How to fix camera lens scratches on your old smartphone

Scratched camera lens is one of the wears and tears that a smartphone suffers from as it gets old. This may cause the images captured to be smeary and wash out colors. Depending on the magnitude of the damage you may be able to fix camera lens scratches or at least make the situation better.

Camera lens damage can be categorized into the following types-

  1. The outer lens itself breaks: This may happen if your smartphone drops flat on the camera lens or any other kind of shock. Impact on image quality is similar to scratches i.e. the images are smeary and suffer miscolorations along with some artifacts if the cracks are significant. The only solution is to replace the outer lens.

    Cracks on camera lens
    Cracks on camera lens
  2. Outer camera lens develops deep scratches on coming in contact with hard materials like some stones or tools. The images are smeary and suffer miscolorations. The only solution is to replace the outer lens.
  3. Outer camera lens develops light scratches: This is common in camera lenses that are coated with a polarizing film(a colored coating to filter glare from image). This damage can be fixed but at a cost. As the scratches damage the film, this fix would involve abrading off this film. The section below explains the solution in detail.

    Light scratches on camera lens
    Light scratches on camera lens
The solution:
  • What you’ll need- cotton swabs, toothpaste, nail polish remover, sellotape
  • Stick sellotape around camera lens to mask the area surrounding the camera lens from the toothpaste that we’ll apply later.
  • Apply some toothpaste on the lens and spread it with the cotton swab.
  • Dip the other end of the swab in nail polish remover and start swabbing the lens. You’ll see the film wearing off. Apply more pressure on the swab if it doesn’t.
  • Peel off the sellotape and clean the lens.

    Polarizing film scratched off
    Polarizing film scratched off

You’ll immediately notice that the lens is now clear with no film and the images are no longer smeary or discolored. But they may suffer from glare. Here’s a video implementing this solution.

If this article helped you fix camera lens scratches in your smartphone, let us know in the comments section below and share it with your friends.

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