Tinted eyeglasses are common accessories due to their function and fashion. Many people tint eyeglasses to reduce glare from the sun. In addition to the dark brown or black shades in most sunglasses, eyeglasses can be dyed a variety of colors to suit your personality. Your local eyeglass store can tint your glasses for you, but if your lenses are made of plastic, you can tint your existing eyeglasses at home. Glass lenses and lenses with some protective coatings will not absorb the dye. You can tint your lenses with specialized equipment or try an easy at-home solution.
Thermal Dye Unit
Remove the lenses from your eyeglasses by popping them out of place.
Fill the well of the thermal dye unit two-thirds full with lens tint solution in your preferred color.
Turn the thermal dye unit on and let it heat up completely; this will take up to a half hour.
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Place each lens in the respective lens holders on the thermal dye unit and secure into place.
Lower the lens-holding device into the tinting solution and allow the lenses to soak for five to 30 minutes, depending on the brightness of the dye. Dark shades take less time to dye the lenses, while light shades might take up to 30 minutes.
Lift the lenses out of the lens dye and allow to dry completely before removing from the lens holder.
Pop the lenses back into place in your eyeglass frames.
Simple Lens Dyeing
Prepare clothing dye according to package directions in a shallow pan of distilled water. Most dyes require distilled water and distilled vinegar.
Bring clothing dye solution to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer. Keep the heat as low as possible while still maintaining a simmer.
Drop the plastic lenses into the dye and allow to simmer until you achieve the desired color. If you want only slight coloration, 10 to 15 minutes should be enough time, but intense coloration may take up to one hour.
Remove lenses from dye with a pair of tongs and place on a cooling rack to dry. Place a clean paper towel under the rack to catch drips that could dye your work surface.
Pop the lenses back in the frames.
Try dyeing the lenses of a pair of inexpensive or disposable glasses with plastic lenses. You'll be able to see the results and determine if this is a look you want for your everyday glasses.
The clothing dye method is a fun option for customizing clear safety glasses or disposable reading glasses, but you should use caution when dyeing expensive designer eyeglasses.
Be careful not to break the frames when popping the lenses out. If the lens won't budge, try soaking the glasses in warm water for a few minutes to loosen the lenses.
A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.