Which contact lens solution do I need?

Medically reviewed by Tina Patel, Contact Lens Optician at Feel Good Contacts.

There are a variety of contact lens solutions, including hydrogen peroxide, saline solutions, rigid gas permeable solutions, daily cleaners and multi-purpose solutions. You'll also find that contact lens liquid ingredients vary; many opt for a preservative-free solution as it is gentle on sensitive eyes, while others are happy with solutions containing preservatives as these last longer. Saline solution is used to rinse lenses and can be used for all types of contact lenses.

If you wear monthly lenses, two weekly lenses, toric lenses, or rigid gas permeable lenses, it's important to take care of them properly.

All the above lenses can be worn daily but must be removed at night. They'll then need to be cleaned thoroughly and stored using a contact lens solution. It will ensure they are fresh, clean and hygienic to wear the next morning. Your eyes will be less prone to irritation and infections, and you'll find more comfort in wearing contact lenses.

If you're a rigid gas permeable (RGP) wearer, you can find various solutions to clean your contacts.

What are multi-purpose solutions?

Multi-purpose solutions offer an all-in-one product to clean, disinfect, rinse, and store your lenses.

Most are suitable for all soft contact lenses except for dailies (these are single-use lenses); however, there are multi-purpose solutions for rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses, which offer more convenience than the two-step systems. Your optician should approve them before use. You should never use soft lens solutions with RGP lenses, so make sure to read the bottle/packaging first.

A multi-purpose solution is best for those with a hectic, busy lifestyle. After a full day of wear, wash and dry your hands thoroughly, remove your lens, place it in the palm of your hand, cover it with a multi-purpose solution, and rub gently to loosen any dirt or debris. Once done, you can rinse the lens again with a fresh solution. Repeat for the other lens. Fill up your lens case with fresh solution and place your lenses inside to store overnight.

Top tip: Never top up old solutions with new ones. Always empty the case by throwing away the used solution after applying the lenses. A multi-purpose solution should be used to rinse a contact lens case, NOT tap water. The case should then be left to air dry.

A multi-purpose contact lens solution such as our comfi all-in-one solution will save you time and effort to ensure your lenses are clean.

If you find that your eyes are sensitive and become irritated after using a multi-purpose solution, seek advice from your optician on what solution may be a suitable alternative. Regard lens solution is a preservative-free multi-purpose solution, great for sensitive eyes.

If you suffer from dry eyes, we recommend choosing a multi-purpose solution that contains hyaluronate. It is a natural lubricant and aids moisture retention in contact lenses. Contact lens solutions containing hyaluronate make contact lenses more comfortable to wear. comfi All-in-One Solution contains hyaluronate which can aid symptoms of dryness.

What are rigid gas permeable solutions?

You'll need to use a RGP contact lens solution when cleaning rigid gas permeable lenses.

These solutions have been specifically designed to clean the surfaces of rigid gas permeable contact lenses. Rigid gas permeable lenses don't feature any water in their design and are composed of silicone and fluorine. As a result, these lenses require a different type of cleaning solution.

RGP lenses require a hard contact lens solution for wetting, cleaning and disinfecting. If you’re a RGP lens wearer, you should consult your optician as they will be able to advise you with the most suitable care system.

Best gas permeable solution

We provide rigid gas permeable lens solutions, offering a two-step process for cleaning and neutralising your contact. Our Boston Advance and Total Care solutions are the best for gas permeable contacts. Alternatively, you can find convenient all-in-one solutions for rigid gas permeable lenses, such as Boston Simplus.

Using the correct lens cleaning solution is essential to prevent eye irritation. Using the right lens solution will also ensure your lenses provide your eyes with optimal comfort throughout the day.

What are daily cleaners?

Daily cleaners are an excellent choice if you have sensitive eyes and offer a more thorough clean. They are used for cleaning contact lenses only and will not condition them. The cleaner removes deposits and debris from the surface of the lens. At the same time, additional products, such as a conditioning solution, will be required to rinse, condition, and store the lenses. To clean your contact lenses with daily cleaner, place a few drops in the palm of your hand and give the contact lenses a gentle rub on both sides for as long as instructed on the cleaner bottle.

Ote Clean is a great daily cleaner suitable for rigid gas permeable contact lenses. Featuring a travel-friendly pack size, great for taking with you on the go. This formula is ideal for those with sensitive eyes and those looking to clean their lenses effectively.

What are saline solutions?

Saline solutions are gentle, preservative-free lens solutions comprised of a sterile salt and water mix. These solutions are suitable for rinsing lenses if using a peroxide system and storing your lenses temporarily (for brief moments only, such as when in the shower). They will remove any dirt or debris from the surface and rewet your lenses.

Saline solutions can be used with all types of lenses, including rigid gas permeable lenses for rinsing lenses.

Saline solutions are unsuitable for cleaning or disinfecting your lenses. Instead, you'll need to use a lens solution specifically designed for disinfecting before using saline. However, you'll still find saline solution an effective product for the final steps of your contact lens cleaning routine.

Popular saline solutions include Lens Plus and Sensitive Eyes Plus Saline Solution.

Which is the best solution for sensitive eyes?

Sensitive eyes can experience irritation easily, so finding the right lens care product is important. A range of preservative and preservative-free contact lens solutions can be used for sensitive eyes, it would be best to consult your optician, who will advise you on the most suitable solution for your needs.

Preservative-free solutions for sensitive eyes

Preservative-based solutions for sensitive eyes

What are hydrogen peroxide contact lens solutions?

Hydrogen peroxide solutions typically provide a deeper clean and achieve a higher level of hygiene than other solutions. They are also better suited to sensitive eyes, when used correctly.

These solutions have been designed to clean, disinfect, rinse, and store all soft contact lenses. Hydrogen peroxide solutions are much stronger for disinfecting soft lenses. They don't contain the preservatives often featured in multi-purpose lens solutions. It makes them ideal for anyone allergic to preservatives or those with ultra-sensitive eyes. Hydrogen peroxide solutions with ensure thorough cleaning of your lenses, and the will feel even at the end of the month!

Hydrogen peroxide solutions are typically used with soft lenses; however, some can be used with RGP lenses. Before using a hydrogen-peroxide solution for the first time, we recommend speaking to your optician. They will advise with the most suitable solution for you and explain how the solution should be used.

Hydrogen peroxide solutions come with a special lens case featuring a basket with a catalytic disc inside the case. To clean your lenses, place the lenses directly into the individual basket holder, fill the case with solution, making sure you fill up to the line and leave overnight.

Some of these specialised lens cases will have a built-in neutraliser (the catalyst disc, the grey bit in the bottom of the case). Neutralising the hydrogen peroxide solution ensures your contact lenses are safe to wear and won't damage your eyes. Solutions such as EasySept offer these specialised contact lens cases with a catalytic disc. The disc acts as a catalyst to and ensure the peroxide has been neutralised.

Top tip: Never use a new solution with an old case as the disc will be ineffective.

Oxysept 1 Step contains a supply of neutralising tablets to add to the hydrogen peroxide-filled case. The tablets work to neutralise the solution, ensuring the lenses safe to wear again. Once neutralised, they turn the solution pink.

Does contact lens solution expire?

Yes, contact lens solution always has an expiration date, regardless of whether it's a multi-purpose, saline, hydrogen peroxide or RGP solution.

Using lens solution after its expiration date could increase the risk of an eye infection as the solution may not be effective anymore.

You should always check the expiration date when you open your new bottle and know when your current bottle will expire.

When opening a new solution, it is advised that you write the date on the packaging to be sure how old the solution is and, therefore, know when to throw it away.

Some multi-purpose solutions should be thrown away after 90 days of opening, while others should be thrown away after one month.

ReNu Multi-Purpose Solution can be used to clean, disinfect and rinse soft contact lenses, the open bottle should be discarded 90 days from opening. The same is true for comfi All-in-One solution and Biotrue Multi-Purpose Solution. Always check the bottle and listen to your optician's advice regarding when to discard the bottle.

Which contact lens solution can I use to store my extended wear contact lenses?

Extended-wear contact lenses should be removed for occasional nights off or even if you feel they need to be cleaned. If you intend to put them back in later, store them in a clean lens case filled with fresh solution. Remember to discard the case after one month and replace it with a new one.

Removing your lenses and cleaning them will help reduce build-up on the lens. It will also add moisture and condition your lenses for a comfortable wearing experience.

You can use a soft contact lens solution to clean and store extended wear contact lenses. Before purchasing a multi-purpose solution, speak to your optician to see which one suits you.

Can you put contact lens solution in your eyes?

Applying solution directly into the eyes should be avoided, as it contains chemicals that can damage the tear film and can cause corneal toxicity.

Rather than putting contact solution in your eyes, it is recommended that you use eye drops. Eye drops have been designed to add moisture to your eyes and help relieve dry eye symptoms, irritation and general discomfort.

Can I carry contact lens solution on a plane?

One of the difficulties of being a reusable contact lens wearer is looking after your lenses when you go on holiday. lens solution is typically sold in larger bottles that don't comply with airport regulations. These regulations state that liquids under 100ml can't be packed into hand luggage.

Fortunately, you can keep up with the same cleaning routine when you purchase one of our travel packs containing contact lens solutions. All under 100ml, these travel packs can provide enough contact lens solutions to last you one–two weeks (if used daily) for your holiday. They are often available in multi-packs with contact lens cases provided.

Please note: You should never decant contact lens solution into another bottle for travel as this is not sterile and can lead to eye infections. We recommend you purchase a travel size pack if you're going away. Remember to check with you optician for the most suitable solution.

Please read our full guide on how to look after your contact lenses on holiday.

You must speak to your optician before changing contact lens solution, as they will advise you on the best solution for your eyes and lenses.

Disclaimer: The advice in this article is for informational purposes only and does not replace medical care or an in-person check-up. Please check with an eyecare professional before purchasing any products or remedies. For information on our article review process, please refer to our Editorial Policy.

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