Eye Health Central

How To Clean Your Contact Lenses

How to clean your contact lenses - Video

Cleaning Your Contact Lenses

Taking proper care of your contact lenses is essential not only for keeping on top of your own eye health but ensuring that your lenses remain comfortable throughout their wear time.
Cleaning your contact lenses regularly is an important daily routine for certain types of contact lenses! It helps to remove dirt, debris, and bacteria but also reduces the risk of infections and/or other complications.

Here our optometrist shares with you how and why cleaning contact lenses is so important.

Types of Contact Lenses That Should Be Cleaned

Before getting into the cleaning process, it's important to know which types of contact lenses require regular cleaning. Generally, contact lenses can be broken down into 4 main categories:

  • Daily disposable contact lenses
  • Two weekly disposable contact lenses
  • Monthly disposable contact lenses
  • Extended wear contact lenses

Daily disposable contact lenses and extended wear contact lenses do not require daily cleaning and storing. However, it is still a good idea to know how to clean and store your lenses safely.  You should also be sure to clean your lenses carefully whenever a foreign object or substance comes into contact with your eyes, also if you go swimming or use a hot tub it is best to remove and store your contact lenses, if you forget to take the lenses out during your time in the water, you should clean them thoroughly as soon as possible afterward.

Two weekly and monthly disposable contact lenses require daily cleaning and overnight storage, they have been designed to be worn for between 4 to 30 days of wear (depending on your eye health, lifestyle, and optometrists recommendations) as such they require to be cleaned and stored overnight so that they remain clean and healthy.

Different types of contact lenses may require different care and handling techniques, these are normally provided by your optometrists practice at the time of fitting, but it is always a good idea to refresh your knowledge. You can watch our video above or read the detailed explanation below on how to clean your contact lenses. You will also find instructions provided with the lenses. 

Cleaning Contact Lenses

The Importance of Cleaning Contact Lenses

Cleaning and maintenance are important tasks for two weekly and monthly disposable contact lenses, a good cleaning routine will help to ensure both the comfort and health of your eyes. 

Contact lens cleaning isn't just a question of keeping your contact lenses dirt-free, it's also vital for maintaining good ocular health. 
Every day, we are exposed to elements that can potentially harm our eyes and lessen the lifespan of contact lenses, such as dirt, dust, fungi, and bacteria in the air around us. If these end up in our eyes, they can cause problems such as discomfort, inflammation, ulceration, and even infection.

Contact lenses can slowly accumulate a build-up of proteins and calcium deposits that come from your tears. This can cause the lenses to become cloudy, thus impairing vision. they can also stop the flow of oxygen to your eyes, which can cause other eye health problems.

One rare but serious condition, acanthamoeba keratitis is caused by a microscopic organism and is an increased risk for contact lens wearers who have not kept their lenses and lens cases adequately clean. This infection can lead to severe pain, and in the most acute conditions could require surgical treatment.

Cleaning Contact Lenses with a Multipurpose Contact Lens Solution

Multipurpose solutions are designed to streamline the cleaning process and can be helpful when it comes to a wide range of actions such as cleaning, rinsing, disinfecting and ultimately storing contact lenses. See below for a step-by-step guide on how to clean your contact lenses using a multipurpose solution:

  • Wash your hands: Before you begin, you need to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, then dry them with a lint-free towel to prevent any contamination of dirt or bacteria when it comes to handling your lenses.
  • Remove one lens: Gently remove one lens from your eyes, taking care so that you don’t touch the lens with your fingernails.
  • Place the lens in your palm: Hold the lens in the palm of your hand, cupping your hand slightly to form a tiny bowl.
  • Apply the solution: Pour a generous amount of multipurpose solution onto the lens so that the lens is completely submerged in the solution.
  • Clean the lens: Gently rub the lens with your index finger in a circular motion for approximately twenty seconds. This will help remove any dirt or debris from its surface.
  • Rinse the lens: After cleaning, you should rinse the lens with more multipurpose solution, ensuring that all traces of debris are removed.
  • Store the lens: Place the lens in a clean contact lens case filled with fresh multipurpose solution. Make sure the lens is fully submerged in the solution.
  • Repeat the process: Repeat the same cleaning process described above but now for the other lens, making sure to always use fresh solution for each lens.
  • Replace the solution daily: Get rid of the used solution in the case and refill it with fresh solution each and every single time you clean your lenses.

Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaning Solutions

I never recommend using a hydrogen peroxide system, with modern multi-purpose solutions, the process of cleaning and storing your lenses has become quicker and safer.

If you have allergies to any of the ingredients in multi-purpose solutions your optometrist may recommend a Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaning system, if so, make sure you read all the warning labels and follow the instructions you have been given completely with no shortcuts.

You should never let hydrogen peroxide come in contact directly with your eyes or contact lenses, as hydrogen peroxide can cause stinging, burning, and damage to the cornea of your eye if not fully neutralised.


Taking the time to clean your contact lenses properly really is essential for keeping on top of your eye health and also prolonging the life of your lenses. 
Before deciding on the type of contact lenses you want to wear bear in mind the time and attention they will require to keep them clean and healthy. If you do not want to spend time cleaning and caring for lenses then maybe daily disposables or extended-wear contact lenses are the best choice for you.

 Always consult your eye care professionals if you have any concerns or questions whatsoever about cleaning and storing your contact lenses.

Author: John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
Created: 20 Feb 2024, Last modified: 20 May 2024