How to Sterilize Contact Lenses


To avoid eye infections it is important to properly sterilize contact lenses before wearing. There are soft contact lenses and hard lenses. One type of lens might be used just once, while another can be reused for varying lengths of times, such as week or month. Disinfection solution is designed specifically for sterilizing contact lenses. Some disinfection solutions are intended to clean lenses overnight while others can be used to sterilize the lenses in a matter of minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • Contact lens disinfecting solution
  • No-rub six-hour disinfectant disinfecting solution
  • Container for six-hour solution


  • Read the instruction label of the disinfecting solution. With some cleaning solutions you must wait at least six hours before you can put the contact lenses onto your eyes. For inserting the lens immediately after cleaning, look for a multipurpose disinfecting solution that does not require that you wait six hours.

  • Wash your hands with hot water and soap before handling contact lenses.

  • Place the contact lens in the palm of your hand and spray with multipurpose disinfecting solution. Depending on your doctor's instructions for your specific contacts, you may be instructed to gently rub the contacts as you apply the solution.

  • Rinse each side of the contact lens in the solution, for at least five seconds on each side. This may vary according to the brand of multipurpose disinfecting solution you are using.


  • Read the instruction label of the disinfecting solution to make sure you are using the correct solution. Typically this is a "no rub" disinfectant and once it is applied to the lens you cannot put the contact lens onto your eye for at least six hours.

  • Wash your hands with hot water and soap before handling the contact lenses.

  • Place the contact lenses into the special container that comes with the heavy-duty cleaner. This may be a small vile with a screw-off lid and an insert that flips up, with a concave holder to place each contact. The right contact will go into the side marked "R," the left contact into the side marked "L."

  • Pour the solution into the container, filling to the fill line and affix the lid. The solution should fizz.

  • Wait at least six hours (or the recommended time listed on the bottle) before putting the lens back onto your eye.

Tips & Warnings

  • Proper use of cleaning solution can vary by manufacturer's instructions and contact lens type.
  • Tell your doctor if your cleaning solution is irritating your eyes.

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