How to clean and store your contact lenses

Medically reviewed by Tina Patel, Contact Lens Optician at Feel Good Contacts on 31/03/2023.

Knowing how to clean and store your contact lenses will keep your eye health in check. This article will discuss the importance of contact lens care and how to follow an effective lens care routine.

Why is contact lens care important?

Taking care of your lenses will ensure that your eyes are kept safe from infection or irritation. Cleaning your contact lenses and storing them in solution overnight will help maintain the moisture level and ensure greater comfort for your eyes and your long term vision. Using eye drops can ensure comfort too by soothing dry and tired eyes.

Taking care of your two weekly and monthly contact lenses is easy once you have a routine in place. Getting into the habit of washing, rinsing and storing your contact lenses should take no time at all. However, if you have a busy lifestyle and find this too much of a challenge, extended wear contact lenses or daily disposables could be a better option for you. Please note, you must seek approval from your optician before wearing your contact lenses for extended periods.

How do I clean and store my contact lenses?

  1. You should always use fresh solution to clean and store your contact lenses. Follow the steps below to ensure you clean and store your lenses in the safest way possible.
  2. Wash your hands and dry them thoroughly with a lint free towel to prevent fibres from transferring to your eyes.
  3. Take one lens out at a time and place each lens separately in the palm of your hand. Cover the lens in your recommended cleaning solution. Using the tip of your forefinger, gently rub the lens in a circular motion to loosen any debris or deposits that have built up over the day.
  4. Rinse the lens with saline solution (or multi-purpose solution), making sure to remove any remaining debris.
  5. Fill a clean contact lens case with disinfecting solution (again, multi-purpose solution can be used for this stage too). Place your lens inside the case and leave to disinfect for as long as the product packaging recommends. The disinfecting process is vital to killing microorganisms, removing them from the lens.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 with the other contact lens.

How to clean your lens case

Cleaning your contact lens case is also important. To do this effectively simply follow the steps below:

  1. Discard the old solution from the contact lens case and rinse the case with some fresh solution.
  2. Place your contact lens case upside down on a clean tissue and leave it to air dry.
  3. Make sure you replace your lens case on a regular basis (ideally every month or at least every three months).

How long can you store your lenses for?

This depends on the solution, some solutions can be ok for up to 7 days and others can be ok for up to one month. The night before you plan to wear your lenses it would be a sensible idea to refresh the solution in the case and disinfect them as per manufacturers guidelines. Always follow the advice given by your optician.

Which types of solutions are there?

There are a range of contact lens solutions on the market. Each have different ingredients to suit different lens types. It's important that you use a lens solution suitable to the contacts you wear. At Feel Good Contacts, we stock a variety of lens solutions suitable for both soft contacts and rigid gas permeable lenses.

1. Multi-purpose solution

This product carries out the tasks of cleaning, rinsing, disinfecting and storing your contact lenses. Whilst some multi-purpose solutions suggest a ‘no-rub’ lens cleaning routine, gently rubbing the lenses can ensure a more thorough clean. Shop a leading range of multi-purpose solutions at Feel Good Contacts. We have:

2. Saline solution

This pH-balanced saltwater solution is for rinsing and storing lenses. Saline solution is compatible for use with enzymatic cleaning tablets. It is important to note that saline solutions are not suitable for cleaning or disinfecting contact lenses. Our best sellers include:

3. Hydrogen peroxide solution

The hydrogen peroxide in the solution effectively disinfects contact lenses. However, it needs to be neutralised after to ensure no peroxide remains are left on the lens. Some contact lens holders feature a built-in neutraliser to turn the solution into water. However, other hydrogen peroxide solutions require a two-step process. Adding a neutralising tablet to the holder after disinfection is part of this process. Popular hydrogen peroxide choices include:

Please note, it takes at least 6 hours of neutralisation before lenses can be applied and lenses should never be rinsed with peroxide solution. This is a common mistake which people make.

Useful tips for contact lens care

When applying and removing your lenses, make sure you always wash and dry your hands thoroughly before you handle the lenses.

Never use water to clean your lenses. Whether it's tap water or distilled bottled water, we would strongly advise against this. You should only use contact lens cleaning solution.

Never top up old solution. Each stage of the cleaning process requires fresh solution.

Use solution to rinse your contact lens case after every use and air dry.

Make sure that the cap on your solution bottle is firm and secure when not in use.

If travelling, don't transfer your contact lens solution into a smaller bottle as this can compromise the sterility of the solution. Instead we would recommend that you purchase a travel pack such as our comfi All-in-One Solution. This 100ml bottle is the perfect travel size and is an environmentally friendly choice.

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