Protecting your eyes from infection is super important, and contact lens solution is essential for good contact lens hygiene. Contact lens solution is a liquid that rinses and cleans your contact lenses. If you wear weekly, two week, monthly, or any other type of contact lens that comes out at night and back into your eye in the morning, it must be cleaned and stored correctly.
Contact lenses must be cleaned between uses to disinfect them and remove debris and build-up that occur naturally throughout the day. This helps keep your eyes healthy and lowers the risk of an infection or other problem related to wearing dirty contact lenses. Good solution can also help your eyes feel less dry.
Related: best contact lenses for dry eyes.
There Are Different Types of Contact Lens Solution
While different brands of contact lens solution have different formulas, there are two main categories or types of solution: multipurpose solution and hydrogen peroxide-based products.
The third type of solution is rigid gas permeable solution, which is used to store hard contact lenses.
Multipurpose Contact Lens Solutions
Multipurpose solution is an all-in-one product and is the most popular care system for contacts. It is very popular for its convenience, lower price, and ability to quickly clean and disinfect contact lenses. Multipurpose solution is used to rinse, clean, and store soft contact lenses.
The CDC recommends using the following steps to properly use multipurpose solution:
- Always rub and rinse your contact lenses and store them in fresh solution every time you remove them.
- Never mix new solution with old or used solution in the case—this reduces the effectiveness of disinfection, which puts you at higher risk.
- Rub and rinse your contact lens storage case with fresh solution every day. Don’t use water.
- Be sure to empty all multipurpose solution out of the case, and dry it with a fresh, clean tissue or clean cloth.
- Don’t put the cap on the empty contact lens case. Instead, store your clean case upside down on a new, clean tissue with the caps off to help prevent germs from building up in the case.
Hydrogen Peroxide Solution
Hydrogen peroxide solutions are also used to clean, disinfect, and store contact lenses. Similar to multipurpose solution, use of this liquid breaks up and removes trapped debris, protein, and fatty deposits from your contact lenses.
However, extra care and caution must be used because hydrogen peroxide solution can never come into direct contact with your eye.
According to the FDA, “Hydrogen peroxide solutions are preservative-free, which makes them a good option for those who are allergic or sensitive to preservatives in multipurpose solutions. But they are not risk-free.” The tip of these bottles is red to remind you that the solution cannot come into contact with your eyes.
A major difference with multipurpose solution is that hydrogen peroxide solution must be neutralized before you can put the contact lenses into your eyes. These solutions usually come with a special case that must be used so that the solution will convert to saline. You should typically wait 4-6 hours before inserting your contact lenses. Make sure you read all product details and instructions carefully to ensure proper care.
One thing to clarify is that although similar in name, hydrogen peroxide and silicone hydrogel contacts are very different products and not related.
Our Picks For The Best Solution
Biotrue contact lens solution is one of the best-selling products for good reason. With a 4.8 star rating and over 27,500 reviews, it’s clear that this product works well.
Biotrue conditions, cleans, removes protein, disinfects, rinses, and stores soft contact lenses including the best silicone hydrogel lenses. In a world of more computer use and less sleep, you want to make sure you do everything to keep your eyes healthy.
Bausch + Lomb’s Renu brand of multipurpose solution has been a fan favorite for years. Their formula kills 99.9% of germs which means you are eyes will be healthier and cleaner.
Opti-Free Replenish solution comes with a lens case and features a 2D dual disinfecting formula. Opti-Free’s exclusive ingredients – Polyquad and Aldox – use their disinfecting power to reduce harmful microorganisms on your lenses. And that’s a good thing because those are the same microorganisms that can cause eye infections.
The Best Multipurpose Solution On A Budget
If you are on a tight budget, and not looking for the best product available, it’s tough to beat Walgreens’ own product.
This Multipurpose Solution cleans, rinses, disinfects, and removes protein daily. Walgreens Multipurpose Solution is proven safe and effective for soft contact lenses.
Walgreens Multi-Purpose Solution was formulated to create a revolutionary soft lens care product that keeps lenses clean and comfortable by removing protein deposits every day.
Camilo is the founder of Contacts Compare and is a contact lens enthusiast who has been buying, shopping, and comparing contact lenses for over 12 years. He started Contacts Compare because it was nearly impossible to compare prices quickly to make sure he was getting the best price possible. He holds degrees from Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania. His favorite contact lens is Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with Hydraluxe.