeping their sales numbers up, and pushed lens-cleaning solutions, microfiber cloths, etc, knowing full well that customers would be better off using water/alcohol in a spray bottle and a clean cotton rag.

    And never, never use Windex or other commercial glass cleaners. Isopropanol and water is the best way to go, and it is safe for any dye or coating that we applied to the lenses, including UV coatings.
     
  14. Dec 31, 2007 #13
    ok turbo is there some kind of rating system for optometrists? i need new glasses but the last guy i went to was terrible and i ended up returned both the glasses and contacts i ordered from him?
     
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