Have you ever taken a stick to the face during a game?
It’s not exactly fun. But, what’s even worse is when you find out it left a nasty scratch on your new visor.
Tiny scratches are inevitable when you play enough hockey. But, if left alone, they can distort your vision, and even be a safety hazard on the ice.
Whether you’ve got a scratched up visor or full shield—this article’s for you.
Read on to find out exactly how you can remove scratches from your hockey visor.
Here’s How to Get Rid of Hockey Visor Scratches:
The best way to remove a hockey visor scratch is with a mildly abrasive compound like toothpaste. Clean your visor with water; dry it off; use a cloth to gently rub toothpaste over the visor in a circular motion; and finally, clean off. Try to buff as quickly and lightly as possible.
Step 1: Rinse Your Visor
This step is often overlooked, but it’s very important.
First, you’ll want to remove your visor from your helmet and run tap water over it to rinse it clean. There could be some dirt or debris on your visor from rattling around in your hockey bag so it’s important to clean it off first.
Dry your visor with a soft cloth. Now that it’s clear of debris, you’re ready to buff out the scratches from your visor.
Step 2: Put Toothpaste On
Next, grab your toothpaste. The standard Colgate toothpaste will do just fine. Don’t use toothpaste that has gel in it (blue stripes or crystals). You’ll need one that’s abrasive (it’ll typically be a chalky, white toothpaste). Squeeze a generous amount of toothpaste onto your visor or full shield.
Step 3: Buff Your Visor
Grab a cloth and rub it all over in circular motions. Be gentle as you buff it out. If you apply too much pressure, you could create more scratches or blur your visor.
Step 4: Let the Toothpaste Set
Once you’ve spent a few minutes thoroughly buffing it out, you’ll want to let the toothpaste set. Set the timer for 5 minutes to remove the scratches.
Step 5: Clean Your Visor
Once a few minutes have passed, rinse off your visor under running water. You can use your fingers to gently wipe it off. Then, wipe your visor off with a dry cloth or t-shirt.
4 Important Scratch Removal Warnings (Read This)
You might be eager to just start buffing out the scratch right now. Don’t start just yet.
There are a few very important warnings to check before you begin.
1. Double Check Your Visor’s Product Manual
Certain visors can’t be combined with certain products including specific chemical compounds. It’s crucial you take a look at your product manual before you begin buffing away.
2. Is Your Visor Made by Oakley?
It’s important you read exactly what the manual has to say. Oakley visors have a premium protective coating that can be easily damaged if you put the wrong chemicals on it.
Some people have reported damage even from using dish soap, so it’s especially important to go through any information from the manufacturer before continuing.
3. Is Your Anti-Fog Coating Damaged?
Visors tend to fog up quite a bit which can be a pain. Nowadays, most visors come stock with an anti-fog coating. If you have an anti-fog coating on your visor and you have a deep scratch, the coating may be damaged. It’s important to look closely at it to see if it’s been compromised.
Any buffing (even a small amount) could further damage the anti-fog coating. If you do decide to buff out your visor, you should double-check that you haven’t damaged your anti-fog coating.
And, if you do have an anti-fog coating, you should take extra precaution with applying any abrasive substances.
4. Be Very Gentle With Your Visor
When attempting to remove scratches, you should be very gentle. If you apply too much pressure when buffing, you could damage your visor.
Without further ado, here’s how you get rid of scratches in your hockey visor.
What Products Work to Remove Hockey Visor Scratches?
The most popular solution to remove scratches from a hockey visor is with toothpaste. However, there are a number of other options that hockey players have had success with.
- Meguiar’s PlastX Polish (car headlight restorer) — only use this on the outside of your visor. Start with the smallest grain of polish and work your way up if the scratch remains. Then, work your way back down to get a good polish.
- 3M Scratch Remover
- Abrasive compound with a buffing wheel: acrylic scratch remover (find this where you can buy plexiglass or lexan)
Just remember to double check your visor’s product manual to ensure you aren’t using compounds that could compromise the visor (especially important for Oakley visors).
Can You Use a Heat Gun or Oven to Remove Hockey Scratches?
There are a number of hockey players who have had some level of success with removing minor scratches with a heat gun or with an oven. However, it’s not recommended to use this method as the odds of damaging your visor are too high.
If you’re careful, you could remove all the surface scratches, but the deep ones will always remain. If you try to get them out, you’ll be left with a blurry spot on your visor. This can be risky as the last thing you want is to make it even harder to see on the ice.
Heating up polycarbonate can also impact the protective qualities of the visor, so it’s best to avoid this option.
How to Remove a Scratch from an Oakley Visor?
It’s not recommended to use anything abrasive or any chemicals to try to remove scratches from Oakley visors. If you have a scratch on your Oakley visor, you need to be extra cautious when considering removing scratches.
If you choose to remove the scratches, you can try using toothpaste (with caution).
Alternatively, some people have had some success with the Novus Lens Cleaner. You can try using the fine scratch remover. Then, use the Novus Polish.
It isn’t the cheapest option, but you can use it for other items at home to justify the cost. If you choose to use Novus, stick to #1 and #2. If you find you have to use #3, it’s probably time to replace your visor.
How to Prevent Hockey Visor Scratches?
While it’s impossible to completely avoid getting a scratch on your visor, there are a few things you can do to prevent them:
- After the game, put your helmet away quickly to protect it from getting marked up
- Store your helmet in a helmet bag, old t-shirt, or pillowcase
- Keep your helmet away from your skates
Most visors today come with a helmet bag so you can safely store your helmet and visor inside your hockey bag.
Some hockey bags even have a special compartment for your helmet to protect it from getting scratched when traveling to and from the rink.
Bauer’s Pro Clip Visor allows you to quickly clip your visor on and off with its QUICK-CLICK+ system. This visor can easily be taken off and put in its own bag which further protects it from scratches.
What to Do If You Delaminated Your Visor Anti-Fog Coating?
Sometimes a scratch can take off your visor’s anti-fog outer coating.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to fix delamination on your hockey visor. If you start to see the beginnings of your outer coating peeling off your visor, there’s no great way to re-adhere it safely.
You shouldn’t try to heat it up to get it back on as this can cause further damage or even compromise the safety of your visor.
Your best bet is to either:
A) Tough it out—you will likely have to use an anti-fog spray frequently to ride out the life of your visor.
B) Purchase a new one.
When Should You Replace Your Scratched Hockey Visor?
Not every scratch can be buffed out of a visor. Sometimes, a scratch ends up being too deep to get out.
An easy test is this: if you can catch your fingernail on the scratch, it’s too deep to remove.
You would actually have to remove material from your visor to remove the scratch. The only way that could happen is with power tools (which will permanently damage your visor).
Another way to tell if it’s time to replace your hockey visor is if the scratch covers a large area (think nickel size). By the time you finish buffing it out, you will likely have put a big distortion in the lense.
Creating a distortion is just as bad, if not worse than trying to squint through a scratch.
If a scratch is closer to the outside of your visor—in your peripheral vision—you can usually get by with it. But, if you’re finding that it’s in your direct line of vision and it’s too deep to buff out, then it’s probably time to get a new visor.
You never want to play if your vision is compromised as this can be dangerous.
Of course, some scratches can be played through, even if they are a bit annoying. Just test out your visor. Usually after playing a couple games with some minor scratches, you’ll get used to it. But, if it’s affecting your play, then it’s time to get a new one.
Most Popular Anti-Scratch Visors
If you’re wanting a hockey visor that gives you the best odds of protection against high sticks and other wear and tear, here are a couple great options:
Best Overall Anti-Scratch Visor:
Bauer Pro Clip Straight Visor
Best Anti-Scratch Visor Runner-up:
CCM Revision VR24 Straight Certified Visor with Spacer
Best Budget Anti-Scratch Visor:
Bauer RBE I Half Shield
For more hockey gear tips and recommendations, check out these guides: How to Remove Hockey Jersey Wrinkles, Bauer vs. CCM Sticks (Everything You Should Know), and 3 Great Hockey Skates for Ankle Support.