How to remove contact lenses

Wondering how to remove contact lenses for the first time? Or, are you an experienced contact lens wearer looking for a way to improve your removal technique? Removing your contact lenses will become very quick and easy once you've practiced a few times. Our opticians have put together the most common methods of removing contact lenses, so you can find the easiest way that works for you: just watch the video below for a step-by-step tutorial on how to take out contacts.

It's good to keep your contact lens solution, eye drops, contact lens case and anything else you'll need handy, so you won't need to reach for them. If you're going for daily disposable contacts, you can just use the solution in the blister pack to rewet the lens - and you can just throw away after removing.

Not quite sure what method is best for you? Reach out to our friendly optical experts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phone on 020 7768 5000 (UK) or 1 800 870 0741 (US), live chat on our website, or email help@visiondirect.co.uk.

Other methods to try

The ceiling method

This technique is perfect for those with long nails, as you use the pads of your fingers to remove the lens.

Slide to the side

This method works by moving the lens off the curvature of your eye and into the white, where it's easier to pinch off.

Wondering how to put in contacts? We've put together 3 different methods, so you can find one that works for you.

Step by step: removing contact lenses

  • 1. Thoroughly wash and dry your hands

    Before you start, wash your hands thoroughly using tap water and antibacterial soap. This is integral to all things eye care, in order to avoid dry eyes or eye infections caused by harmful bacteria. Drying your hands well gives you a good grip: the most hygienic method is using either a lint-free towel or an air dryer.

  • 2. Gently pull down your lower eyelid

    Starting with the same eye every time, use the middle finger of your non-dominant hand to gently pull down your lower eyelid, then pull up your upper eyelid to hold your eyelashes against your brow.

  • 3. Gently pinch the contact lens off

    Place your index finger and thumb on either side of the contact lens, and then gently pinch it off.

  • 4. Look up and slide the lens down

    Look up and gently slide the lens down onto the white of your eye, then off onto your finger. Repeat for the other eye.

  • Repeat for the other eye

    Now all you need to do is repeat these steps for your other eye and you've safely removed your contacts. Simple, isn't it!

Frequently asked questions

  • How do you remove contact lenses for the first time?

    Start with the same eye every time, to avoid accidentally mixing up your lenses. Use your non-dominant hand to pull down your lower eyelid and gently pull up your upper eyelid to meet your eyebrow. Now use your dominant hand (the one you use to write) to pinch off the contact lens and remove it from your eye – to do this, place your first finger and thumb on either side of the contact lens, and gently pinch it. Look up and gently slide the lens down, onto the white of your eye, then slide it off onto your finger. All you need to do is repeat for the other eye.

  • How do I remove a contact lens without pinching it?

    While pinching a contact lens off is a popular removal method, you can use the pads of your fingers to sweep the lens down. This is particularly useful for those removing contact lenses with long nails. First, wash your hands thoroughly and dry them well. Reach over to the eye you are removing your lens from and pull the eyelid and lashes up to maximise space. Using the middle finger, pull your lower eyelid down. Look up to the ceiling, and position your index finger at the bottom of the lens and gently apply pressure to sweep the lens down. The lens will naturally want to drift back to the center of your eye, as that's where it's made to fit, but keep trying until you feel it dislodge. Once it's moved off the center of your eye towards the white part, you should be able to pull it down with the pad of your finger.

  • How do I store monthly contact lenses?

    If you wear monthly contact lenses, make sure that once removed they are placed in fresh solution and stored securely in a clean contact lens case. If you want to switch to daily contact lenses, speak to your optician or eye doctor and they'll be able to help you.

  • Why is it so hard to remove contact lenses?

    Blinking when something is close to your eye doesn't make taking your contact lenses out very easy, does it?! It might feel difficult to remove contact lenses the first few times you try, but all it takes is a bit of practice and patience and you'll be a seasoned pro in no-time. Just watch our video tutorials a few times to get the moves down - and make sure you give your eyes a break between goes by using eye drops or artificial tears.

Need more help or advice?

For personalised advice on anything to do with contact lenses and eye health use our live chat, call our friendly customer support team on 020 7768 5000 in the UK or on 1 800 870 0741 in the US or email help@visiondirect.co.uk. They're available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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