Tint Eyewear Lenses

You can tint eyewear lenses a variety of shades using simple, at-home methods.

Tinted eyeglasses are great as fashionable accessories, but they can also reduce glare caused by light. Many eyeglass stores can tint your eyeglasses for you, but you can save money by tinting your plastic lenses at home. Plastic lenses are easy to tint, but lenses made of glass or those covered with protective coatings will not absorb the dye properly. If you have expensive prescription eyeglasses, you should follow the professional tinting procedure. There is an easy solution you can try if you have inexpensive glasses or want to customize clear safety glasses. Does this Spark an idea?


Professional Thermal Dye Process

1. Pop your lenses out of the eyeglass frames. Soak in warm water to loosen them if they are difficult to remove.

2. Add lens tint solution to fill the well of the thermal dye unit two-thirds full. You can use brown or black dyes typically used in sunglasses, or choose your favorite color like yellow, blue or red.

3. Let the thermal dye unit heat up for about a half hour after turning the machine on.

4. Secure each lens into place in the lens holders.

5. Lower the lenses into the tinting solution and soak for five to 30 minutes to achieve the desired shade. Dark shades take less time to dye the lenses, while light shades might take up to 30 minutes.

6. Raise the lenses out of the dye and allow them to dry before removing from the lens holder.

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7. Put the lenses back in your frames; they should simply pop back into place.

Simple Dye Solution

8. Mix clothing dye and distilled water in a 3-qt. saucepan according to the directions on the label. Depending on the dye, you might need distilled vinegar as well.

9. Bring the clothing dye solution to a boil on your stove, then reduce the heat and simmer on the lowest heat setting possible.

10. Place the plastic lenses into the simmering dye for 10 minutes to one hour. Light tinting can be achieved in about 10 minutes, but darker tinting may require an hour.

11. Lift the lenses out of water with a pair of tongs and set on paper towels to dry.

12. Put the lenses back in the frames.