A while back, I wrote a rather boring post about the plastic frames on my eyeglasses and how they were discoloring. They're tortoise shell frames that I bought about ten years ago. It looks like the plastic on them has dried out. But I really like these particular frames, so I've been trying to figure out how to 'fix' them for some time.
Now, if you read here regularly, you already know that I don't do paid ads or promos here - not because I have anything against them, per se - but because sales and advertising are just not my thing. However, my stats tell me that a lot people are finding this mommyblog because of that boring post on those eyeglass frames. Hmmm. I've debated deleting the post, because it's so NOT what this blog is about. Then the (very small) investigator in me got the better of the me and I decided to experiment on my frames and post AGAIN on this dull, but apparently important-to-many-people topic. I'll consider it a public service announcement. But be warned, I'm about to sound a little bit...commercial. Okay, here it goes:
My Paul Smith frames - or spectacles, as they call them - looked like this:
See that white stuff on there? eHow said it was makeup or styling products, but I REALLY doubt it because I almost never wear makeup and I don't use lotion, and I wash my face only with water. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that, actually. But in this case, it might be helpful to point that out. Most likely whatever oils or residues are on these glasses come from my hands. AND, since a lot of the white is on the top of the frames, I suspect they are drying out, not discoloring from chemicals. Finally, I kind of collect glasses - I guess I really like them - and this is the ONLY pair that I own that is discoloring. Admittedly, at 10 years, they are also the oldest pair of plastic frames that I own.
One anonymous commenter said to try WD40 and buffing. I'm going to assume buffing means using a soft cloth and NOT steel wool or sand paper like eHow wanted me to do. I decided to test the lanolin I was using against the WD40. So, here are the befores and afters:
The lanolin worked better. But now I need to give you some qualifiers:
1) Technique: I rubbed both products in. Not really buffing: more like smearing.
2) Time: I let both products sit on the frames for a long time. Like 48 hours. Not because they needed to sit there that long, but because I got distracted by my other 'job' in the midst of the experiment.
3) Time: I did check on the progress about 15 minutes after application, and at that point, the WD40 was winning.
4) Longevity: I'm not sure which product will do better in the long haul. And THAT is why I did half of the frames with lanolin, and half with WD40.
5) Caution: Plastic is a complicated material; different plastics are made with different chemicals. What is good for one plastic may not necessarily be good for another plastic. A latex, for example, would actually dissolve in oil given enough time. I have no specific knowledge about the plastic in eyeglass frames, except for what the results of this experiment tell me.
So now, I'll go wear the glasses for a few weeks or months or whatever it takes and I'll update you! Or Paul Smith can send me a new pair of spectacles, preferably with my prescription lenses, in that Harrold style. I'll be a contemporary, female Le Corbusier and no longer need these old, discoloring frames.
Who am I kidding? I love having multiples frames to choose from!