Contact Lenses 101

How To Clean And Store Your Contacts

So. You got yourself a brand spanking new pair of contact lenses.

Now that you’ve joined the contact lens squad, we’ve got to have the contact lens hygiene talk. Because, friends, germs are invisible to the naked eye (even when they’re in your eyes!), and just because they’re invisible doesn’t mean that they aren’t there.

But we don’t want them there. And we hope you don’t either. Bad things can happen if you let germs crash on your contacts like they’re some sort of Airbnb for microorganisms. Fortunately, it’s super easy to prevent germs from hosting a party on your eyeballs, and it starts with taking care of your contacts.

Contact solution is the solution

Unless you wear 1-day lenses, you have to clean your contacts every time you take them out. It’s just life. You also have to brush (and floss, you overachiever) your teeth twice a day, so in the grand scheme of things—you’re not really out that much time.

Only use soft contact lens solution. Because lenses and solutions are all so different, your optometrist will be happy to help you find the best brand for your eyes and the brand of contacts you wear. You can purchase contact lens solution at almost any pharmacy or drugstore.

Rub and rinse

The best way to clean lenses, according to optometrists, is to “rub and rinse”: place the contact in the palm of your hand, apply a little contact lens solution to it, and then gently rub for thirty seconds. This method gets rid of microscopic buildup. Don’t rub too hard–we’re exfoliating your contacts, not sandpapering them—use the pad of your finger when you rub, since your nails could puncture the lens.

Every brand of contact lens solution differs slightly, so you’ll definitely want to read the instructions that accompany your brand before cleaning your lenses.

Wash your case

Once you’ve cleaned your contacts, don’t forget your contact lens case! This handy tool also needs to be cleaned nightly. Give ‘em a good rinse with fresh contact lens solution, and dry them upside down on a clean towel. Don’t put the lids back on when you flip them over—that’ll prevent them from getting nice and dry. Change your contact lens case every three months (like your toothbrush!).

When the travel bug bites

For those of us who have a healthy dose of wanderlust, if you’re ever travelling, make sure to bring your glasses with you and an appropriate amount of backup contacts.

Don’t forget to bring a travel-sized container of solution—some brands make travel sizes, but for those that don’t, you can always fill up a small, clearly labeled travel bottle with solution. Another helpful accessory to make sure to pack are rewetting drops, just in case your eyes get a little dry. You should only use contact-lens specific rewetting drops, and you should never use them to disinfect your contact lenses—they are for wetting your eyes and not for cleaning.

Wearing contact lenses is so freeing—just think of all the fun things you can do without constantly having to de-fog your glasses or slide them back up your nose! But as the saying goes, with great freedom comes great responsibility.. Properly cleaning your contact lenses on a regular basis is crucial for maintaining long-term eye health.

What are your top tips for cleaning your contacts, either at home or travelling? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!