Care of your soft contact lenses

Please read this page carefully as it will instruct you on how best to take care of your soft contact lenses.


How can I best take care of my contact lenses?

  • Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before inserting or removing your lenses.
  • Take care not to catch the lens or your eye with your fingernails – it is good practice to keep them short.
  • Work over a clean, flat surface.
  • Use saline solution to rinse your lenses and case.
  • To minimise the possibility of mixing your lenses up, it is a good idea to get into the habit of always inserting and removing the same lens first.
  • Use the care system recommended to you in the clinic or use the correct cleaning solutions.


Please remember not to do any of the following:

  • Do not rinse your lenses and case with tap water as this can increase the risk of eye infections.
  • Never shower or bath with your lenses in.
  • Do not sleep with your lenses in (unless you have been advised to by your contact lens practitioner).
  • Avoid swimming with your contact lenses in. This is due to the risk of infection from the water. Prescription swimming goggles and other options may be available. We advise you discuss this with your contact lens practitioner.


Before inserting your contact lenses

  • Remove the lens from the storage case and make sure it is not damaged, particularly checking the edges for any signs of damage.
  • Rinse your lenses with sterile saline or Opti-Free Replenish before you insert them into your eyes.
  • Check the lens is not inside out by checking its shape. When your lens is the right way round, it is shaped like a cup (see image below), but if it is inside out, it is shaped like a saucer, with the edges facing out.


Contact Lens on a fingertip

Inserting your contact lenses

  • Place the contact lens onto the tip of your index finger of your preferred hand.
  • Pull your lower lid down with the middle finger of the same hand.
  • Pull your upper lid up using the fingers of the other hand.
  • Gently place the lens on your eye while firmly holding both eyelids in position. Try to keep both eyes open without blinking.
  • Once the lens is on your eye, close your eyes slowly and blink a few times.
  • If you wear a lens in the other eye, repeat the steps above.
  • Throw away the solution from your case, rinse it with saline solution (or Opti-Free Replenish) and leave it upside down on a clean surface to air dry.
Soft Contact Insertion

If you have been advised in clinic to use a different method to insert and remove your lenses, ensure you follow those recommended instructions.


Removing your contact lenses

When removing your lenses, follow the same routine each time to prevent mixing up your lenses.

  • Keep your chin down and look upwards.
  • Pull your lower lid down gently with your middle finger.
  • Slide your contact lens down onto the white of your eye with the index finger of the same hand.
  • To remove the lens, keep your index finger on the lens and gently pinch the front surface with your thumb and index finger (never use your nails as this can scratch your cornea).
Soft Contact Removal

If the contact lens is a daily disposable lens, you should throw it away as soon as you have removed it from your eye. If it is not a daily disposable lens, you must clean it before it is put into the storage case to remove the microbes and deposits that have built up on the lens during the day.


Cleaning your contact lenses

If you have been advised in clinic to use a different method to clean your lenses, ensure you follow those recommended instructions.

  • Place the lens into the palm of your hand and put two or three drops of the cleaning solution (Oté cleaner) onto the lens.
  • Rub the lens gently but firmly with the little finger of your other hand for approximately thirty seconds, then turn the lens over and rub the other side.
  • After rubbing the lens, it is essential to rinse it with saline solution or Opti- Free Replenish. Rub the lens between your thumb and forefinger to remove any loosened debris and remaining cleaning solution.
  • Fill the storage case with fresh Opti- Free Replenish solution and place the lens into the correct side of the storage case. Please note: this solution must be changed on a daily basis.
  • If you wear a lens in the other eye, repeat the steps above. Leave your contact lenses in the closed case to soak overnight or for a minimum of four hours.


Cleaning your contact lenses case

Eye infections can happen due to not cleaning your contact lens case properly. Once you have put your lenses in, throw away the solution from your case, rinse it with saline and leave to air dry. Replace your contact lens case with a new one every month.


  • A contact lens cannot go behind your eye. If you cannot find the lens in your eye, see a member of the contact lens clinic staff or your local contact lens practitioner (optometrist or ophthalmologist).
  • If you wear make-up, insert your lenses before putting on your make-up and remove them before taking your make-up off.
  • To keep your eyes in good health, make sure that you regularly attend your contact lens and eye exam appointments.


In the case of an emergency

If your eye suddenly becomes red, painful or your vision worsens, go to Moorfields A&E department in City Road (open 24/7 for emergency eye problems only). Please make sure you do not wear your lens.