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Help restoring scratched lenses

MaxShadow09MaxShadow09 Posts: 9
edited October 2018 in Support
Hi people. I got the Oculus Rift a couple of weeks ago, and I've been using them with my glasses (everything looks blurry without them). Yesterday I was cleaning the lenses and noticed they have very noticeable scratches, and I'm sure they were made by the glasses. The Rift is supposed to work fine with glasses, and mines are quite small, so I didn't expect the lenses to be so fragile, and to get scratched so easely. The manual doesn't even mention to use some kind of protective cover for glasses. I'm a bit disappointed, and really angry, because the headset got ruined in less than a month, and it's not a cheap peace of hardware. But anyway, the damage is done, and I need help finding a way to fix it, if possible.

I did some research on internet, and these are my current options. Not all of them are factible tho.

1) Returning the Rift for repairs. This is definitely not an option. I live in Argentina, got the product with international shipment. I absolutely cannot return it for repairs, let alone paying for them.

2) Polywatch polisher. This seems to be the best option. I've read a few users posts who said this thing completely removed the scratches, although a few said it didn't work at all. I may be able to get one of these on Amazon, but it's quite difficult to get stuff from other countries here.

3) Meguiars Plastix, a plastic cleaner for car headlights. I've seen a video of a guy claiming that this product removed the scratches on his Oculus. However, in the video I can see that even tho the scratches disappeared, the affected area became really blurry. To be honest, it looks worse than before. Here's the link of the video.

4) White Toothpaste. I've read in one of those DIY pages that you can (try to) fix the Rift scratches with white toothpaste. This seems to be the less effective option, but the most affordable. I'm kinda afraid to try it tho, toothpaste contains alcohol, and I as far as I know, alcohol leaves very noticeable smudges on the lenses surface. Did anyone tried it?

And that's all I have for now. If anyone has a better solution, I'd like to hear it. Also if you used any of these fixes and got good results, I would appreciate if you could share them here.


  • LZoltowskiLZoltowski Posts: 6,774 Volunteer Moderator
    edited October 2018
    Heya, most glasses are made from super hard polycarbonate so when they come into contact with soft fresnel lenses of the rift, they, unfortunately, are scratched easily. 

    Could you take a photo of the scratches? A sideways slight source usually helps with picking up the scratches when taking a photo.

    Here is some info on glasses use with the rift from Oculus
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  • SwirlyMapleSwirlyMaple Posts: 29
    Brain Burst

    Hi, sorry to hear about the scratches. I don't have any experience removing scratches from Rift lenses, but I do have experience using that PlastX product on optically-clear plastic windows. IMO, It is capable of better results than the person in that video achieved--the things I've used it on had no visible haze or swirls at all after I was done, even holding it at an angle to a bright light source.

    The trick to using it is that the polishing compound in it gradually breaks down as you rub it in. It starts out fairly abrasive to remove scratches, but as you work the product the abrasives break down to a point that it becomes like a watery polish without any abrasive at all. If you've ever sanded something with progressively finer and finer sandpaper, it's the same concept, except it all happens within a single product. If you don't rub the PlastX long enough and/or don't use enough pressure, the compound doesn't break down like it's supposed to, so the swirls from the abrasives don't get buffed out like they should.

    If you have an old CD or DVD you don't care about, I'd suggest practicing on that first to get the feel for it.

    Start with a *very* small amount, and keep rubbing it with light pressure (I'd suggest using your fingertip and a high quality microfiber cloth). At first you will feel a noticeable friction from it, but as you keep rubbing it the friction will decrease (this is due to the abrasive breaking down). Keep rubbing until the PlastX breaks down to an almost watery consistency, and then keep rubbing some more to really buff the surface. Then wipe it away with a clean microfiber and check your results. Depending on how deep the scratches are, it can take several rounds of this.

    Again, I can't make any promises about how well it'll work on the Rift lenses. In case you or anyone else decides to try it, I just wanted to add the info here on the PlastX product because it only works as well as the knowledge of the person using it. The person in the video above didn't buff long enough, and also, I doubt a cotton swab can apply enough pressure over the area to thoroughly break down the polishing compound to remove the remaining swirls. I think he would have gotten a much better result if he did it like I described above.

    Also, don't, don't, don't, don't (did I say that enough?) use toothpaste. I've heard this suggested SO many times for polishing clear plastics and optics, and it is absolutely terrible advice. There is a huge difference between a product that is actually engineered for polishing plastics, and one that is made for cleaning teeth, and the cost difference between them isn't even that much. At best, it won't do anything except make your stuff smell minty. At worst, the abrasives in it will leave behind swirls that you'll have to use a proper plastic polish to remove anyway.

  • MaxShadow09MaxShadow09 Posts: 9
    Thanks for the tips. These are the best pics I could take with my crappy smartphone. The first 3 are from the left lens, which is the most damaged one, it makes a blurry spot in my vision when wearing the headset. The right lens only has a couple of vertical scratches.

    Even tho my glasses are small, the front side of their lenses are convex, so they were in contact with the Rift lenses all the time. I think I'll try to get some Polywatch from Amazon. The scratches don't seem to be very deep, they are more like smudges.
  • LZoltowskiLZoltowski Posts: 6,774 Volunteer Moderator
    edited October 2018
    Yeah you might be able to buff those out, thankfully the fresnel ridges are 1 layer below that.

    I would practice or test on a CD or some other fairly soft plastic like a CD case first to see what the results are.

    I actually got contacts for my rift use, my glasses are too big and I have a HUGE head.
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  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 5,559 Volunteer Moderator

    I don't think we ever got to the bottom of what plastic the fresnels are made out of.

    Take care, whatever you do @MaxShadow09, and I'd only do it if those scratches really are a problem when using the Rift.

    I think the size of the glasses may be more of a risk if they're smaller. My head is quite big and so my glasses are too. I think this means my head doesn't fit so far into the Rift so there always seems to be a reasonable gap between glasses and Rift lenses. The downside is that this makes it quite unconfirmable to wear without finding a solution, I don't get on well with contacts.

    So anyway, you may want to try any polishing compound on a variety of plastics. Like CD (polycarbonate), CD case(polystyrene) and plastic lens cover on a car (poly-something else), that way you'll have covered all 3 likely plastics. But like I say, polishing would be a last resort if you have a big problem with those scratches and you're sure any vision issues aren't down to the usual god rays.

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  • nadhimnadhim Posts: 5
    My glasses are plastic and were ruined while I spray painted the inside of a burnt section of a home I was restoring. I cleaned the paint off with paint thinner and of course it destroyed the uv coating. My lasses have progressively gotten worse and more scratched to the point I couldn't see well at all. I came across thisand since I had nothing to lose, I tried it. I spent about two hours carefully following his directions. My glasses are about 70% better. I plan on spending several more sessions to improve them even more.
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  • MaxShadow09MaxShadow09 Posts: 9
    I'll bump this thread just to give an update on my situation. I managed to get this Polywatch polishing paste, and after applying it on my Oculus lenses, I can confirm that it works wonderfully.  The scratches on the left side (which where the worst ones) are almost completely gone after 2 applications, and the right side (which had just a few minor scratches) looks like new. I'll probably apply it once more on the left side because I can still see a small transparent smudge where the scratches where, and my vision is still slightly blurry on that spot, but it's only noticeable when you know it's there. I haven't noticed any side effects of it, like foggy lens. After I get it perfectly clear, I'll apply this thing to prevent further damage on the lenses:

    Hope this helps anyone with a similar problem. Many people seem to realize the Oculus was not meant to be used with glasses when it's already too late.

  • inovatorinovator Posts: 2,235 Valuable Player
    I have news for you they probably are smudges. I thought mine were scratches from when I tried glasses. Turns out oculus saying not to use cleaner is to cover their butts. I was so careful but no matter how careful you are dry micro cleaning over time fails and you develop smudges from oil. I said to hell with it and used a proper non alcoholic cleaner that's safe with frensal lenses. I wasn't a maniac but I used a generous amount  of cleaner on a micro cloth and put more pressure than you would think you should and started circular motions starting from the center. At first the smudges spread and got worse. But it slowly got better and better and now there prestine and I keep it up. I really don't think u have scratches.
  • EthrelaedEthrelaed Posts: 10
    Sorry to necro this, i got the same situation with my Rift S, thank god the spots are relatively small but in vr noticeable.
    I will try to refund them or get an replacement but if i had to use ploywatch on them, is the surface then even clear and shiny like the unscratched rest of the lenses? Or did they put some kind of coating onto the Rift S lenses wich i could destroy with that rescue mission?
  • venkat987venkat987 Posts: 1
    First you need to 
    1. Check your warranty. ...
    2. Squeeze a dime sized amount of regular toothpaste onto a clean, soft, cotton cloth. ...
    3. Dampen a clean, soft, cotton cloth in cool water. ...
    4. Dry the lens with a dry clean, soft, cotton cloth. ...
    5. Apply wax from a black wax china marker to the entire surface of both sides of the lens.
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  • Kapt-KrunchKapt-Krunch Posts: 21
    Brain Burst or if your like me and share your HMD with the family, I noticed some micro abrasions starting to appear and printed out a set, so far no further damage. Hope you get the solution to repair your lenses and please share if you do. Thanks!
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