Removing the Tint from Sunglass Lenses
There’s an art to removing tint from sunglass lenses, and the process is definitely a trial-and-error procedure. It is possible to remove color from most types of sunglass lenses, but not all. Knowing how to remove tint saves time and money when done correctly.
Get Lenses Ready to Remove Tint
Place a towel on your work surface to catch and keep track of any small pieces, such as screws.
• Loosen screws from a metal frame or heat plastic frame under warm water.
• Remove the lenses from the sunglass frame.
• Wash and dry the lenses, then rinse them with distilled water.
• Place the lenses in the lens holder and secure them firmly by compressing the top and bottom of the holder around the lenses.
Heat the Tint and Neutralizing Unit
Fill the neutralizing tub in the lens tinting unit with neutralizer (also called lens bleach) and heat the unit to 205 to 210 degrees Fahrenheit.
Note: Certain lenses, such as Trivex, can only be heated to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, so be sure to verify the lens material will withstand the process before attempting to remove the tint.
Remove the Tint from Colored Lenses
• Lower the lens holder into the bottom of the neutralizing well. Each lens has unique properties and the length of time needed to remove the tint varies.
• Check the lenses after one minute by removing them completely and observing the amount of color change and tint removal. Immerse the lenses again if necessary. Most lenses will neutralize within 10 minutes. But some material and tints can take longer, sometimes more than an hour. It all depends on the type of lens and the age of the tint. In some cases, the tint will not be able to be removed entirely.
• Rinse lenses and reinsert them into the frame.
• Remove only the bottom coloring of the lens for a gradient tinted lens.
• Be sure the lenses are placed, so the top of the lens is at the top of the lens holder.
• Dip the lenses using a bobbing motion, up and down, into the neutralizing solution to make a gradual and even tint.
• Check the color of the lenses every 10 to 15 seconds until satisfied with the tint.
• Rinse lenses and reinsert in the frame.
Most optical stores and eye doctor offices have tinting units. Experienced opticians can usually verify the material and type of color in the lenses. They can also determine whether or not a tint can be lightened or removed. The fee is usually minimal, and some offices will not charge a fee for regular customers. Keep in mind that there is usually no guarantee that the color will come out of a dyed lens, although it most often will, at least partially.