How To Remove Green Gunk From Your Glasses

How To Remove Green Stuff From Glasses
Written by Louise Vee

One of the biggest issues people have when they wear eyeglasses are dealing with the green gunk that seems to build up on the nose pieces.

The Green Gunk

This is most often a problem with wire-frame glasses. Nose pieces made of plastic, however, do become discolored and the same cleaning methods used to get rid of the green work on them as well.

How To Remove Green Stuff From Glasses Closeup

Metal has a reaction when oxygen comes into contact with it. Think about jewelry like rings and neck chains that leave a green marking when you remove them. This is most often caused by the oxidation of nickel combining with the natural oils in your skin. Your nose is often the oiliest part of your body. The oil from your nose mixes with any sweat and that then reacts to the oxidation of the metal nose pieces.

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After a time, this substance builds up and can make you think your spectacles are growing mold. This isn’t mold, but it is nasty to look at and not very healthy to be near your eyes. One way to prevent this from happening is to coat your nose pieces with clear nail polish, but this becomes a task you need to do almost daily and it can get old fast. So, let’s explore how you can clean this.


Getting Rid of the Green

Washing your glasses on a weekly basis will give you a good handle on avoiding future buildup. To get rid of a current green gunk buildup, gather a soft cloth, a cotton swab, some mild dish liquid, alcohol, and a soft-bristled toothbrush. You may also need a small screwdriver if the nose pieces are attached by screws. Most, however, pop off easily.

1. Carefully remove the nose pieces and place them in a capful of rubbing alcohol to allow them to soak.

2. While they are soaking, dip the cotton swap in alcohol and gently cover the area of your frames that hold the nose pieces with it. Allow this to stand for two to three minutes and rinse with warm (not hot) water.

3. Rinse off the actual nose pieces with warm water.

This will get most of the green off but there may still be some stubborn residue. If so, continue with the following steps.

4. Place a drop of mild liquid dish detergent on the toothbrush with a drop of water. Being gentle, use a circular motion and scrub the place where the nose pieces attach. Rinse well and dry with the soft cloth.

5. Follow the same procedure with each nose piece. Make sure they are completely dry before reattaching to your frame.

If this doesn’t work because the buildup has been present for a long time, you may consider replacing the nose pieces. Many eyeglass repair kits come with an extra set. Also, many places that sell eyeglasses will replace the nose pieces free or for minimal cost. Taking the time to clean your frames at least once a week will keep this green buildup from returning.

How To Remove Green Gunk From Glasses

How NOT To Clean Your Glasses

Love the coating on your glasses? The following items are sure to strip it off:

  • Bleach
  • Ammonia
  • Your Dishwasher
  • Vinegar
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Louise Vee
Tech Geek and Traveler by heart. Loves Wildlife, Nature and Street photography. Cancer survivor.

About the author

Louise Vee

Tech Geek and Traveler by heart. Loves Wildlife, Nature and Street photography. Cancer survivor.


  • Just wiping them off with good old fashioned toilet paper works great. No need for alchohol or any other cleaner. Maybe a toothpick to help get in nooks and crannies.

  • Do what I do, mix distilled water and some dish soap and fill ultrasonic cleaner and put glasses in. Let run 5 minutes for heavy build up, if not heavy, usually just takes one minute. Every single last spec of green gunk will be gone! Lenses and frames come out looking just like new.

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