Sunglass Repair: How to Fix Broken Shades

How to Fix Sunglasses

You know what makes us really sad? When our sunglasses break, don’t sit right on our face, or just don’t feel the way they used to. It happens to all of us.  Not to worry, though — as long as your pair isn’t cracked or destroyed, they can likely be fixed at home. If you’re unfamiliar with the various pieces that make up a pair of sunglasses, check out our Diagram of Sunglass Parts.

Mini-screwdrivers at the ready? On to the at-home repairs! Check out the video below or skip down to read the step that applies to your pair:

1. Tightening Screws

Sunglasses have small screws to hold the top and bottom parts of the frame firmly around the lens. These screws can also be used to hold the nose pads on. Screws can loosen over time, so you should tighten them periodically. Because of their dinky little size, you’ll need a dinky little screwdriver with a very small head. You might even find a magnifying lens useful. These come in kits and can easily be found at any pharmacy or eyeglass store (like this kit) — or even computer stores.

2. Adjusting and Replacing Nose Pads

Some nose pads screw in, some slide in, and some simply snap in. Replacing each different type takes no time at all.


Unscrew the old nose pad, remove it, align the new one, and carefully screw it back in, using gentle pressure. You don’t want to scratch the lenses or frame. Be sure to put your screw in a safe place when you remove it!


Place your thumb over the lens with your thumbnail resting over the pad arm. Using a butter knife, gently pop the pad off by sliding the knife between your thumbnail and the pad, and then twist the knife. Snap the new pad right in.


Making sure to support the lens, bridge, and pad arm, simply slide the pad out. Slide the new one in!

3. Adjusting Arms

This can be done, but it’s much easier for metal than for plastic frames.

Plastic Frames:

If you want to adjust the arms on a pair of plastic frames, you’re going to need to soften the plastic. That means heating it up. There are some at-home solutions for this, but they could ruin your expensive frames permanently. We recommend taking them to an eye care professional, or, if you don’t want to bother with that (which we’d understand), just find a new pair!

Metal Frames:

These are much easier to fix than plastic frames, and all you need is a flat surface, soft cloth, and needle-nose pliers. With a soft cloth on the frames and the pliers clamped over the cloth near the source of the bend, make small, incremental adjustments bit by bit, bending the arm back into place. Test your frames by laying them upside down on a flat surface. If they lay flat, you’re good. If not, keep adjusting.

4. Cleaning

Keeping your shades looking nice is always recommended. We love cleaning and polishing our shades so much, we even have a whole page about it. Check it out for the do’s and don’ts of sunglass cleaning!

Looking for an even easier fix? Stock up on new shades under $20. That way you never have to deal with a broken pair again.