Have you got a new corrective eyeglass prescription, or do you want to give your lenses a thorough clean? If so, you may be wondering if it’s possible to remove and install eyeglass lenses yourself. While it’s always advisable to have your lenses installed by a professional eyecare provider, it is possible to do it yourself at home.
Follow the steps below to safely remove and install new lenses into your frames, or take out the lenses to clean them and then re-insert them. Note that there are different methods for metal and plastic frames, both of which we’ll cover below.
Taking care to remove your lenses properly is vital to avoid potentially causing damage. If your eyewear has metal frames, you’ll need to unscrew the lenses from the frames using either a specialist screwdriver or a pair of tweezers. If you don’t have either of these tools to hand, you can use your fingers, although you must be careful to touch the lenses as little as possible to avoid leaving fingerprints on their surfaces.
Insert a new lens into your eyeglasses by inserting the lens into the frame so that it’s securely in place and there are no gaps. Once this is done, simply reinsert the screws and tighten them.
If you want to replace the lenses in a pair of glasses with a frame made with molded one-piece plastic, you may need to use heat to do so – but don’t worry, it’s easy. Whether you want to remove the lenses from a pair of designer cat eye glasses or a chunky set of geek-chic specs, the procedure is the same. However, if your frames are fairly old, the plastic could well have loosened up sufficiently to make it possible to simply pop out the lenses with minimal pressure required.
If not, start by filling a bowl with warm water and submerge the frames for around one minute. After this time, check if you’re able to gently flex the frames. If you can, then apply careful pressure on one lens at a time, and it should pop out. If this doesn’t work, then try pointing a hairdryer at the frames to heat the plastic with the same aim.
Once you’ve removed the existing lenses, the new ones should be inserted while the frames are still flexible, which may mean submerging them in hot water again or giving them another blast with the hairdryer.
An important few words of caution: never use boiling water, and only apply gentle pressure to the frames and lenses – don’t use force. And finally, be sure to use a towel while handling the frames when they’re warm.
If you want to remove your eyeglass lenses to give them a good clean, here are some tips to go about doing so to achieve the best results:
- Wash your hands thoroughly before beginning to prevent dust, grease, and other debris from your fingers getting onto the lenses
- Run the lenses under a gentle stream of lukewarm tap water
- Put a drop of lotion-free detergent on each lens
- Gently rub both sides of the lens
- Rinse both sides of the lenses
- Shake off most of the water and then dry each lens thoroughly with a clean, lint-free cloth or towel
It’s really important to regularly give your lenses a good clean. Otherwise, dust and dirt on the lenses could result in scratches or other damage, and the lifespan of your specs could be negatively affected.
Prolong the life of your lenses by taking steps to keep them in great condition. Micro-fiber cloths are the best choice for cleaning but always inspect the lenses for any dust or debris before wiping them to avoid causing scratches or smudges.
There are many cleaning sprays and solutions on the market specifically designed for eyeglass lenses; if your lenses have an anti-reflective coating, it’s important to check that any product you choose is suitable for use on them.
If you wear prescription glasses, then you may sometimes find yourself needing an updated prescription. If you want to keep your existing frames, then removing the current lenses and installing new ones is a much more cost-effective option than getting an entirely new set of spectacles.
If you feel confident in having a go at this yourself, then use the guide above to do so. And if in doubt? Head to your ophthalmologist’s office to get the job done professionally.