If you're a contact lens wearer, we're sure you already know how important hygiene is when it comes to eye health. When you wear contact lenses, maintaining cleanliness is essential for the well-being of your eyes. Keeping your contact lens case or lens case in tip-top condition is almost as important as cleaning and disinfecting your contact lenses before and after wearing them. So, in this article, you'll learn how best to clear your contact lens case. We also debunk some of the myths and misuses that are popular among contact lens wearers.
Why it's important to clean your lens case
There's no point in cleaning your contact lenses daily or every time you wear them, if you're going to store them in a dirty case. If left unattended, cases can accumulate bacteria and contaminants that can affect the quality of your contact lenses and cause eye infections.
Contact lens cases are often stored in places such as your handbag or wallet, or even in your pocket. In these types of spaces there is often lint or particles that can easily get into your case and make it dirty, but also, these types of nooks and crannies tend to have higher temperatures, better enabling bacteria to grow. That's how easy it is for your contact lens case to become contaminated, and consequently, your contact lenses. So lesson number one is clear: Keep both your lenses and lens case clean.
5 tips to follow before cleaning your contact lens case
- Wash your hands. First of all, whenever you are going to do anything to do with contact lenses, wash your hands. We advise you to use a neutral soap, without fragrance or additives, as contact lenses don’t mesh well. If for whatever reason you are not at home and you cannot wash your hands with soap and water, you can use soap sheets or wipes, as long as they are as neutral as possible.
- Do not use water under any circumstances. As you may already know, water and contact lenses are not good friends, so it is not a good idea to clean the place where you store your contact lenses with tap water. Nor is it the right decision to use hot or boiling water in the disinfection process. In short, water, in either case, is not a good choice.
- Soap. Some people recommend using soap or even a toothbrush to clean your case. We advise against this method. Again, soap may contain ingredients that are contraindicated for contact lenses and a toothbrush can collect bacteria.
- Clean your case right after putting in your contact lenses. Sometimes logic is the most obvious answer to some questions, but we understand that if you're a first-timer you may have a thousand questions in your head. If you're wondering when to wash your case, the answer, as with everything else, is: after use, i.e. after putting in your contact lenses.
- Rinse your lenses. As mentioned above, you will clean the case after putting in your lenses, so remember, when you open the case to put them in and then clean it, also rinse the lenses with a multipurpose solution or saline solution to make sure they are completely clean before you put them in.
The 5 steps to follow to clean your contact lens case
Now that we have clarified these 5 previous steps, let's get down to the nitty-gritty and clarify exactly the 5 steps you should follow to ensure good hygiene in your contact lens case:
- Empty the case and pour some solution into it. We have good news, to wash your contact lens case you only need something you already have in your hands: the multipurpose solution. Empty out the liquid you already have in your case and pour in some new solution for rinsing.
- Rub it in with your clean, dry fingers. Use your fingers, as long as they are clean and dry, and rub the inside of the lens case with the disinfecting solution.
- Empty the case again. Once you have rubbed the lens case with the cleaning solution, empty it.
- Dry it. You should dry your case with an item that will not leave residue on the inside, such as a tissue or napkin.
- Cover it once it is clean and dry. When it is completely clean and dry, cover it. Do not leave it open to dry in the open air, as it may become contaminated again in the course of this time. Make sure it is completely dry and close it.
Try everclear REFRESH solution
everclear REFRESH solution is a contact lens solution compatible with all types of soft contact lenses. This multipurpose solution will provide your eyes with the necessary hydration. everclear REFRESH disinfects, cleans and rehydrates. It also removes any bacteria or contaminating residue to give your eyes the comfort they need. With everclear REFRESH your contact lenses will always look refreshed.
Try everclear REFRESH
How often should I change my contact lens case?
OK, so you know how and when to clean your contact lens case, but now you may be wondering: How often do I need to change my contact lens case, and if I clean it, can I use it long-term?
The best thing to do is to change your contact lens case according to your wearing patterns, i.e. if you change your contact lenses every month, your contact lens case should be replaced monthly, and the same for two weekly contact lenses.
Perhaps this routine is a little complex and difficult to follow, so as an alternative you can do the following: maintenance solutions usually last about 2 months and although there may be exceptions, almost all cleaning solutions include a lens case. This way you will be replacing the case every 2 months and avoid having to buy a new one every time you replace your lenses.
What happens if you don’t clean your lens case properly
Failure to clean or replace your contact lens case according to the above recommendations can have fatal consequences for your eye health. You can find yourself with an eye infection such as conjunctivitis or various other conditions that are detrimental to your eye health. If you feel that all these steps are incompatible with your lifestyle or routines, we advise you to switch to daily contact lenses. Disposable contact lenses require much less care and are easier to manage in terms of hygiene. Our optometrist recommends everclear ELITE daily contact lenses.
What NOT to do with your contact lens case
The Internet is a box of surprises and although most of the time we always find the right answer to our questions, it can also lead us to misunderstandings. In case it is not clear enough what you should do when cleaning your contact lens case, here is a list of things that you may find as possible answers and that we strongly advise against:
- Do not clean the contact lens case in the dishwasher
- Do not use a scouring pad to clean the contact lens case
- Do not use a toothbrush, soap and water to clean the lens case
- Do not disinfect a contact lens case with boiling water
What to do with your unused contact lens case
After all these tips, you may have started to calculate how much waste you’ll accumulate. You may be asking yourself: If, in theory, I have to exchange my contact lenses every 2 months, and there are 12 months, that adds up to 6 contact lenses a year, what do I do with those 6 contact lenses that I have to get rid of? Vision Direct has 2 options for you:
- Give your contact lens case a new use: Find a second life for your contact lens case, it might be the perfect place to store small items such as jewellery. It can also be transformed into a pill box or be the perfect travel companion for storing smaller items such as earrings in your suitcase. Alternatively, if you’re about to dispose of your lenses and there isn’t a bin nearby, your old lens case can be a good container until you can dispose of your used lenses properly.
- Recycle your contact lens case properly: If you are not a hoarder and you don't like handicrafts, please recycle your contact lens cases properly. In general, contact lens cases are 100% plastic, so please dispose of them at your nearest plastic recycling point. You can also recycle your lenses with us. Just pop your used lenses, blister packs and packaging back in the box you received your lenses in and print off one of our prepaid labels and send them back to us. Easy peasy.
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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 email@example.com.They're available Monday - Friday 8:00 - 21:00, and Saturday - Sunday 8:00 - 18:00.