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What should I do with my used solar eclipse safety viewing glasses?

Catherine McCarthy, Arizona State University

The solar eclipse is over, but there may be ways your eclipse glasses can still be used.

View of the Sun from the Solar Dynamics Observatory
A view of the Sun from the Solar Dynamics Observatory

Save them for Solar Viewing

You can store your solar eclipse safety viewing glasses and use them for safely looking at the Sun anytime. Even without a telescope, it is possible to observe sunspots on the surface of the Sun through eclipse glasses. According to the American Astronomical Society, if the filters aren't scratched, punctured, torn, or otherwise damaged, you may reuse them indefinitely. 

Solar viewing resources:


Bags of eclipse glasses that will be recycled and used by other eclipse viewers around the world.
Recycled eclipse glasses are vetted and put to use for safe solar viewing in communities around the world. Photo Credit: Montshire Museum of Science


Several organizations collect used eclipse glasses so that they can be used for future solar eclipses in other parts of the world.

Glasses must be in good condition, without perforations, tears, or punctures.

Recycle and Disposal

If you are going to throw out your eclipse glasses, you can remove the lenses and recycle the cardboard frame. The lenses themselves aren’t recyclable, so you should toss them in the trash.