Is there a way to clean yellowed nose pads on old prescription glasses?

Is there a way to clean yellowed nose pads on old prescription glasses?

Your prescription glasses may look as beautiful as the day you got them, but if your nose pads have started to turn yellow, or better yet, green spots have built up underneath, they’re turning ugly when people come closer to you. What can you do about this problem? Is there anything you can do to clean the yellowed nose pads of your glasses?

Why do nose pads turn yellow?

The nose pads are made of clear plastic. They are in constant contact with your skin, and under the plastic the skin often sweats. Sweat causes the pads of the nose to turn yellow over time. On average, it takes about a year for the nose pads on your glasses to yellow, and you probably want your glasses to last more than a year, especially if you’re paying a lot for designer eyeglass frames.

Also, the reaction between the acidity of the sweat and the metal of the frames can cause a greenish build-up on the nose pads. This buildup also contains dirt and grime from your skin. It’s ugly and also pretty unsanitary if you think about it.

Can it be cleaned?

The answer to whether or not nose pads can be cleaned is yes and no. There’s not much you can do about yellowed nose pads. Unfortunately, once the nose pad turns yellow, it’s permanent. However, green residue and dirt under the nose pad can be cleaned.

One way to do this is to use a swab pre-moistened with alcohol. Insert the alcohol pad between the nose pad and the frame and let some of the alcohol flow onto the nose pads. Then rinse it off with water.

If that doesn’t help, use a soft-bristled toothbrush, preferably a child-sized one, and scrub the nose pads. You can even remove them if you want to make them really clean, but make sure you hold the screws carefully if you do because they are small.

Some people who wear glasses claim that soaking them for an hour in soapy water and then rinsing them will remove the residue that builds up under the nose pads. Again, this won’t help with yellowed plastic, but if you have build-up, it’s worth a try.

Consider the alternative

If you have yellowed nose pads, you have another alternative. Replacing nose pads is actually quite affordable. You can get a nose pad repair kit from a pharmacy or your local optometrist, but make sure you bring your glasses with you as there are different types available and you’ll need the right ones.

To do the swap, start by arranging your stock on a light-colored cloth. This will keep the small pieces from sliding off the table. Then use a jeweler’s screwdriver to remove the old pads. Once they’re off, use alcohol-soaked swabs to clean the frames near where they connect to the nose pads. You want to remove any debris before putting the new pads on.

After the glasses are cleaned, insert the new pads using the jeweler’s screwdriver. Do this carefully as it is very easy to damage these delicate pieces. If you feel resistance when you try to screw in the new screw, remove it and start again.

When you’re done, apply clear nail polish or white glue to the screw heads. That way they won’t end up slipping out, but you can remove them with your screwdriver if you need to later. Do not use strong adhesives as this will make it difficult to remove the nose pads when they also turn yellow. When you’re done, you’ll have glasses that look as good as the day you bought them, and you’ll pay very little for the updated look.

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