How to Fix a Scratched Camera Lens (Guide and Solution)

Photography enthusiasts, professionals and hobbyists alike, have all encountered the unpleasant experience of their camera lens becoming scratched or smudged. It is an unavoidable occurrence that comes with use and carelessness. While there are several ways to prevent a camera lens from being scratched, there are unfortunately no ways to undo the damage once it has been done. However, there are some methods to fix a scratched camera lens that can be attempted at home in order to lessen the visibility of the scratches or smudges, although it must be noted that these are not guaranteed solutions and may not make them disappear entirely. Read on for How to Fix a Scratched Camera Lens (Guide and Solution)

1. Isopropyl Alcohol & Microfiber Cloth

Isopropyl Alcohol is a great choice for fixing scratched lenses because it’s able to clean the surface without leaving any residue behind. It’s also easy to find and relatively inexpensive, making it a cost-effective solution for restoring a damaged lens.

To begin, you’ll need a bottle of isopropyl alcohol and a microfiber cloth. The alcohol will help to remove any dirt or dust that has collected on the lens while the microfiber cloth will help to buff out any scratches. Begin by taking your camera and unscrewing the lens from its body. If your camera is a DSLR, you may need to first remove the lens cap and then unscrew the lens from its mounting position. Once removed, use a soft cloth to wipe away any dirt or dust that has accumulated on the lens surface.

With the lens clean, take your bottle of alcohol and dampen a microfiber cloth. Gently rub the cloth in a circular motion over the scratched lens surface. You should be able to see some improvement in the scratch after a few passes with the cloth. Once you have finished removing any visible scratches from the lens, take another clean microfiber cloth and buff out any remaining residue from the alcohol treatment.

Finally, once you are satisfied with the results, reattach the lens to your camera body. Make sure to use a gentle hand when screwing it back in place as an overly tight grip may cause further damage.

2. Car Compound 

Car compound is an inexpensive and easy-to-find product that can be used to fix minor scratches on a variety of surfaces, including camera lenses. It is simply a mix of tiny abrasive particles suspended in liquid form and works by removing the top layer of the scratched area in order to reduce its visibility.

To use car compound for fixing your scratched camera lens, first, Use a Rubber Blower. Then, take a small amount of  car compound onto the scratched area using a soft cloth or cotton swab. Gently rub it in with light circular motions until you have covered the entire area. After that, take another clean cloth and buff the lens until it is smooth.

Be sure to use a minimal amount of the compound and avoid applying too much pressure when buffing the lens in order to protect it from further harm.

3. Glass Windscreen Polish

Glass windscreen polish is a specially formulated product designed to fill in small scratches on glass surfaces. It is available in various formulas, and it is important to choose the right one for your camera lens. A gentle polish such as Novus 2 or 3 can be used on lenses that are not severely scratched or broken. When selecting a more abrasive product like Novus 1, it should be used with extreme caution and only on lenses that are heavily scratched.

Before using any glass windscreen polish, be sure to clean the lens with a soft cloth and some lens cleaning fluid. This will remove dirt and debris from the surface before you start polishing. Once the lens is clean,take a small amount of  the polish to a microfiber cloth and rub it onto the lens. As you move, use light pressure to ensure that the polish is pressed into the scratches.

Once all of the scratches have been filled, use a clean microfiber cloth to buff out any excess polish. This will prevent smudging or haze from forming on your lens when you take pictures.

Glass windscreen polish is an affordable and easy way to repair small scratches on your camera lens. Keep in mind that this method may not work for severely scratched lenses, and it should be used with caution. Always remember to read the directions carefully before using any product on your lens, as improper use can damage the surface.

4. Toothpaste 

Toothpaste has long been used as a lens cleaner and is known to repair minor scratches. For best results, it’s crucial to use non-abrasive toothpaste, like a gel paste. Abrasive varieties might worsen the damage. Apply a small quantity of toothpaste on the lens and rub it gently with a clean cloth or microfiber cloth. After rubbing, remove any toothpaste residue using a clean damp cloth. This procedure may need to be repeated multiple times until the scratch diminishes. After the lens is cleaned, ensure it’s dried with a lint-free cloth. While toothpaste can remedy minor scratches, for deeper or numerous scratches, it might be wise to consult a professional repair shop. Nonetheless, with patience, toothpaste can be an affordable way to rejuvenate a camera lens without professional intervention.

5. Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly can also be a useful tool for minor scratch repair. Begin by cleaning the lens using a microfiber cloth with a mild soap and water mixture. Once it’s dry, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly over the lens, ensuring the entire surface is covered. After allowing it to sit for a few minutes, gently wipe off the excess jelly using a microfiber cloth, ensuring to move in soft circular patterns to prevent any additional scratches. Upon completion, inspect the lens to see if the scratches have lessened. If they remain visible, the process can be repeated as needed. Given the non-toxic and affordable nature of petroleum jelly, it poses no harm to the lens. This approach can also be employed for other optical tools such as telescopes and microscopes.

6. Automotive Wax

For those who prefer using automotive wax, it’s essential to have the right supplies like a soft cloth, the wax itself, and any other cleaning items that might be needed. Keeping the cloth clean is crucial to prevent any dirt transfer. If the lens has accumulated significant dirt or dust, ensure it’s cleaned with a non-abrasive solution. Afterward, apply the automotive wax evenly on the lens and rub it in thoroughly, making sure it reaches every part of the surface. After the application, buff the lens with another clean cloth to remove surplus wax. This procedure not only shields the lens but also boosts its performance. For sustained lens quality, periodically reapply the wax.

7. Pencil Eraser

To start the process, you’ll need to ensure that your lens is properly cleaned and dust-free so that no dirt or debris gets trapped underneath the eraser as you rub. You can do this by using a soft cloth dampened in warm water with mild soap. To prevent further damage, avoid the use of any harsher materials when cleaning.

Once your lens is clean and dry, you can begin to buff out the scratches with a soft pencil eraser. Rub the eraser in circular motions, applying light pressure until all scratches are gone. If some of them remain after one application, try repeating the process with a fresh eraser until you achieve the desired level of clarity.

Be sure to clean the lens again to make sure that no eraser residue is left behind. This can be done with a fresh microfiber cloth. Before using your camera, test out the lens on a few shots to confirm that the scratches have been adequately removed.

8. Banana Peel

When done correctly, the banana peel technique can be an effective way to lessen the appearance of scratches on a camera lens. First, peel off a small piece of banana and gently rub it against the surface of the lens in circular motions. Keep applying pressure and rotating the peel until the entire surface is covered. Once done, use a soft cloth or brush to wipe away any residue before rinsing with water.

It is recommended to repeat this process several times in order to fully remove the scratches and restore clarity. Additionally, you can use a soft cloth with a bit of alcohol or glass cleaner for an extra deep clean. In some cases, you may even need to purchase a lens cleaning solution and use it with microfiber cloths.

Note that Rough or abrasive rubbing can damage the lens further, so ensure that you are only applying light pressure with slow circular motions. Similarly, avoid pressing too hard against any particularly deep scratches as this could cause permanent damage.

9. Baking soda

Baking soda has many practical applications, one of which is helping to fix scratched camera lenses. While it won’t completely remove deep scratches in your lens, a light abrasive such as baking soda can help reduce their appearance and make them less noticeable.

To start the process, mix a teaspoon of baking soda with enough water to make a paste. Dip a cotton swab into the paste and gently rub it onto the lens in circular motions, being careful not to press too hard or move the swab back and forth across the scratch. Continue rubbing until you can no longer see any evidence of the scratch. If necessary, you may need to reapply more baking soda paste several times until the scratch has been sufficiently reduced.

When finished, take a dry cloth and gently wipe away any remaining paste. Once you have removed all of the paste, you will have a much less visible scratch on your camera lens! Keep in mind that this method should only be used for light scratches and should not be expected to completely remove deep scratches.

10. Sandpaper

This should only be attempted as a last resort since sandpaper can cause more scratches rather than fix them if used incorrectly or excessively. The first step is to determine the severity of the scratch and how much material you need to remove. If it’s a minor scratch with very little material missing, sandpaper of a fine grade (400-600 grit) should be sufficient. However, if the scratch is deep or wide, you may want to start with a coarse grade (120-220 grit) to remove more material.

Once you’ve chosen the sandpaper, gently rub the scratched area using a circular motion. Take care not to press too hard as this could make the scratch worse or cause additional damage to your lens. Continue rubbing until you start to see small imperfections in the surface. Once the scratch has been sanded down, you should use a finer grade of sandpaper (400-600 grit) to finish the job.

When finished, carefully inspect your lens for any new scratches or scuffs that may have occurred during the process. If you find any, repeat this procedure until all of them are gone. To prevent further damage, it’s important to clean the lens before and after using sandpaper. You can use a blower, a soft brush, or even a microfiber cloth to do this.


Camera lens scratches can be repaired using a variety of techniques. Different materials such as Isopropyl Alcohol, Car compound, and Toothpaste provide users with a variety of options to choose from depending on the severity of damages that have occurred to affected lenses.The best method will ultimately depend on the severity of the scratches, but with a bit of patience and skill most lens scratches can be fixed without too much trouble! Additionally, it’s important to remember that prevention is always better than cure, so be sure to keep your lenses clean and in good condition to reduce the risk of any scratches appearing. 


How easily do camera lenses scratch?

Camera lenses can scratch very easily if not taken care of properly. Most lens scratches are caused by sand, dirt, or other abrasive materials that get on the lens and create a grinding action as you move the lens.

To prevent scratches, always use a blower brush to remove any loose material from the lens before putting it away. If you are going to be in a dusty or sandy environment, make sure to keep your camera and lenses in a case or covered with a cloth. And finally, always use a cleaning cloth made specifically for optics to clean the lens when it gets dirty.

Do scratches on the camera lens affect the image quality?

No, scratches on the camera lens do not affect the image quality. However, if there are too many scratches on the lens, it may affect the amount of light that is able to reach the sensor, which could impact image quality.

How do I protect my camera lens from scratches?

There are a few things you can do to protect your camera lens from scratches:

1. Use a camera lens protector – These come in different shapes and sizes, and some even have a UV filter included.
2. Keep your camera in a case – This will help to protect it from scratches, as well as other accidental damage.
3. Clean your lens with a soft cloth – Make sure to gently wipe away any dirt or dust particles that may be on the lens.


I’m a professional photographer with 17 years of experience in a wide range of photography, and over the course of my career I’ve had the opportunity to use a variety of photographic equipment now I would like to share my knowledge with you through this website. I hope becomes the go-to destination when selecting the best gears for any project. Here you can access unbiased reviews and make an informed decision when choosing gears.

Sittha Sathutham Photographer and Writer

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