Your prescription glasses may look as beautiful as the day you got them, but if your nose pads have begun to yellow, or better yet build up green gunk underneath, they become unsightly when people get close to you. What can you do about this problem? Is there anything you can do to clean yellowed nose pads on your glasses?
Why Nose Pads Turn Yellow
Nose pads are made out of clear plastic. They are in constant contact with your skin, and underneath the plastic the skin often sweats. The sweat, over time, causes the nose pads to turn yellow. On average it takes about one year for the nose pads on your glasses to turn yellow, and you probably want your glasses to last longer than a year, particularly if you are paying a lot for designer eyeglass frames.
Additionally, the reaction between the acidity of the sweat and the metal of the frames can lead to a greenish buildup on the nose pads. This buildup also contains dirt and grime from your skin. It is unsightly, and also quite unsanitary if you stop to think about it.
Can It Be Cleaned?
The answer to whether or not nose pads can be cleaned is yes and no. You cannot do much for yellowed nose pads. Unfortunately, once the nose pad has turned yellow, it is permanent. However, the green gunk and grime under the nose pad can be cleaned.
One way to do this is to use a pre moistened alcohol pad. Shove the alcohol pad between the nose pad and the frame, and let some of the alcohol leak onto the nose pads. Then, rinse it off with water.
If this does not work, use a soft-bristled toothbrush, preferably a child-sized one, and scrub the nose pads. You can even remove them if you wish to get them really clean, but make sure you keep careful tabs on the screws if you do, because they are tiny.
Some people who wear eyeglasses claim that soaking them for an hour in soapy water and then rinsing them will remove the gunk that builds up under the nose pads. Again, this will not help with the yellowed plastic, but if you have buildup it is worth a try.
Consider the Alternative
If you have yellowed nose pads, you do have another alternative. Replacing the nose pads is actually quite affordable. You can pick up a nose pad repair kit at a drug store or your local optometrist, but make sure you have your glasses with you, as there are different kinds available and you will need the right ones.
To do the replacement, start by laying out your supplies on a light colored towel. This will keep the tiny pieces from sliding off of the table. Then, use a jeweler’s screwdriver to remove the old pads. Once they are off, use alcohol soaked pads to clean the frames near where they connect to the nose pads. You want all residue removed before you put the new pads on.
Once the glasses are clean, install the new pads using the jeweler’s screwdriver. Do so gently, as it is very easy to damage these delicate pieces. If you feel resistance when you try to screw in the new screw, take it out and start again.
When you are done, place some clear nail polish or white glue on the screw heads. This way they will not eventually slip out, but you can remove them with your screwdriver if you need to later. Do not use strong glues, as this will make it difficult to remove the nose pads when they also turn yellow. When you are done, you will have glasses that look as good as they did the day you bought them, and you will pay very little for the revamped look.