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Contact lenses are an alternative to eyeglasses for correcting vision. Contact lens solutions are a way for individuals to care for contact lenses to maintain comfort, keep eyes healthy, and reduce the risk of infections.

This article looks at what contact lens solutions do, what to consider when choosing one, some of the best contact lens solutions available, and more.

A quick look at 9 of the best contact lens solutions

Multipurpose solution

Multipurpose solutions are all-in-one products that clean, rinse, disinfect, and store contact lenses. Some types also moisturize the lenses.

Research shows that multipurpose solutions are effective against germs that can lead to eye infections and other conditions. A 2016 study found that multipurpose products containing the disinfectants chlorhexidine, polyaminopropyl biguanide (PAPB), and the antibacterial preservative ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDPA) were effective against germs that cause keratitis, an inflammation of the cornea.

A person should try to follow these recommendations when using a multipurpose solution:

  • rub and rinse contact lenses and store them in fresh solution after taking them out
  • never mix old or used solution with fresh solution, as this reduces disinfection effectiveness
  • always use new solution each day
  • ensure there is no old solution left in the case after use and dry it with a clean tissue
  • store the clean case uncapped and upside down on a clean tissue to prevent germs from building up

Hydrogen peroxide solution

Hydrogen peroxide solutions clean, disinfect, and store contact lenses. Eye doctors may prescribe hydrogen peroxide solutions if an individual reacts to multipurpose solutions.

This product comes with a case that converts the hydrogen peroxide into saline within a few hours. People should avoid getting hydrogen peroxide in or near the eye, as this can result in stinging, burning, irritation, eye pain, or injury.

Follow these steps when using a hydrogen peroxide solution:

  • read and follow all instructions on the label before using the solution
  • always use fresh solution, and never mix new, old, or used products
  • wait at least 4–6 hours or follow the advice on the packaging before putting contact lenses in
  • never rinse contact lenses with hydrogen peroxide and put them directly in the eye, as this can cause injury

MNT chooses contact lens solutions that meet the following criteria:

  • Price: MNT chooses products that suit a range of budgets.
  • Ingredients: MNT selects products that include ingredients that are safe for the eyes and will not damage contact lenses. The ingredients should be effective at cleaning or disinfecting contact lenses and be suitable for short- or long-term contact lens storage.
  • Lens type: MNT chooses products that are suitable for different types of contact lenses.

Below are nine multipurpose and hydrogen peroxide contact solutions available to purchase online.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best cruelty-free option: Clear Conscience Contact Lens Solution

Clear Conscience Contact Lens Solution.

This lens solution is cruelty free, thimerosal-free, chlorhexidine-free, FDA-approved and sterilized by filtration without the use of radiation.

It is suitable for daily cleaning and disinfecting. The company claims that it removes protein and is suitable for all forms of contact lenses. It has a lubricant that stops the lenses from drying out, which the company claims makes it suitable for sensitive eyes.

This product comes in two sizes, a 12 ounce (oz) bottle and a 3 oz travel-size bottle. A person can choose between packs of 4, 10, or 12 bottles.

Active ingredientspolyhexanide 0.0001%

poloxamer

sodium phosphate buffer

sodium chloride
Proscruelty-free

FDA-approved

disinfects and moisturizes

available in regular and travel sizes

suitable for all lens types
Consmay not suit those who prefer hydrogen peroxide solutions

The Clear Conscience Contact Lens Solution costs $19–94.50.

Best travel-size lens solution: ACUVUE RevitaLens Multi-Purpose Disinfecting Solution

ACUVUE RevitaLens Multi-Purpose Disinfecting Solution.

This travel-size solution comes in a 4 oz bottle, making it convenient to carry during the day and while traveling.

It is formulated to clean and disinfect all soft lenses, including silicon hydrogels. It comes with a free contact lens case.

Active ingredientsalexidine 0.00016%

polyquaternium-1 0.0003%
Prosit is compact, making it convenient for traveling and use throughout the day

it comes with a lens case
Consit can only be used on soft contact lenses

The Acuvue RevitaLens Multi-Purpose Disinfecting Solution Travel Pack costs $7.62.

Best for rigid lenses: Bausch + Lomb Boston Advance Cleaner

Bausch + Lomb Boston Advance Cleaner.

This contact solution is made specifically for rigid lenses. The company writes that a person should use 2–4 drops of solution and rub it into each side of their contact lenses for 20 seconds. They should then rinse their lenses with saline solution suitable for rigid lenses.

It features a visible tint to ensure a person cleans their lenses thoroughly before wearing them. This solution does not disinfect a person’s lenses. It is designed to remove deposits and debris.

It comes in a 1 fluid ounce (fl oz) bottle.

Active ingredientsalkyl ether sulfate

titanium dioxide
Prosis visibly tinted to ensure a person cleans their contact lenses thoroughly

suitable for hard lenses
Consnot suitable for soft lenses

does not disinfect lenses

may not be suitable for those who prefer hydrogen peroxide solutions

manufacturer recommends using saline solution and a disinfectant after using this product

The Bausch + Lomb Boston Advance Cleaner costs $9.48.

Best for moisturizing: Bausch + Lomb Biotrue

An image of Bausch + Lomb Biotrue contact lens solution against a blue background.

This multipurpose rub and rinse solution contains hyaluronan, a lubricant naturally found in the eye. The company states that it can moisturize contact lenses for up to 20 hours.

According to the company, Bausch + Lomb Biotrue dissolves protein buildup and kills 99.9% of germs. This multipurpose solution is suitable for silicone hydrogel lenses and other soft contact lenses.

Each purchase comes with a free lens case. The bottle and packaging are 100% recyclable.

Bausch + Lomb Biotrue comes in 10 fluid ounce (fl oz) bottles and is available in single or multipacks.

Active ingredientshyaluronan

sulfobetaine

poloxamine boric acid

sodium borate

polyaminopropyl biguanide 0.00013%

polyquaternium 0.0001%
Prosit kills 99.9% germs

hyaluronan provides moisturizing qualities

comes with a free lens case

bottle and packaging are recyclable

suitable for both silicon hydrogel and soft lenses
Conssome may prefer hydrogen peroxide solutions

bottles available in one size

The Bausch + Lomb Biotrue contact lens solution costs $16.18.

Best for cleaning lenses: CLEAR CARE Cleaning and Disinfection Solution

An image of CLEAR CARE Cleaning and Disinfection contact lens solution against a blue background.

This preservative-free hydrogen peroxide solution uses a triple-action cleaning system to disinfect and clean both soft and rigid gas permeable contact lenses. According to the company, the bubbling action helps remove foreign material and protein deposits from the lens.

The solution comes with a CLEAR CARE case that people use to leave their lenses overnight or for at least 6 hours. The case contains a platinum disc that activates bubbles and neutralizes the hydrogen peroxide into a gentle saline solution.

CLEAR CARE Cleaning and Disinfection Solution is suitable for both soft and rigid contact lenses.

The product comes in 3 and 12 fl oz bottles and double 12 fl oz packs.

Active ingredientshydrogen peroxide
Prospreservative free

suitable to both soft and hard lenses

disinfects lenses as well as removing substances
Conshydrogen peroxide may not be suitable for everyone

it must be left to clean for a minimum of 6 hours

The CLEAR CARE Cleaning and Disinfection Solution costs $10.99.

Best for soft contact lenses: Bausch + Lomb Renu Advanced Formula

An image of Bausch + Lomb Renu Advanced Formula contact lens solution against a blue background.

The company states that this multipurpose solution has a triple disinfectant system that kills 99.9% of germs.

Bausch + Lomb Renu Advanced Formula cleans, hydrates, and conditions contact lenses. The company states that this product can prevent protein deposits from forming if a person uses it daily.

Each purchase comes with a free lens case. The bottle and packaging are 100% recyclable.

This solution is only suitable for silicone hydrogel and soft contact lenses.

Bausch + Lomb Renu Advanced Formula is available in single or multipack 12 fl oz bottles.

Active ingredientspolyaminopropyl biguanide 0.00005%

polyquaternium 0.00015%

alexidine 0.0002%
Prosavailable as a single or multipack

suitable for both silicone hydrogel and soft contact lenses

kills 99.9% of germs

comes with a free lens case
Consbottles available in one size

The Bausch + Lomb Renu Advanced Formula costs $13.97.

Best for disinfecting lenses: Alcon OPTI-FREE Replenish

An image of Alcon Optifree Replenish contact lens solution against a blue background.

This multipurpose solution provides extra comfort by conditioning the lenses to retain moisture. The company uses its TearGlyde reconditioning system to create a barrier in the lens that helps retain a thin layer of the person’s natural tears for additional comfort and moisture.

It uses a dual disinfecting system (Polyquad and Aldox) to reduce microorganisms in the lenses, which may cause eye infections. The solution also removes debris and particles that can cause the contact lenses to appear cloudy.

Alcon OPTI-FREE Replenish is only suitable for silicone hydrogel and soft contact lenses. It is available in 10 fl oz bottles.

Active ingredientsPolyquad (polyquarternium-1)

Aldox (myristamodopropyl dymethylamine)
Prosuses a dual disinfecting system to reduce infections and remove debris

suitable for silicon hydrogel and soft contact lenses
Consbottles available in one size

The Alcon OPTI-FREE Replenish costs $8.98.

Best for size options: Alcon Optifree Puremoist

An image of Alcon Optifree Puremoist contact lens solution against a blue background.

This multipurpose solution also uses a dual disinfecting system to clean lenses.

Alcon Optifree Puremoist reduces protein debris and deposit by creating a barrier on the lenses and adds an extra layer of moisture using HydraGlyde moisture matrix.

This solution is suitable for silicone hydrogel and soft contact lenses.

Alcon OPTI-FREE Puremoist is available in 2, 4, 10, and 14 fl oz bottles in single packs and 10 fl oz in double packs.

Active ingredientsPolyquod (polyquarternium-1)

Aldox (myristamodopropyl dymethylamine)
Prossuitable for both silicon hydrogel and soft contact lenses

available in multiple bottle sizes

uses the patented HydraGlyde moisture solution to maintain eye moisture
Consdoes not contain hydrogen peroxide

The OPTI-FREE Puremoist contact lens solution costs $2.92–36.83.

Best for short-wear contact lenses: CooperVision Refine One Step

An image of CooperVision Refine One Step contact lens solution against a blue background.

This preservative-free 3% hydrogen peroxide provides a deep clean and disinfection to short-wear soft contact lenses. Short wear contact lenses means that the wearer changes them every 30 days or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

CooperVision Refine One Step contains a lubricating additive for additional lens comfort.

It is preservative free and contains a fresh lens case with each bottle.

This product comes with a barrel case that contains a platinum disk. According to the company, this ionic free disk activates the hydrogen peroxide.

CooperVision Refine One Step is available in a 12 fl oz bottle.

Active ingredients3% hydrogen peroxide
Prosone step system makes it easy to use

does not contain preservatives
Consit is only suitable for short wear lenses

The CooperVision Refine One Step costs $27.89.

The table below compares each product included in this article.

Active ingredientsProsConsPrice
Clear Conscience Contact Lens Solution• polyhexanide 0.0001%

• poloxamer

• sodium phosphate buffer

• sodium chloride
• cruelty free

• FDA-approved

• disinfects and moisturizes

• available in regular and travel sizes

• suitable for all lens types
may not be suitable for those who prefer hydrogen peroxide solutions$19–94.50
ACUVUE RevitaLens Multi-Purpose Disinfecting Solution• alexidine 0.00016%

• polyquaternium-1 0.0003%
• convenient for travel

• comes with lens case
can only be used on soft contact lenses$7.62
Bausch + Lamb Boston Advance Cleaner• alkyl ether sulfate

• titanium dioxide
• tinted to ensure thorough cleaning

• suitable for hard lenses
• not suitable for soft lenses

• may not be suitable for those who prefer hydrogen peroxide solutions
$9.48
Bausch + Lomb Biotrue• hyaluronan

• sulfobetaine

• poloxamine boric acid

• sodium borate

• polyaminopropyl biguanide 0.00013%

• polyquaternium 0.0001%
• kills 99.9% germs

• hyaluronan provides moisturizing qualities

• comes with lens case

• recyclable packaging

• suitable for silicon hydrogel and soft lenses
• may not be suitable for those who prefer hydrogen peroxide solutions

• bottles available in one size
$16.18
CLEAR CARE Cleaning and Disinfection Solutionhydrogen peroxide• preservative free

• suitable for soft and hard lenses

• disinfects lenses and removing substances
• hydrogen peroxide may not be suitable for everyone

• it must be left to clean for a minimum of 6 hours
$10.99
Bausch + Lomb Renu Advanced Formula• polyaminopropyl biguanide 0.00005%

• polyquaternium 0.00015%

• alexidine 0.0002%
• available in singles or multipacks

• suitable for silicone hydrogel and soft contact lenses

• kills 99.9% of germs

• comes with lens case
bottles available in one size$13.97
Alcon OPTI-FREE Replenish• Polyquod (polyquarternium-1)

• Aldox (myristamodopropyl dymethylamine)
• uses a dual disinfecting system

• suitable for silicon hydrogel and soft contact lenses
bottles available in one size$8.98
Alcon Optifree Puremoist• Polyquod (polyquarternium-1)

• Aldox (myristamodopropyl dymethylamine)
• suitable for silicon hydrogel and soft contact lenses

• available in multiple bottle sizes

• uses patented HydraGlyde moisture solution to maintain eye moisture
may not be suitable for those who prefer hydrogen peroxide solutions$2.92–36.83
CooperVision Refine One Step3% hydrogen peroxide• one step system makes it easy to use

• does not contain preservatives
only suitable for short wear lenses$27.89

There are various factors to consider before purchasing a contact lens solution, including:

  • Contact lens type: Not all products are suitable for soft and rigid contact lenses. Rigid contact lenses may require different solutions.
  • Time: A person will have to leave contact lenses in certain types of solutions for longer than others. Buyers should consider how often they need to clean their lenses and how convenient each solution will be for them to use in their routine.
  • Comfort: Many contact lens solutions aim to keep a person’s eyes hydrated. Some solutions contain lubricants, such as hyaluronan and lubricin, that moisturize the lenses and reduce friction. A 2017 study shows that using hyaluronan and lubricin alone or in combination effectively reduces contact lens friction more than a control saline solution.
  • Convenience: Some manufacturers offer travel-friendly solution sizes, which are typically 3 oz or less in volume. These products can be convenient for a person to use during the day or while traveling. This can ensure they keep their contact lenses clean while on the go.
  • Price: Individuals may opt to purchase double- or multi-pack solutions, which may be a more cost-effective solution than buying single bottles.
  • Allergens: A person should ensure they are not allergic to any of the ingredients before buying or using a new contact solution.

There are several types of contact lens products that clean but do not disinfect. People should not use contact lens solutions that clean as an alternative to those that disinfect.

Other contact lens solutions include:

  • Saline solution: These solutions clean but do not disinfect contact lenses. Some hydrogen-peroxide solutions may recommend using a saline solution during the disinfecting process.
  • Daily cleaners: These solutions clean lenses by loosening protein deposits and debris. People may use these products alongside multipurpose or hydrogen peroxide solutions.
  • Enzymatic protein cleaners: These solutions remove protein buildup on the contact lenses. Individuals can use these products daily or weekly, and they are available in liquid or tablet form. Individuals should speak to an eye doctor before using enzymatic protein cleaners.

As of 2021, there are approximately 45 million contact lens wearers in the United States.

However, a 2020 survey of 109 soft contact lens wearers found that 77.7% of respondents did not clean and disinfect their contact lenses as recommended. Additionally, the survey found that:

  • 35.5% of respondents did not follow handwashing recommendations
  • 37% of respondents did not take contact lenses out while swimming
  • 31.6% of respondents slept with their contact lenses in their eyes
  • 50.5% of respondents did not take contact lenses out while showering

It is vital to follow all safety recommendations when wearing contact lenses.

Contact lens wearers should:

  • always wash their hands with soap and water and dry them before handling contact lenses
  • rub and rinse the contact lenses when cleaning.
  • use fresh contact lens solutions and never top up old solutions
  • only use contact lens solutions that an individual’s eye care provider recommends
  • replace contact lens cases every 3 months
  • remove contact lenses when showering or swimming
  • take out contact lenses before sleeping

The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends people should avoid washing their hands with cream soaps, as soap residue may transfer to the contact lenses. Additionally, the AOA states that people should not use homemade saline solution, tap water, or saliva to clean their lenses or share their contact lenses with others.

If an individual does not follow safety recommendations, they have an increased risk of developing an eye infection.

Learn more about the risks and recommendations of contact lenses here.

If a person suspects they have an eye infection, they should remove their contact lenses and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Symptoms of an eye infection include:

Below are answers to the top frequently asked questions about contact lens solutions.

What is a contact lens solution?

A contact lens solution can clean, disinfect, rinse, moisturizes, and store contact lenses.

There are various types of contact lens solutions available. Some products just remove dirt and some germs from the lenses; others contain disinfectants to kill germs on the contact lenses to help prevent eye infections.

A person with rigid or hard contact lenses may wish to speak to their eye doctor before purchasing any contact lens solutions. Some products are only suitable for those with soft contact lenses.

An individual who uses soft contact lenses and wants a product that cleans and disinfects can choose from a range of multipurpose or hydrogen peroxide solutions.

What can a person use if they have no contact lens solution?

A common alternative for active solution is saline. Saline is a saltwater solution that a person can use to rinse their lenses before putting them in. However, it does not disinfect lenses and it is not suitable for use as contact lens storage.

A person should not keep their lenses in water as it may contain bacteria that can lead to an eye infection.

Is contact lens solution the same as saline?

Saline is a good alternative to contact lens solutions and can be used alongside some contact solutions. However, they are not the same type of product. Saline cleans contact lenses, but contact lens solution disinfects them. Manufacturers of hydrogen peroxide-based contact lens solutions may sometimes recommend using saline alongside them to then both clean and disinfect the lenses.

Contact lenses can remain in contact lens solutions for many hours at a time or overnight, whereas lenses can only be kept in saline for a short period of time.

Contact lens solutions offer a way for individuals to cleanse, disinfect, and store their contact lenses. Some solutions are only suitable for soft contact lenses, whereas others are suitable for soft and rigid contact lenses.

People should follow all safety recommendations when wearing contact lenses. Improper contact lens use can lead to eye infections. If a person suspects they have an eye infection, they should remove their contact lenses and seek medical advice.