Can You Leave Contacts in Water Overnight?


While it may be tempting to forgo contact lens solution in favor of water, there are a number of risks associated with leaving your contacts in water overnight.


  • Tap water contains bacteria. Overnight, this bacteria can settle on your contact lenses and lead to eye infections.

Acanthamoeba Keratitis

  • Acanthamoeba keratitis is a serious eye infection caused by amoeba--one-celled creatures--that live in water. Storing your contacts in any kind of water, even if it is distilled, puts you at risk for this infection.

No Disinfectant

  • Water lacks a key ingredient of contact lens solution: disinfectant. Storing your contacts in water will not clean them of bacteria and may, in fact, make bacteria multiply.


  • After sitting in water, your contacts may change texture and stick to your eye differently, which can be uncomfortable.

Dry Eyes

  • After a night sitting in water, your contacts will likely feel dry. Although it may seem that water will hydrate your contacts, the opposite is often true.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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