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Article: How To Remove The Green Gunk On Your Glasses

How To Remove The Green Gunk On Your Glasses

Good morning friends!

I hope you had a great week and that your eyes and sunglasses are in great shape today!

As I was looking through a drawer I found an old pair of my sunglasses that I had forgotten about, and as I looked at them I could see some of that "Green Gunk" on the nose pads and temples.

Green gunk -- ugh!

What Causes Green Gunk?

Well, it is not bacteria, mildew, fungi, mold nor algae. Nope.

No health risk here!

And theres no green dirt floating about in the air which lands on your glasses.

The first clue is that it must be similar to when copper left to exposure to the air turns that greenish color.

Green Copper Oxide on copper tubing

The process of turning copper metal green is called metal oxidation.

Green Gunk On Your Sunglasses Frame

If you wear high end sunglasses with metal frames sooner or later you will probably encounter that awful "Green Gunk".

Just as with copper, that green gunk comes from the metal interacting with oxygen.

Metal sunglass frames are normally made of a metal alloy consisting of copper along with nickel alloy.

Now, the frame is normally coated to give it a color like silver or matte black etc.

Gold is electroplated to the frame and will be listed as 23K Gold E.P.

You would think those coatings could prevent green gunk from taking hold.

But, they don't!

While the nose pads are silicone they too will attract the green gunk from the metal loop holding the nose pad in place.

You may also see the same problem on the tips of the temples which have a plastic sleeve on them.

Looking carefully at the lenses I can see that the space between the frame and lens has also turned green.

Hmmm, what's going on here?

What Causes Green Gunk?

Sunglasses are worn to protect our eyes from the sun, so they are normally worn when heat from the suns radiation causes us to sweat.

The acid in our sweat eventually results in oxidation of the metal frame causing the green gunk to appear on nose pads, temple tips and screws.

It will also form between the metal frame and lenses.

Ugh! This can be very unsightly and cause us to not like our sunglasses very much!

How To Remove Green Gunk

Grab a toothpick, a small screwdriver, an old toothbrush and some soap and water.

Remove the lenses and clean the inside of the frame with a toothbrush dipped in soap and water, and a toothpick to dig out those small corners in the frame.

You can remove the nose pads, but you might find them hardening over time.

You can also remove the plastic tips at the ends of the temples as well.

If you are wearing Randolph sunglasses you are in luck.

We carry replacement nose pads for Randolph Aviators along with replacement tips for the ends of the bayonet temples.

Spare Sunglass Frame Parts

A lot of times I see comments from ex-military personnel who complain about the cost of military aviator sunglasses and naval aviator sunglasses.

Even fashion aficienados sometimes complain about the cost of high quality aviator sunglasses.

But the truth is these sunglasses last many many years, and often become a treasured possession. 

If they are lucky enough those military issued sunglasses where made by Randolph Engineering and spare parts are available to keep the sunglasses in great shape!

If you have any experience with green gunk you would like to share it would be welcome!

In the meantime, keep your wings straight and level Hersch!

Solving the "Green Gunk" on sunglasses problem.

JetAviator7 at writing about "Green Gunk"

ps: Please share "How To Remove The Green Gunk On Your Glasses" on your social media platforms.

1 comment

Dear John,
Nice article ! This is Arjun from Mumbai & I had a related question. I wear Ray Ban Aviator sunglasses since 2010 and the frame has developed this greenish corrosion on the frame. Is there any risk of this green corrosion going into the eyes and damaging it ?. Also is there any risk of tetanus like there is from iron rust ? Should I discard the glasses or is it safe to wear ?

Arjun Prabhu

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