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Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, have become a popular choice for teeth straightening due to their discreet appearance and ease of use. However, maintaining them requires proper cleaning to ensure their effectiveness and hygiene. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean clear aligners effectively.

Daily Cleaning Routine

  1. Rinse Upon Removal
    • Always rinse your aligners with lukewarm water immediately after removing them. This helps to wash away saliva and reduce bacteria buildup.
  2. Brush Gently
    • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently brush your aligners. Avoid using toothpaste as it can be abrasive and create scratches where bacteria can hide.
    • Instead, use clear, unscented antibacterial soap or a dedicated aligner cleaner.
  3. Soak Regularly
    • Soak your aligners in a cleaning solution designed for them, such as Invisalign Cleaning Crystals, Polident or other clear aligner cleaning solutions.
    • You can also use a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and lukewarm water as a natural alternative. Soak for about 15-30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
  4. Rinse Before Reinserting
    • After cleaning or soaking, rinse your aligners thoroughly with lukewarm water before putting them back in your mouth to ensure no cleaning solution remains.

Deep Cleaning Routine

Perform a deep clean at least once a week to ensure your aligners remain free of bacteria and plaque.

  1. Hydrogen Peroxide Solution
    • Mix a solution of equal parts hydrogen peroxide and lukewarm water. Soak your aligners for 30 minutes, then brush and rinse them thoroughly.
  2. Baking Soda Solution
    • Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a half cup of water until it forms a paste. Apply the paste to your aligners with a soft brush, then rinse thoroughly.
  3. Retainer Cleaners
    • Over-the-counter denture cleaners such as polident can also be used for a thorough clean. Follow the product instructions for soaking times and ensure you rinse your aligners well afterward. UItrasonic retainer cleaning devices are also availble.

Do’s and Don’ts of Clear Aligner Cleaning


  • Brush and Floss Before Wearing: Ensure your teeth are clean before putting your aligners back in to prevent trapping food particles and bacteria.
  • Store Properly: When not in use, store your aligners in their case to protect them from bacteria and damage.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking water can help keep your mouth clean and reduce bacteria buildup on your aligners.


  • Avoid Hot Water: Never use hot water to clean or soak your aligners as it can warp the plastic.
  • Skip Toothpaste: Toothpaste is abrasive and can scratch your aligners, making them more visible and less effective.
  • Use Harsh Chemicals: Avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach as they can damage your aligners and be harmful if ingested.

Additional Tips

  • Replace Aligners on Schedule: Follow your orthodontist’s schedule for changing your aligners to ensure they remain effective.
  • Monitor for Damage: Regularly check your aligners for cracks or damage and report any issues to your orthodontist.
  • Maintain Oral Hygiene: Keeping your mouth clean will help maintain the cleanliness of your aligners. Brush and floss regularly.


Proper care and maintenance of your clear aligners are essential for achieving the best results from your orthodontic treatment. By following these cleaning guidelines, you can ensure your aligners remain clean, clear, and effective throughout your treatment period. Always consult with your orthodontist for personalised advice and recommendations on caring for your aligners.

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