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How to Remove Tint From Glasses

Updated April 17, 2017

If you don't like the tint in your glasses, it may be possible to remove the colour. Glasses are tinted to provide protection from glare and bright light, or sometimes lightly tinted for cosmetic purposes. Depending on the material of the lens and the type of tint, you may be able to reduce or remove the colour in your lenses. When deciding whether to try to remove the tint using a do-it-yourself method, you should examine your options.

Check the material of the lenses. Many people do not know what kind of lenses they are wearing. There are three basic styles of lenses: glass, plastic and polycarbonate. It is important to know the material because glass lenses cannot have the tint removed. To check the lenses yourself, cover the lens with a thin cloth towel. Gently tap the lens with your fingernail or the edge of a spoon. If the lens makes a dull, plunking sound it is probably plastic. Polycarbonate lenses sound more tinny. Glass has the familiar sound you hear when you tap a wine glass. Be careful not to tap so hard that you chip or crack the lenses. If the lenses are not glass, you probably can remove the tint.

Take the glasses to your eye doctor or to an optical retail store to have the tint lightened once you determine the lens material is not glass. An optician can also verify the lens material if you are unsure. Many optical retail stores have tinting units that use a special chemical to remove colour from lenses. The optician may need to keep your glasses overnight to remove colour, depending on the age of the lenses. Older lenses can take longer to remove a tint.

Send your lenses to an online optical lab that colours lenses and removes tints. There are many online eyeglass and lens speciality labs that can tint lenses or remove colour. If you send your lenses to a lab, the process can take one to two weeks.

Warning

Removing tints from lenses can be challenging. If the lenses are too old, the colour may not come out all the way. If the two lenses were not made at the same time, the colour may not change or remove the same way. Your optician can help guide you if you are unsure of changing the tint in your glasses. Do not try to remove tint from lenses that have an AR (Anti-Reflective) coating as the heat from a dye unit can cause the coating to peel.

Things You'll Need

  • Small towel
  • Spoon
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About the Author

Beth Richards, a freelance writer since 2002, writes about health and draws from her 25 years as a licensed dispensing optician. She has authored several books, writes for national magazines including "Country Living" and "Organic Family" and is a health and wellness features writer for several publications. She is earning a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maryland.