How to Tint Eyeglasses Using RIT

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Things You'll Need

  • Distilled water

  • Distilled white vinegar

Tint your plastic lenses with RIT dye.

If you have an old pair of prescription glasses you would like to tint but you do not want to spend a lot of money having them professionally colored, you can try RIT dye at home. RIT dye is designed as a fabric dye that you can use at home, but it is also effective on plastic. Therefore, you can use it to tint your eyeglasses as well. The tinting process will only work on plastic eyeglasses. The results depend on the type of plastic, how long you leave the eyeglasses in the RIT dye and what type of coating is on the lenses.


Step 1

Remove the lenses from your glasses if desired and if possible. You can also tint the entire pair of eyeglasses, including the frames. Some eyeglasses do not allow easy lens removal.

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Step 2

Bring 2 quarts of water to a low simmer on the stove in an old saucepan that is large enough for your eyeglasses to fit inside. Stabilize the temperature at a very low setting. If the temperature is too high, the plastic may melt or warp.


Step 3

Add 1 ounce of RIT dye and 5 drops of distilled white vinegar. Stir well.

Step 4

Submerge the lenses or eyeglasses in the dye solution. Make sure they are completely covered by the dye.

Step 5

Check the glasses every few minutes to make sure the eyeglasses are not being warped or melted. Do not go longer than 10 minutes between checks.


Step 6

Leave the lenses or glasses in the dye on the stove until the tint is as dark as you want. You can leave them for as little as 10 or 15 minutes for a light tint and as long as an hour or more for dark tint.

Step 7

Remove the glasses when the tint is as dark as you desire. Rinse the lenses or glasses in warm tap water then in gradually cooler water until they are completely cool. Dry them with a soft cotton cloth. Reinstall the lenses if necessary and your tinted glasses are ready to wear.


You can tint your eyeglasses with RIT in a bucket using water that is hot initially but will cool, of course. The tinting process will take longer because of the lower temperatures.

Dye other plastic items such as buttons with RIT.

Clean up all the equipment you used immediately after the tinting process so that the RIT dye does not stain your utensils. Some plastic items may need to be soaked in bleach to get rid of the color. Try to use metal whenever possible.


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