If you don't like the tint in your glasses, it may be possible to remove the color. 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 color 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 color from lenses. The optician may need to keep your glasses overnight to remove color, 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 colors lenses and removes tints. There are many online eyeglass and lens specialty labs that can tint lenses or remove color. If you send your lenses to a lab, the process can take one to two weeks.
Removing tints from lenses can be challenging. If the lenses are too old, the color may not come out all the way. If the two lenses were not made at the same time, the color 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.