Do you ever skip washing your hands before inserting your contact lenses because you’re in a rush to get to work? Have you ever thrown them in their case before bed because you’re so eager for some well-deserved shut-eye? No matter how busy you are, it’s essential that you take a few moments to clean, disinfect, and safely store your contact lenses each day. Not only does this reduce your risk of eye infections, corneal scratches, and other serious eye conditions, but also your eyes will feel more refreshed and less agitated. Scroll down to learn how to properly clean contacts.
How to Properly Clean Contacts
Soft contact lenses are comfortable and easy to use, but they do require a little maintenance. Luckily, contact lens care is simpler than ever. Although the steps below outline the basic guidelines, we encourage you to talk to your eye doctor if you’re wondering how to properly clean contacts. Some products are not compatible with one another, and the specific brand and product you’re using may require special care.
Wash Your Hands
If you handle your contacts with dirty hands, any bits of oil or debris on your fingertips or palms could be transferred to your eyes. So before you begin, wash your hands thoroughly using warm water and soap. You may wish to avoid moisturizing soaps, as they can leave residue on your hands. Afterward, dry your hands with a lint-free towel.
Clean the Lens with Solution
Remove one contact lens, and clean it using the contact lens solution recommended by your eye care professional. To do this, place the lens in the palm of your hand, add a few drops of solution, and rub the lens with your finger. This will remove natural build-up, cosmetics, and debris.
Rinse the Lens with Solution
Rinse the lens with contact solution to remove the loosened build-up and debris. Many people forget this step, but it’s important to rinse away debris after cleaning.
Store in a Contact Case with Fresh Solution
Place your contact lens in a clean contact lens case and fill it with fresh solution. Never “top up” your old solution to minimize product use, as this may allow for the growth of microorganisms.
Repeat for Your Other Lens
Repeat the last three steps for your other contact lens. Then, allow your contacts to sit in the case overnight to fully disinfect before you reinsert them in the morning.
- Talk to your eye care professional about which products to use with your contacts. Most people use a multipurpose solution, which can be used for cleaning, rinsing, disinfecting, and storing contact lenses (and eliminates the need for any other product).
- Don’t use saline solution or rewetting drops to disinfect your contacts. These products are not approved disinfectants.
- Don’t use saliva to clean your contacts. It isn’t sterile. Wait until you have access to contact lens solution.
- Replace your contact lens case at least every three months. Over time, a contact lens case can become contaminated with bacteria and cause an infection. For convenience’s sake, consider replacing the case every time you need a new bottle of contact lens solution.
- Clean your contact lens case regularly. Use a sterile solution or hot water to clean the case. Afterward, let the case air dry completely before you use it.
- Keep your contacts away from water. According to the CDC, water can allow germs to enter your eyes, so it’s incredibly important that your contacts stay away from it. This is why it’s so crucial that you dry your hands well before handling your contacts, dry your case thoroughly after cleaning it, and never use water to clean or store your contacts. For more on this subject, check out our blog post Can You Put Contacts in Water?
- Trim and file your nails regularly. If your nails are long or their edges aren’t smooth, you might scratch your contacts or your eyes.
- Follow your eye care professional’s guidelines. Your eyes may require a special product or unique routine, so be sure to follow your eye doctor’s advice. It’s also important that you replace your contact lenses regularly, following the schedule prescribed by your eye doctor.
Now that you know how to properly clean contacts, are you ready to update your prescription? If you live in southwest Missouri, contact Heffington’s for help.
Since 1975, the Heffington family has been assisting the Springfield community with top-quality eye care and affordable eyeglasses and contacts. One of the unique features of our family-owned business is that we manufacture lenses at our own laboratory, giving us total control over the service and pricing, and we’re happy to pass our savings on to you. To learn more about our products and services, please get in touch with us online, send an email to [email protected], or give us a call at 417-869-3937 (Optiland location) or 417-882-3937 (House of Vision location). We look forward to hearing from you!