Breaking sunglasses is a big problem for me. If I had to estimate how many pairs I had cracked, scrunched, or scratched up in my 30 years of life, I’d probably round it to at least 60. After a little while, a person gets tired of replacing busted sunglasses, especially when she knows the new ones won’t make it for more than three or four months.
Not too long ago, I started asking myself, “Can you replace sunglass lenses instead of replacing expensive pairs of sunglasses?” It turned out that the answer was yes. My research showed me that there were a couple companies that specialize in aftermarket sunglass replacement lenses at prices much lower than those charged by designers. I decided to give sunglass lens replacement a try, but I had a hard time finding good information about how to actually go about replacing sunglass lenses. Here, I’m going to save you the trouble I went through and walk you through the process of replacing sunglass lenses in plastic frames.
From what I can gather, replacing sunglass lenses is much more difficult than replacing them in metal frames, because metal frames are held together by a screw that can easily be loosened. Plastic frames are one solid piece, though, so it takes a little finagling to get the lenses out and put in new ones. I didn’t mind being rough with the old ones, because they were already broken, so in the end, I just used a small mallet to break them a little more and extract them.
Putting the new ones in was a little bit trickier, because I really didn’t want to break them and have to buy a second set. After a few unsuccessful attempts to wedge them in, I decided to try loosening up the frames by soaking them in warm water. I got fairly hot water and a little soap and soaked them in 30 second bursts, taking about 10 seconds between each soak. They did get a little more malleable, and that made it easier to squeeze the new lenses in.
Getting them to fit correctly was a little bit of a challenge. At first, I tried popping them in from the front, but it turned out that I had much more success working from the back. In the end, I aligned the lens into it’s slot at the corner, and then worked around the edges, popping them into place. After they cooled for a bit, they were all ready, and they really did look great!
If you’re a serial sunglass killer like I am, replacing sunglass lenses might be a better option than replacing whole pairs of glasses. I ended up paying about $30 for the lenses, while I would have spent at least $100 on a new pair of sunglasses. It was definitely a bit of a challenge to replace the lenses in plastic lenses, and I’ve heard that it’s much easier to make the switch in metal frames. Still, I would highly recommend trying it instead of investing in new glasses. It saved me a little money, and I even got to keep my favorite shades for a little while longer. See more: Oakley replacement lenses