How to Clean Soft Contact Lenses and Contact Lens Case?

Believe It or not, most people have no idea how to clean the contacts correctly but I'm gonna show you how to do it so you can not only disinfect the lenses and reduce your chances of infection but also improve the comfort of the wearing your lenses.

Apart from daily disposable lenses, all other lenses need to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each use to minimize the risk of infection and damage to your eyes. Make sure you get into the habit of doing the cleaning right after you put your lenses in.

Now the first thing before you ever handle any contact lenses wash your hands, just to make sure there are no nasty bugs on there that could actually get into your eye. The most common and simplest way to clean your contact lenses is actually with some type of disinfecting solution, I do recommend you use the one that your doctor recommended.

How to Clean Soft Contact Lenses and Contact Lens Case?

Once you’ve put your contact lenses in, tip out all the old solution, give it a rinse with the solution, use a tissue to dry it, and then air dry it upside down on top of the dry tissue. So at the end of the day, your case will be dry and ready for you to put your lenses back in.

According to the solution you are using, the instructions on the back of the bottle may actually vary but read them. Most people never follow the first step and it's actually one of the most significant and beneficial steps to cleaning your contacts and which is to rub the lenses.

When you’re done with your lenses for the day, you need to give them a clean after you take them out before putting them in the case. Place your lens onto the palm of your hand, place a few drops of the multipurpose solution onto the lens and use the padded part of your index finger to rub each side of the contact lens for 15 seconds or so. Then give it a bit of a rinse with a solution.

The real secret is to rub the lens but doesn't rub the lens too hard. When you rub the lens you will break up certain proteins that have kind of latched onto the sides of those lenses. By breaking up those proteins they'll generally be more comfortable. You also kill some nasty types of bacteria by doing that little rubbing motion. But be gentle with it because if you rub too hard you can actually tear or rip the lenses. Generally, the lenses will be more comfortable over the course of their wear whether they're a 2-week or a one-month lens.

Rinse each side of the lens with a steady stream of solution for at least 10 seconds again to rinse off all that extra debris or bacteria that could be resting on the lens. Then it's just a matter of putting your contact lens into the case and filling the case with the solution, making sure that the lens is completely submerged actually in the cleaning solution. Otherwise, if it's just resting on the top then the inner surface of the lens may not actually be getting any disinfecting on it. Every solution is a little different, but it's best to soak the lens for at least 6 hours. I find putting the solution in first earlier makes it easier for you to place the lens in. Or you can put the lens in first and then the solution. Tighten the cap over top and then let it disinfect overnight and it’ll be ready to go in the morning.

How to Clean Soft Contact Lenses and Contact Lens Case?

Over the years, we’ve noticed that wearers change the order of when they rub and rinse their contacts.

Sometimes they do it before they put their lenses in rather than after they remove them. However, this makes the disinfection process less effective since the purpose of the rub and rinse is to help loosen up any bacteria or protein deposits stuck on the lens. The best practice is to clean this case as well sometimes you'll see nasty little debris and another sort of protein build-up within the lens case and that can actually get on to your eye and is not good. So alongside drying out the contact lens case every night, I strongly recommend that you clean these contact lens cases every week.

Basically, you just put a little bit of disinfecting solution into the lens cases and swirl a finger around in there a little bit to agitate any sort of proteins that may have been built up. And then go ahead and rinse it out with an additional solution and then again dry it out by leaving it to air dry. In general, it's recommended that you replace these cases at least every three months. You can always buy new ones at the store or buy them in bulk online or you can even reach out to your local optical or eye care clinic. After you’ve done that, the lens can be disinfected in the case more effectively overnight.

Remember even with proper cleaning you need to change your contact lens case at least every 3 months. And a good rule of thumb, if you’re a full-time wearer, is that when you’ve finished the big bottle of solution it should be around the same time to change it. You can also use a marker and write down the date you started using it on the contact lens case itself. 

If you aren’t wearing your contact lenses for more than a week, change the contact lens  solution the night before you’re going to wear them so it can be disinfected  properly as contact lens solution loses its disinfecting properties after a period of time.

Most people do take out their contact lenses before going to bed, so that gives you plenty of time to get those six hours in. If you're cleaning your lenses this way, it's really important that you do not reuse the contact lens solution. Make sure that you dump that out the next morning and then make sure you refill this the following night.

How to Clean Soft Contact Lenses and Contact Lens Case?

If you reuse the disinfecting solution, it's no longer gonna be working as well and it is gonna greatly increase your chance of infection. When you put your contact lenses in and you empty out the solution from the case, make sure you leave the case facing upward to air dry which will actually allow the solution to dry out and kill any other bacteria that are generated in the case.

Related Read: Contact Lens Case Using Mistakes

Let us know in the comments if you knew about rubbing and rinses.

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