It doesn’t take much to bend the thin frames of most eyeglasses out of shape, but there’s no need to spring for a new pair every time you drop yours or sit on them by mistake. You can easily repair most types of glasses yourself, provided you’re careful. Use a pair of plastic-tipped pliers and a protective cloth to gently right crooked metal frames. For plastic frames, heat the glasses with hot water in order to ease them back into their original shape. Always check for damage before you begin tinkering with your eyeglasses—broken glasses tend to be a much more expensive fix than bent ones.
EditRepairing Metal Glasses
- Grab a pair of plastic-tipped pliers. Pliers will allow you to make micro-adjustments to the bent frames more safely than trying to force them into shape by hand. If possible, equip yourself with a pair that has a soft plastic coating on the tips. Ordinary metal pliers may scratch or even snap thin wire frames.
- If you don’t have a suitable set of pliers on hand, a plastic hand clamp or pair of forceps will also get the job done.
- Place a protective cloth over the glasses. Drape the unfolded cloth directly over the section of the frames you’ll be manipulating. This will create a buffer between the glasses and the pliers that will minimize scratches and gouges. The blanketed fabric will also keep you from taking a screw or shard of plastic to the eye in the event that the glasses break accidentally.
- Make sure there are no wrinkles or folds in the cloth that could cause it to shift unexpectedly while you’re straightening the glasses.
- A thin piece of fabric like a bandana or handkerchief is ideal for this purpose.
- Grip the frames with the pliers. Position the tips of the pliers over the bent section of the glasses and squeeze the handles together to secure them. If the worst of the disfiguration is around the nosepiece, for instance, you’ll cinch down on one side of the piece that runs across the bridge of your nose.
- Only squeeze the pliers firmly enough to hold the frames steady. Being too forceful may just cause even more damage.
- The slender pliers will create an anchor point around which you can make more precise adjustments.
- Twist the pliers to bend the frames back into shape. Apply gentle pressure in the opposite direction of the bend until you feel the frames start to give. Make your adjustments as small as possible to avoid breaking or over-correcting your glasses. When you’re satisfied with their shape, slide them on and see how they feel on your face.
- Don’t yank, wrench, or bounce the frames. Doing so will most likely leave you with a broken pair of glasses.
- You may need to adjust your glasses more than once in order to get them to fit properly.
EditReshaping Plastic Glasses
- Fill a shallow container with warm water. Give the tap a minute or two to heat up—the water needs to be pretty hot in order to soften the plastic frames enough to make them pliable. Run enough water to completely cover the bent glasses.
- Intense temperatures can melt plastic frames. If the water is too hot to touch, chances are it’s too hot for your glasses.
- You also have the option of holding the glasses directly under a stream of hot water or using a hair dryer if there are no suitable containers around.
- Dunk the glasses in the water for 30 seconds to a minute. Lower the glasses to the bottom of the container so that they’re fully submerged. There, the heat of the water will begin to act on them. Let them sit for at least 30 seconds before removing them and patting them dry with a clean microfiber towel.
- If you’re using a hair dryer, hold the nozzle about away from the frames and wave it back and forth for 30-60 seconds.
- Handle the glasses carefully. They’ll be even more fragile than normal when warm.
- Bend the frames into position delicately. Hold the glasses steady with both hands while you use your thumbs to work on the most misshapen areas. Apply pressure a little at a time, holding the frames in the desired shape for a few seconds, then letting them relax. You should feel the plastic flexing under your touch.
- Avoid placing unnecessary stress on the frames, especially around the arms and nosepiece. If you try to bend them too much, they could easily snap.
- If the frames start to cool off before you’re finished, give them another 20-30 seconds of hot water or air. You can repeat this process as many times as needed.
- Allow the glasses to cool before wearing them. Once you’ve got your glasses looking good as new, leave them to sit out at room temperature for a few minutes. This will give the plastic a chance to harden back up, making your corrections permanent. You can then try them on without have to worry about them warping or breaking.
- Keep in mind that plastic frames can be harder to fine-tune than metal ones. If your glasses still don’t fit exactly how you want them to, it may be a good idea to take them back to the retailer to have them repaired professionally.
EditMaking Common Adjustments
- Bend the frames in the center to tighten or loosen the glasses. To get a more snug fit, hold the glasses with the lenses pointing away from you and place both thumbs in the center of the nosepiece. Pull the edges of the frames toward you to bend them inward slightly. Relaxing them is just as simple—this time, just hold them so that the frames are facing you.
- Remember to shape your glasses a little by little, whether they’re made from plastic or metal. Getting impatient could end up costing you the price of a brand new pair of glasses.
- Creating more of an inward curve can be especially useful for inexpensive plastic frames, which have a tendency to loosen up over time.
- Rotate the eyepieces in opposite directions to straighten the glasses. If the lenses themselves are out of whack, twist them gingerly around the nosepiece until they sit flush against your face. This may take a few attempts to get just right. Continue modifying and trying on your glasses until they return to alignment.
- The nosepiece is the weakest point on any pair of glasses, so be careful not to put too much tension on the center of the frames.
- Once the eyepieces are straight, flex the frames inward or outward to find a fit that feels good.
- Straighten the arms of plastic glasses to reduce irritation. When you’re tired of having the backs of your ears rubbed raw, try warming the offending frames with a hot water bath or hair dryer and pressing against the part of the earpiece that rests against your temples with your forefinger. A mild curve will allow the arms to follow the natural contours of your face.
- Move slowly down the length of arms to the ends a few millimeters at a time, coaxing them into their new shape.
- Your glasses may move around a little more after you’ve straightened out the arms.
- Curve the earpieces for a more secure fit. To deal with glasses that are constantly sliding down your face, smooth ends of the arms downward so that they hook behind your ears. Focus most of your effort on the area where they begin to curve. Accentuating the angle of the earpieces will help make sure that your specs stay put while you’re reading, looking around, or being active.
- It may not be possible to reshape the arms of some metal frames, which often feature plastic-coated earpieces.
- If you’re not sure which way your glasses should be tweaked, extend the arms and place them flat on a table. Whichever side is raised will need to be bent down.
- Don’t throw out your favorite pair if you’re not having any luck correcting them yourself. Most eyeglass retailers will straighten out deformed frames for a small charge—some may even do it for free if you purchased the glasses from them originally.
- Get an extended warranty on new eyeglasses in case they wind up bent or broken beyond repair.
- If you’re not confident in your ability to fix your glasses without breaking them, play it safe and have a professional do it for you.
- Always check for cracks, loose screws, discoloration and other potential signs of damage before you attempt to reshape your glasses.
- Submerging prescription glasses in hot water may have an effect on the clarity of the lenses. For this reason, it may be wisest to reserve this method for sunglasses or cheap reading spectacles.
EditThings You’ll Need
- Plastic-tipped pliers
- Soft, thin cloth
- Shallow container
- Hair dryer (optional)