Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Plastic Eyeglass Frame Discoloration

Is anyone having problems with their plastic eyeglass frames - well, drying out?  I have a pair of plastic tortoise shell frames that keep - discoloring, turning whitish? - on the bridge.  Now, these glasses are almost 10 years old, so maybe I should just get a new pair.  But I like them.

It seems to me that the plastic is drying out.  First, I tried rehydrating them with some lotion.   That didn't work so well, but maybe it was my lotion.  So then I tried "pure" lanolin.  Which works a little better, but, of course, makes a goopy, not-so-easily-cleaned mess on the lenses.  They look pretty good for about 4 weeks with lanolin.

eHow says that the plastic is discolored from chemicals - and that I should SAND the frame! Yikes. I don't know if I'm brave enough to try this when lanolin is working just fine (for 4 weeks). Has anyone tried this? Maybe I'm making the problem worse with the lanolin.

An optometrist in Munich did something to them that worked for about 6 months. Unfortunately, I didn't ask him what he did.

Later experimentation here.


Anonymous said...

Can be buffed out. Also WD-40 or other oils can "rehydrate" the plastic as well. Oil, buffing and rubbing work great! Been working with glasses for 13 years and always work the best.

Ann Wyse said...

Thanks for the tip! I'll try that next time.

Anonymous said...

I came across your blog while searching the web for the same issue. I do believe that the frosting of the frames happens because they are drying out.

I rubbed a little bit of olive oil into them, let them sit for a few hours and then wiped them clean with a towel and it works wonders.

Give it a try! And, your glasses will smell good.

Anonymous said...

instructions since they aren't anywhere on the web:

1. go to autozone
2. buy 1500 & 2000 grit sandpaper+ buffing compound
3. sand with 1500 then with 2000 grit, wet, after taping off lenses
4. use 3-4 sided emory board with higher grit than 2000, buff with highest grit
5. rinse off, rub with paper towel and buffing compound.
6. rinse again

glasses look better than new. and i have tried everything!

Anonymous said...

p.s. it's called M3 Rubbing Compound, i just looked. after taping off the lenses with masking tape, i very very carefully cut the excess off with an xacto, it's not easy and unless you need to get that specific area that close to the lens, i recommend skipping it.

it will all cost you around 25 bucks, and took me about 1.5 hours, but it's better than spending hundreds of dollars on new ones. good luck!

Ev said...

The sanding + buffing compound method seems to be the most effective. I paid about $6 for pack that had 3 buffing compound sticks (tripoli, stainless steel, and jewelers rouge) from Home Deopot and about $6 for some 800 grit sandpaper. I only used the tripoli and jewelers rouge. After sanding away the white discoloration, I rubbed on the tripoli stick, cleaned if off, and thenused the jewlers rouge. Thankfully, I have my glasses back for less than $12.

Anonymous said...

Mr Net, Magic Eraser does the job very well. Cheap, simple, effective.

Elizabeth Valdivieso said...

Buffing block and a tiny bit of coconut oil