Monday, November 16, 2015

Eyeglass Upkeep

Now, the first rule for the frugal and less-visually blessed is to buy METAL eyeglass frames with ALL METAL connections in a NEUTRAL COLOR.  This way, you can use the frames for years, as you can repair them and have new lenses cut to fit if your vision changes.  However, the downside to having frames for years is they, well, get old.  And a bit dirty.  I recently took off my glasses to wipe off the lenses and for some reason, I looked at them - really looked at them.


Now, I love the color green as much as the next girl, but seeing this patina on something I stick on my face everyday made me yeck a little.  Now, you can go to a glasses shop and have them put new nose pads on, but the last time I did this (when I had a nose piece literally fall off) they charged me $5 bucks.  Screw that.  For this repair, I dug in my wallet for a buck and went to the Dollar Tree.  Welcome home, Glasses Repair Kit.

Now, even though my glasses were functioning fine, I dubbed this cost as essential in regards to my 'professional appearance' for job interviews.  And boy, what a difference those new nose pads make!


How I Cleaned My Frames Up...

The work itself is pretty stupid simple.  Remove screw from existing nose pad area.  Remove existing nose pad.  Repeat on other side.

Now, my glasses needed a deep cleaning, so I also loosened the side screws and took out my lenses, too.  The lenses I washed under warm water and wiped all the edges on a cloth to remove the green gunk that accumulated there.  The cloth had many green spots when I was done.

MAKE SURE YOU DON'T LET ALCOHOL OR HARSH CLEANERS TOUCH PLASTIC LENSES, as this could cause etching or other deterioration to the lens coating/plastic.  I used rubbing alcohol on the metal frame because it dries faster than water and disinfects and I had it on hand.  If you have fancy painted frames then I recommend using just soap water and more elbow grease to prevent damaging fine finishes.    

To clean the frames I used a combination of things from my 'Project Bin' stash.  First, I washed it with soap and water and wiped hard around it with kleenexes (which came out green.)  Then, I took Q-tips dipped in rubbing alcohol and wiped hard inside the lens areas, around the nose pieces, and along the bows that tuck against my ears,  The Q-tips, too, came out green.  I then alcohol dipped a denture cleaner pic (think of the world's tiniest bottle brush, also available in the Dollar Store) and cleaned out the tiny crevices of the metal nose piece holders and around the screws and bends of the frames.  It, too, came out green..  YECK!  But, after all that, my frames appeared fairly green gunk free!

So, I made sure it all dried, reinstalled my lenses and tightened down their tiny screws (something to get into the practice of doing to prevent loose screws, if you are hard on glasses like me.)  Then, I placed the new nose pads in their slot and dropped new tiny tiny screws through them, and screwed tight.  The results are wonderful, and I think so worth a buck.

What do you do with the rest of the kit?

Now, if I were to apply my "3 Use, Use It All" Rule of Purchase to the eye glass kit in its entirety, this would still be a win.

Primary Use:
It had 2 nose pieces and 2 new little screws to attach said nose pieces.  I bought it for this reason, and it worked beautifully.
It had 2 spare screws for holding the lenses in.  I've lost a hinge screw before, and it sucks, so these will be tucked away and nice to have on hand next time I 'pop a screw'.

The glasses cleaner rag included actually is very effective at wiping off fingerprints without a spray of any liquid, so I am going to keep it in my glasses case with my clip-on metal shades.

Use It All:
Speaking of those spring loaded clip-on shades, the kit had 2 different sized tiny plastic tubes, one of which will perfectly fit over the small metal tine of my clip-on shades (where it grabs around my glasses).  The plastic tube that was protecting it wore off a month ago, and I have noticed some excess wear on my frames from the metal-to-metal contact, so this will prolong the life of my frames, too.

The three screwdrivers that came in the kit I plan to keep around in various places for various purposes - one in my bass guitar case for opening the tiny screws of the battery pack, one in my misc. house repair kit for the misc. tiny screwing, and one in my 'Project Bin' for prying/screwing/poking/shaping/scraping/etc.

There are misc. little foam sticky-backed pads for the nose pads, that I haven't found a use for yet, though Big D may have some pairs of sunglasses he'd want to use them on.  I think if a person wore earrings, they may use these little pads behind heavy/sharp edged earrings to protect the lobe.  Or maybe a crafter would stick one to a slanted dowel and use it as a blender sponge for tiny pieces.  As I look at them, I imagine them becoming the bottoms of little miniature children shoes for my 1:12 scale miniatures.

Likewise, unless I put the included magnifying glass in a "Lil Explorer's Kit" for a child, I may trim it down and make a fun optic lens for a miniature wizard's stand, or perhaps a mini scrying glass for a witch.  Or as the glass in a modern miniature pot-stand.  Possibilities, people!

The chipboard backing I recycled, and the plastic front piece of the packaging I put in my craft bin to use as a paint palette or, if I don't scratch the hell out of it, as fake glass in my mini projects.

The plastic baggie will hold the screws until they are used, then will be used for mini stuff storage.

The case itself is the hardest thing to recycle somehow.  I just put it in my misc. box of odd shaped small things that I pull out when making miniature war-torn terrain for gaming.  A little paint, and it will make good looking debris if nothing else.  The clear plastic is a little thick, but I may be able to cut it with a heat tool into 'glass' shapes or tiles or heat it around into beads.  I will have to play around with it.

Well, that is my dollar spent.  Do you have any other ways to save money or prevent waste regarding your vision?  Let me know below!

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