We hear from customers periodically about the green corrosion that sometimes appears on well-worn metal eyeglass frames. This occurs because facial skin acids can be quite corrosive, and they eat away at the varnish the covers all metal frames, until the underlying base metal is exposed. This then reacts with the oxygen in the air and creates the green tarnish that is unsightly and very difficult to remove. (See our other article on Cleaning Eyeglasses Lenses)
We at Eyeglasses.com cannot take credit for the following (edited) article, nor can we attest to its accuracy. But it sounds very accurate and it came from a devoted customer who seems to know his stuff!
Thanks again for all your help with my problem of cleaning my gold metal frames. All this time, I have been working off and on with this problem, mainly by joining NACE online, which is the National Association of Corrosion Engineers. The NACE members gave me various suggestions, which I kept trying. At one point, I even tried a homemade electrolysis experiment, but it just turned the corrosion black. Today, finally, I hit the jackpot. Please see my message to NACE below. I hope this research will help you to help others with this kind of problem. I had just about given up, and then, success!
I tried many things, but nothing worked, so I decided to go back and read past posts some more, in particular the one from Rafael Suarez Baldo (Tuesday, February 14, 2012) with a reference to Preservapedia about using sodium carbonate, trisodium phosphate, and sodium silicate in an ultrasonic approach. Last week I tried a little Woolite in my new, little, cheapo ultrasonic machine, but the results were not impressive.
I thought I was just going to have to settle for the messy, time-consuming metal cleaner and pipe cleaners approach, but this week I tried adding a little Natural Choices Oxy-Boost with sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate and Zep Pressure Washing Concentrate with sodium metasilicate. I ran the machine for one cycle and took a look, expecting the same usual disappointing results, but I looked again! The cable temples on my glasses seemed to gleam! I looked more closely--very closely! My eyeglasses were gleaming, and I wasn't sure I could see any blue-green corrosion at all! Then I fished out my plastic temple covers from the ultrasonic machine, which I had put in just to see if it might do any good, and I couldn't see any blue-green corrosion on them, either! It even worked on the temple covers!
Thanks very much to all those NACE members who contributed ideas to solve my problem! I will send this good news to my optometrist, from where it hopefully may spread to all who are looking for a solution (no pun intended) to monel corrosion of metal eyeglasses frames.
--Contributed by HT, 5/3/2012