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How to Stretch Tight Sunglasses

Updated March 23, 2017

Now that you bought those cool shades but find they are too tight, you don't necessarily need to return them. Opticians regularly adjust and stretch prescription sunglasses by first warming the frames in a heated sandpit. You can use a similar method to stretch out tight-fitting sunglasses to help youachieve a comfortable fit. Just a few millimetres wider can make all the difference in your comfort level. With a little effort and a few gentle tweaks, you'll soon be looking stylish in your new shades.

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  1. Open the sunglasses and extend them fully as if you were going to put them on. Check how rigid the frames are by very gently pulling the earpieces away from each other. This will help you to familiarise yourself with how delicate the arms of the frames really are. Do not forcefully pull them apart.

  2. Fill a basin or large bowl with hot water up to a level that will accommodate the full dimensions of the sunglasses. Use steaming hot water directly from a hot water faucet. Don rubber gloves if you prefer.

  3. Immerse the sunglasses into the hot water basin to heat them. Allow them to sit in the water for only about ten seconds.

  4. Set the sunglasses onto a towel on a flat surface. Place them with the lenses facing forward, and the arms pointing back toward you. Quickly pat the earpieces dry using the towel.

  5. Wrap your right hand around the front of the left eyepiece to secure it, and begin to slowly and incrementally stretch the left earpiece with your left hand by very gently pulling it opened to a slightly wider position. Attempt to only stretch a millimetre at a time. The heat will make the frame slightly malleable to accommodate this action.

  6. Reheat the frames for approximately ten seconds by submerging them into the hot water and then pat them dry. Hold onto the right eyepiece with your left hand and gently stretch the right arm outward to the side with your right hand. Apply appropriate force as directed in Step 5.

  7. Try on the sunglasses to check the fit. Repeat the heating and stretching process until your sunglasses are no longer tight and the fit is just right.

  8. Tip

    Bending cold plastic frames may result in them cracking or breaking apart. Use a soft lint-free cloth to remove fingerprints after stretching sunglasses.

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Things You'll Need

  • Basin or large bowl
  • Rubber gloves (optional)
  • Hot water
  • Towel

About the Author

Erin Moseley is an advocate for science education. Since 1985, she has written numerous technical, user and training manuals for major corporations, public agencies and universities. She holds a Bachelor of Science in geology.

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