Can I clean my contact lenses in water?

Contact lens wearers should never clean their lenses with water. Water on your contact lenses can result in eye infections. Always use contact lens solution for cleaning and storing your contact lenses.

If you desire an easier contact lens wearing routine, it is best to wear daily disposable contact lenses, as they do not require cleaning and storing each day.  Daily disposables can be thrown away after a full day of use.

Is water OK for contact lenses?

You should avoid allowing water to come into contact with your contact lenses. Although bottled water and water from the tap is safe to drink, it’s not safe for your contact lenses as it could contain a number of harmful bacteria. Bacteria, if transferred to a contact lens and then onto the eye, can rapidly multiply posing a serious threat to your eyes.

A rare eye infection known as acanthamoeba keratitis, has been linked to vision loss and often requires serious surgery such as a corneal transplant to correct. Acanthamoeba are naturally occurring parasites that are found in water and can multiply at a rapid rate if transferred onto the surface of a contact lens. That’s why you should never clean your lenses with water. You should also only ever use an FDA-approved disinfecting or cleaning solution.


Are all kinds of water dangerous for contact lenses?

Yes, even distilled water contains bacteria that will multiply and increase your chance of getting an infection.

Can I store my contact lenses in water?

Tap water (and every other kind of water) cannot clean and disinfect your lenses. Rinsing or storing your contact lenses in water is also very dangerous. Not only do you risk getting an infection by doing this, it could also misshapen your lenses and make them highly uncomfortable to wear. This can result in your contact lenses sticking to your eyes, which can make removing lenses very difficult.

You should only use contact lens solution to clean and store your lenses. Fresh solution should then be used to rinse and store them, be sure to discard any old solution from your lens case. If you wear contact lenses and you want to find the right contact lens solution for you, please visit our Eye Care Hub.


Quick links:

How to look after your contact lenses

How to clean a contact lens case

Contact lenses and water