When a tint is applied to a pair of eyeglasses, the process is very similar to dyeing Easter eggs. The lenses are submerged into the tint or neutralizer for about 30 minutes. Light tints are used for reducing glare and for fashionable eyewear accessories, while darker tints are reserved mostly for sunglasses. You can only lighten or remove the tint if the lenses are made from plastic. Even if you are inexperienced with tint removal, you may use a lens dye unit and bleach or neutralizer to complete the process easily. However, you will first need to invest in a lens-dyeing unit that can cost anywhere from $300 to $2,000 or more.
Things You’ll Need:
Lens bleach or neutralizer
Small screwdriver kit
1 Turn on the dye unit, and allow ample time for the unit to become hot. The unit should typically reach 200 degrees F, although different models require different temperatures, depending on the type of lens you have. Consult your instruction manual. The heating process can usually take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, depending on what type of machine you have.
2 Remove the lenses from the frame. If you have plastic lenses, they will pop out if you warm the frame. Metal frames have tiny screws that will loosen to remove the lens.
3 Wash and dry the lenses. It is best to use distilled water to minimize the amount of mineral deposits on the glasses. If you can’t use distilled water, use tap water, but allow it to sit overnight first so the minerals can sink to the bottom. It is imperative that the lenses are completely dry before attempting to remove the tint. Otherwise, streaking, blotching and color variations may occur.
4 Fill the lens-dyeing unit with bleach or neutralizing solution. Refer to your dye unit’s instruction manual regarding the proper amount. Place the lens in the lens holder within the dye unit. The lens holder will allow the lenses to be submerged into the tank. Place one lens on each side of the holder, and slide the holder down so it fits snugly.
5 Lower the lenses into the neutralizer or bleach. BPI, a manufacturer of tinting supplies, suggests allowing the lenses to soak for no more than 15 minutes for lighter lenses.
6 Remove the lenses, and check to see if you have achieved the proper color. If you have not, simply replace the lenses into the holder, and repeat the same steps until the desired color is achieved. If you find yourself repeating the process several times without a noticeable change in color, you may want to consider changing your tint.
Tips & Warnings
Depending on the type or age of the lenses, they may not lighten at all. Other coatings that have been applied to your lenses may also affect the time it may take to lighten them, and these may prevent the lenses from lightening.
Lenses that have been covered with an anti-reflective coating will not lighten. Instead, the heat from the dye unit might cause the lenses to peel.