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Cleaning acetate eyeglass frames

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by ThinkandDrive, May 4, 2010.

  1. ThinkandDrive

    ThinkandDrive Well-Known Member

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    I have a pair of tortise acetate Persol eyeglass frames that I've had for a few years. They used to shine and be brilliant. I keep the lenses clean and polished but cannot seem to get the frames clean.

    There is a definite haze or film where my skin contacts the bows of the frame. It's dull and the frames are just lifeless. I've had this on previous glasses before and generally replaced the glasses. However, I'd like to keep these and maybe even swap lenses out and get another few years out of them.

    Maybe it's my skin chemistry or something? Has anyone encountered this? How did you clean and revitalize the frames? [​IMG]
     


  2. Albern

    Albern Senior Member

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    I've seen this on my sunglasses as well; Persols in fact.

    I've had success using the cleaning solution that I use for the lenses; wiping the frames with the polishing cloth. The key is to clean them often enough that those marks don't have a chance to settle in.

    I know this was a preventative measure and it doesn't answer your question, hopefully someone else could chime in. (I'll look for my Persol box later to see if there are any special cleaning instructions in the booklet)
     


  3. spertia

    spertia Distinguished Member

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    I've had the same problem before and have had to toss the frames, unfortunately. I couldn't find any cleaning solution that would work.
     


  4. Wes Bourne

    Wes Bourne Distinguished Member

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    Iirc, I'd seen a short vid on the making of zyl acetate frames and towards the end of the process, they were dipped in acetone, then allowed to dry, thus giving them their polished appearance. Perhaps you could try this just on the end of one of the temples to see if it'll revitalize the finish. Better yet, ask your optician for some advice. More here.
     


  5. Pito

    Pito New Member

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    Don't use acetone.

    Clean them with liquid hands soap, brushing gently with a soft toothbrush. Dry them with a clean cloth.

    Then, put 1 drop of baby's oil (just ONE drop) in a kleenex and gently rub the frames. Let them rest a few minutes and then with another clean kleenex tissue, polish them for some minutes until they are not oily at all. You can use your fingers to rub them as well.

    The frames will be revitalized for several days, even weeks. Repeat procedure when they are dry and opaque again.
     


  6. lambretta76

    lambretta76 Active Member

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    I'm having the same issues with my Persols. Found this over at Lifehacker, which recommends more or less sanding off the issues. Anyone tried that method, or is the soap and toothbrush method good enough?
     


  7. lambretta76

    lambretta76 Active Member

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    To answer my own question, I saw on another forum that Mr. Clean Magic Erasers worked wonders. I tested this on one of the temple tips and it worked very well. Decided to bite the bullet and clean the whole frames this way and afterwards they looked clean but dull. Another forum recommended either baby oil or EVOO to shine them up. I opted for rice bran oil (I only had unfiltered EVOO) and well, they look good as new. (Well, almost -- the lenses are a different story.)

    But to confirm, the Magic Eraser did remove all of the haze that I've found to be common for acetate frames.
     


  8. Mervich

    Mervich New Member

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    I have had this exact same problem with various designer and better frames. The trick I've used that works quite well is to "wax" the frames with standard car paste wax. One must take care NOT to rub the wax onto the lenses as car wax has a very fine grit polishing compound that will likely haze the lens material (best if the lenses are removed). After washing the frames with soap and warm water, apply with paste wax with a dampened old sock. Rub it in for a moment and then, let it dry to a haze. After a few minutes drying time, using a clean, dry sock, wipe the wax off and buff to a shine. If there's any residue left in crevices, wash it away with warm water and a soft cloth and/or very soft brush (old toothbrush). The frames will look like new again and it lasts for several months.
     


  9. mikeaa

    mikeaa New Member

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    The best way that I have found to remove it is with the dull side of a knife or other utensil – the coding seems to build up and has to be scraped off…
     


  10. GBR

    GBR Distinguished Member

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    Buy a new pair, natural degradation.
     


  11. sh05609

    sh05609 New Member

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    I read many articles from a google search of this topic before trying one that worked out of the gate. The cause relates to oxidation of the plastic material and cannot be cleaned off. Many methods involve lubricating the surface which temporarily obscures the issue. One post indicated that an optician had a special machine that removed the filmy white discoloration. if available, this should be the preferred solution. If not, try what I did and apply steel wool of super fine grade #0000 to the plastic frame areas where discoloration exists. Whatever is not removed at this grade of steel wool may come off at a coarser grade. Applying an oil like olive oil afterwards will restore the lustre temporarily.
     


  12. squalidozzi

    squalidozzi Well-Known Member

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    I tried sandpaper on Ray-Ban eyeglass frames - thankfully on an obscured area; it looked terrible.

    I've had success getting the clouding off with dish soap and cold water. I tried a nonionic detergent, NP-40, and it seemed to work better than soap and water and has basically banished that haze from my frames, but signs of wear (obviously) still remain.

    Also, I found that lens cleaning solution - at least the type I used - actually made clouding on frames more dramatic.
     


  13. thefoxtooth

    thefoxtooth Senior Member

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    3M Finesse-It II rubbing compound + elbow grease. Use a soft cloth or even a bunch of paper towels, if you don't have a cloth handy.

    For more severe cases, you may want to try a set of Meguiar's rubbing compounds, which are graded like sandpaper. Go from coarsest to finest, starting from the middle-fine part of the range.

    Take your lenses out first!

    It may not work, but if it doesn't, nothing else will either.
     


  14. Purplelabel

    Purplelabel Distinguished Member

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    Kinda on topic, but I’ve just replaced my smashed lenses in my 2140 wayfarers but the damn things won’t go into the frames! The local optician couldn’t do saying the the acetate is too brittle and old to heat up for lenses.

    I’ve tried everything! Any tips?
     


  15. GBR

    GBR Distinguished Member

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    It is quite normal and is likely to simply be grease from your skin for the most part. Don't scrape them, that will remove the surface, simply use soap and water and serious rubbing with a soft cloth whilst you are doing it. You should see the grease slowly disappearing.

    There may be some wear and aging on the frames which is the top surface wearing and you can do nothing about theat. Certainly don't start varnishing them!

    It is unlikely that the lenses would fit another frame correctly, even the same model as they are all different, so don't bank on doing that either.
     


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