How to store contact lenses without a case

How to store contact lenses without a case

Hygiene is one of the most important factors in preventing infections and other problems that can affect not only the health of your eyes but also your long-term vision.

Here are some dos and don’ts for cleaning your contact lenses-and the reasoning behind them.

How to clean contact lenses

Do wash your hands with soap and water before touching your contact lenses.

Use antibacterial soap where possible, and dry your hands with a lint-free towel. Don’t use oil or lotion-based soaps, which can cloud or soil your lenses.

Do use fresh, contact lens cleaning solution every time.

Don’t use tap or sterile water, saliva, saline solution or rewetting drops. None of these serve to disinfect and properly clean your contact lenses.

Do rub your contact lenses with your fingers, and rinse them with fresh cleaning solution afterward.

Studies have shown that “rub and rinse” is the best way of cleaning contact lenses, even with “no-rub” contact lens cleaning solutions. Don’t let fingernails touch your lenses. Nails aren’t only sharp, they’re a great haven for germs and dirt.

Do rinse your contact lens case with fresh solution, and leave it overturned and open to dry.

Don’t clean your case with water, which can contain impurities and microorganisms. Also, don’t leave your case near the toilet or in humid places, which allow mildew and germs to build up.

Other ways to keep contact lenses clean

  • Don’t transfer contact lens cleaning solutions into smaller containers for travel or storage, which can compromise the sterility of your solution.
  • Keep your solution bottle tightly capped, and avoid contact with surfaces or objects while in use.
  • Replace your contact lens case at least every three months.
  • Never wear your contact lenses more than 30 days after first opening.
  • Avoid air smoke and other pollutants, which can enter your eyes and cause irritation and infection.

Always follow instructions

The instructions that accompany your contact lenses, your contact lens case and your contact lens cleaning solution are, along with your optician’s directions, designed to provide the best care and performance for your particular wearing and cleaning context.

Finally, your optician is your ally in keeping your eyes and vision at their peak. Chat with him or her annually to make sure your contact lenses and care system are still appropriate for your eyes and lifestyle.

This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow’s Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards.

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The internet abounds with DIY solutions if you find yourself away from home, need to take your contact lenses out, and don’t happen to have a case with you. However, many of these ideas aren’t adequate to keep your lenses clean. The best option, for both your lenses and your eyes, is to make sure you always have a case and contact lens solution with you. At the same time, nobody’s perfect. If you use a temporary alternative to your case, make sure you thoroughly cleanse and disinfect your lenses before putting them back into your eyes

How to store contact lenses without a case

Tip: If you have a hard time carrying a case and contact solution with you, talk to your eye care professional about daily lenses. These are designed for you to wear only once and immediately throw away, so you don’t have to worry about storing or cleaning them. [2] X Research source

How to store contact lenses without a case

Warning: Avoid using disposable paper cups, as the paper may soak through, causing your lenses to dry out. Use plastic cups as a last resort.

How to store contact lenses without a case

Warning: Don’t attempt to make your own saline solution. It will still contain fine grains of salt that could damage your contacts.

How to store contact lenses without a case

Have you ever had a weekend away or stayed over at a friend’s house and forgotten your contact lenses solution? Don’t worry – you’re not the first and probably not the last to do this! But what should you do when you have forgotten your contact lens solution and case and you’re unable to get to an opticians or pharmacy to buy some more? All contact lens users must have wondered this at some point. Although, you should know that storing them in the correct solution is the only option that will keep your lenses 100% clean.

Rather than throwing the lenses away and digging out your old pair of glasses, keep reading! OneHOWTO will show you how to store contact lenses without solution, with these easy methods.

Water as the utmost last resort

Some people’s first thought when they realize they don’t have any solution is to store the lenses in regular water. Ophthalmology experts don’t recommend this – normal water doesn’t clean or disinfect contact lenses. However, it’s better than nothing at all. Check what happens if you leave contact lenses on overnight.If you do so, make sure you previously disinfect the container where you’re going to store them. Do this with some 90 degree alcohol and cover the container with cellophane or similar. This is to ensure no air gets in contact with them overnight.

Use saline solution

So, how can you store the lenses without solution? As mentioned above, tap water should never be used as an alternative. This could lead to bacteria proliferation and put the health of your eyes at risk. Yet, from time to time – and only in exceptional cases – you could try some one-off options that shouldn’t cause any problems.One alternative is to use saline solution (a sterile salt rinse) and simply store the lenses as you would normally. However, you should only do this in exceptional circumstances and never as a habit. Again, you would be risking the health of your eyes.

Distilled water and salt

Another option is to use distilled water to store the lenses , which is much safer than tap water. However, if you’re absolutely desperate, you could mix 240 ml of tap water with a teaspoon of salt. Just make sure you boil the tap water beforehand.In our article: can I store contact lenses in water?, we explain why you should not store them in plain tap water under any circumstances.

How to store contact lenses without a case

Regardless of all our tips and tricks, remember you should never fall into the habit of storing your contact lenses in these alternative liquids. The solution is always the safest option. We repeat: you’re playing with your health! So, make sure you store your them correctly in specifically designed solution!If you’ve found this article useful, don’t forget to share it! And if you know of any other ideas, please let us know your preferred methods in the comments!You may be interested in: Best Ways to Remove Contact Lenses Quickly & How to Avoid Red Eyes from Wearing Contact Lenses

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Best Ways to Store Contact Lenses Without Solution, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

Whether you’re new to contact lenses or have been wearing them for years, you’ve probably wondered, “How long can I keep my contacts in solution?”

Here’s the answer to that question and a lot more good information about the proper care of your contacts in lens solution.

Depending on the suggested replacement schedule (or wear cycle) of your contacts, you may keep them in contact solution in a tightly closed contact lens case for up to 30 days. However, storing your contacts in solution won’t extend that wear cycle.

For instance, if you open a pair of monthly contacts but only wear them for two weeks (wearing glasses and keeping them in storage for the other two), it’s best for your eye health to throw them out and start with a new pair.

Before putting contacts you’ve stored in your eyes, clean and disinfect them with fresh contact solution. If you feel any unusual irritation, it’s best to throw the old contacts away and start with a new pair.

That’s the general rule — some eye doctors and manufacturers of contact solution and lenses may have different guidelines. Talk to your doctor and check the patient instruction booklet that came with your contact lenses and contact solution to find out what they recommend.

Do contacts go bad in solution?

While soft contacts don’t exactly “go bad,” contact solution can act as a breeding ground for germs over time. Reduce your risk of eye infection by tossing lenses that have been sitting in solution for more than 30 days. The best plan is to follow the suggested replacement schedule of the lens, whether it’s monthly, weekly or daily.

Also, soft contacts that sit in solution for a long time may eventually dry out as the solution evaporates. Dried-out lenses may be damaged, so don’t try to rehydrate and reuse them. Throw out those shriveled-up lenses and put in a fresh pair of contacts.

Gas permeable lenses should not be left in solution, but gas permeable contacts can be safely stored in a dry case for months or longer. After storing gas permeable lenses, you should clean them with a lens cleaner and rinse them with saline before placing them in your eyes.

Can I wear contacts that have been in solution for a long time?

If your monthly disposable soft contacts have been sitting in solution for less than 30 days, you can clean and disinfect them with new solution before putting them in your eyes.

If they’ve been sitting in solution for several months to a year or longer, it’s safest to throw them away and start over with a fresh pair.

How often should I change contact solution in my contact lens case?

If your contacts are sitting in a case, you should change your disinfecting solution at least once every 30 days.

That’s an absolute minimum — and may need to be more frequent depending on your contacts’ replacement schedule — so talk to your eye doctor to find out what’s right for you. In the meantime, you may want to change the solution every week or two to be on the safe side.

How long do contacts last unopened?

Soft contact lens packages are stamped with an expiration date, and they’re good through that month and year as long as the packaging stays intact.

The expiration date on soft contact lenses is typically about four years from the date of manufacture. After that time, the seal on the package can degrade, potentially exposing the sterile lens to contamination.

So get rid of lenses that are past their expiration date.

Do I need contact lens solution?

If you wear contact lenses, you may need contact lens solution to rinse, clean and disinfect your lenses.

If you wear daily disposable contacts that must be discarded after each use, you don’t necessarily need contact lens solution.

However, if you have sensitive eyes, you may want to buy FDA-approved saline solution to rinse the lenses before putting them in your eyes. Daily disposable lenses should not be cleaned or disinfected.

If you wear other types of soft contact lenses, or gas permeable contact lenses, you may need an FDA-approved multi-purpose solution for rinsing, disinfection and storage. You may also use an enzymatic cleaner to remove buildup.

Ask your eye doctor what kind of contact solution and cleaner you need for your lenses.

How can you store contact lenses without solution?

You can’t safely store contact lenses without the right contact lens disinfecting solution.

If you don’t have solution available, you’ll need to buy some or dispose of your contacts and use a fresh pair next time.

The only safe way to store contact lenses is in a contact case fully covered by fresh contact lens disinfecting solution. You should never store contact lenses in water (neither bottled, distilled nor tap), homemade saline solution, saline nasal spray, eye drops or any other liquid not expressly intended for disinfecting and storing contact lenses.

It should go without saying, but most contact lens patient instruction booklets also warn against using saliva (yes, really!) to store your lenses. Also, never store your contacts in a drinking glass, a jar or anything other than a clean contact lenses case (which needs to be replaced every three months).

Storing your contacts incorrectly can lead to serious corneal infections and even blindness. It’s worth a quick run to the drug store to save your eyes!

Should you change contact solution every day?

It’s important to use fresh contact solution every time you disinfect and store your contact lenses. Never reuse or “top off” contact solution that’s sitting in your contact case.

If you store your contacts for an extended period of time, be sure to clean and disinfect them with fresh contact solution before putting them in your eyes.

Leaving contacts in solution for too long is risky, so follow the same rule with your contacts that you’d use for food safety: When in doubt, toss it out. Then reach for a fresh pair of contacts to keep your eyes safe and your vision sharp.

Question by Guest | 2012-08-24 at 22:48

Often, it happens to me, that I spontaneously stay somewhere over the night. Unfortunately, I wear contact lenses and it is always difficult, because I have not, of course, the necessary care products such as contact lens disinfecting solution and the small box for storage with me.

In order to reduce the stress on my eyes, I then usually threw away the soft monthly lenses at the evening and then the next morning, I got out blind of the house.

Slowly, this solution is becoming a bit expensive for me. I would like to take the monthly lenses a month long and so, I wonder, if there is no other way to clean the contact lenses or store them overnight by using the things, you can find in a normal household. I never dared to simply take water, because my eye doctor recommended to do not so. Or is it just scaremongering, so that I have to buy the expensive cleaning solution?

Your eye doctor is right! I even once made the mistake and cleaned my contact lenses with water and then preserved them in a schnapps glass with water in the night! The contact lenses were yellow after that night and looked very very strange!

When I inserted my lenses again after doing so, my eyes were hurting incredibly, and I think, I was fairly close to an eye infection!

This is really not to be trifled, the eyes are very sensitive and it is more than frivolous, to not disinfect the lenses properly!
2012-08-25 at 11:44

It often happens to me too, that I sometimes spontaneously stay overnight at my best friend and then have no more desire to go home.

At this friend, I then just have a storage container for contact lenses and a bottle of lens solution. If it often occurs at the same people, this is definitely the best solution. Simply keep another of your utensils there.

Otherwise, you can also take a small bottle with care solution and a storage box with you (in your purse, your car, etc). That does not take up much space, and in an emergency it is always with you!

Anything with water or the like, I would not even try. This can quite turn out shit.
2012-08-25 at 17:34

I have once heard, that you can also take mineral water or spit! Saliva comes pretty close to the fluid in the eyes and should be the first choice.

But I would only try that in case of emergency! And I take no responsibility for this tip! Maybe, someone of you knows even more accurateabout that? Then please write a comment below mine.
2012-08-26 at 09:32

You can take common salt solution for your contact lenses. You can do that yourself by mixing water and salt (mix 1 teaspoon salt with no additives to half a litre of water and bring that to boil respectively boiling off it) or you buy it at the pharmacy.

But keep in mind: This saline solution has no cleansing effect. So, in any case, you have to clean your lenses again in the morning with the correct cleaning solution. If possible, you can also let the lenses in the solution, go home and then clean it again properly.
2012-08-28 at 11:42

Another little tip from me: In an emergency, you can also leave the lenses overnight in your eyes! With some lenses, that should not be a problem and I have also survived that once. However, you should better not do that too often, your eyes also still need rest!
2012-08-30 at 20:17

Temporary saline solution for storage is your best bet, or even just boiled (and cooled down again) water. It will save your contacts and you can rinse and clean them properly at home. Keeping them moist in cling film and a few drops of water works too. Tap water has way too much bacteria and pathogens to be safe without being boiled first, and even then barely good enough for temporary storage.

Alternatively, and perhaps better, you could switch to a type of contacts approved for extended wear, like 6 days or 30 days continuously. They can stay in the eye over night, and they work very well as regular monthly contact which you take out at night too. Keeping them on over night is an option 😉
2014-01-20 at 01:24

Fill a lens case with your all purpose storage solution and take it with you when you go out. This way you are only carrying the small lens case, and can put your lenses in it over night to keep them hydrated. You can even reinsert them in the morning.
2015-11-01 at 14:39

I am wondering what the best way to store my gear is, I just bought a 70-300VR, and I am going to use it alot, but it isnt my main lens. How should I store it? Mount up or down? Right now I am storing it in its included case next to this computer on my desk, but the desk is in a room with a window that gets alot of sun. As for the camera its in the case logic zoom case, next to the lens, and it hangs in the case lens down. Is there any reason I shouldn’t leave my gear like this? What should do to protect it better if necessary?

Keep it away from heat and humidity. Shouldn’t matter if it is store up, down, or sideways. However, some claim that “nose up” is better for issues with oil on the aperture blades. I’m not so sure that’s a critical thing to be concerned about, however.

I am wondering what the best way to store my gear is, I just bought a 70-300VR, and I am going to use it alot, but it isnt my main lens. How should I store it? Mount up or down? Right now I am storing it in its included case next to this computer on my desk, but the desk is in a room with a window that gets alot of sun. As for the camera its in the case logic zoom case, next to the lens, and it hangs in the case lens down. Is there any reason I shouldn’t leave my gear like this? What should do to protect it better if necessary?

Dee fifty one hundred

the your kit is subjected to in storage.

bugs/mold like warm damp conditions.. so cool/dry is the usual advice. silica gel is a good moisture magnet.

There is a very fine line between ‘hobby’ and ‘mental illness.’ :’!’:

Store in a cool & dry place. Refrigerate after opening err.

Humidity is probably the most important factor to consider – once you get mold inside your lens, you will probably never get rid of it.

I have my camera on a shelf next to my computer desk, and my lenses too – all vertical with caps on of course. all open to the elements of the room and ready to pop in a bag when I’m out and about. they don’t get a chance to get dusty (if they get dusty then they need to be sold). but my desk is in a dark area of the room, certainly no direct sunlight.

I know some people who keep their kit in their camera bag, I think that is a little silly. do you always want, need, everything? nope!

and my accessories are all in a small ikea 6x draw unit, from spare caps to remotes, light meter, spare batteries . my kit is hand picked each time for each shoot and I go through every draw (oh, yes, I need the remote) its fool proof in not forgetting anything I want for the shoot and also means I only take what I need (and not everything!)

My Gear: DeeSevenThousand + SixteenThirtyFive + SixtyMicroG

I think you are being a bit harsh on people who keep everything in their camera bag. Did it ever occur to you that those people may have only a couple or three lenses and they also want access to them when they go out? Or that they are capable of intelligent thought for the times when they decide to remove unnecessary items before leaving the house with their bag? I switch from “full gear” to camera/one lens, to camera/lens & one extra lens in a fanny pack, depending on what I expect to encounter for photo ops. No one method of storage is “correct”. live and let live, my man!

I know some people who keep their kit in their camera bag, I think that is a little silly. do you always want, need, everything? nope!

Dee fifty one hundred

I have my camera on a shelf next to my computer desk, and my lenses too – all vertical with caps on of course. all open to the elements of the room and ready to pop in a bag when I’m out and about. they don’t get a chance to get dusty (if they get dusty then they need to be sold). but my desk is in a dark area of the room, certainly no direct sunlight.

With all due respect, you’re asking for problems with that approach. Gear that is not being used should ALWAYS be stored in air tight containers with fresh silica gel. And the light of direct sunlight is a sure fire recipe for fungi of all description to invade your collection.

.
For a minimal price you can purchase a “Dry Box” for storage and put an end
to your worries.
Living here in Thailand most of the shooters have a dry box at home for their
gear. I have two, first one cost $60 USD, second one cost $160 USD.
Both of mine are called “Wonderful” there are others but these were at the
shopping area I was in so I bought them.

When you figure in the cost of your equipment the box is money well spent.
Do a google search, easy to find and highly recommended.
.

Jon in Thailand

So what I’ve digested from this forum is that I should keep doing what I am doing now, and throw some silica gel packs in my camera bag and lens sack? Is that a good idea? Thanks for the suggestions guys, as I aquire more gear Im sure I will use the steps you guys said, but as of now I use this stuff, so I dont want it stored away, but I do want it safe and protected.

My dry box’s have windows in the front making everything inside visible.
Flash guns lined up on one shelf, bodies with mounted lens on another.
Box’s are chest high so when ready to leave I just reach in and grab
what ever is needed for the days shoot. They are placed into selected bag
and off I go.
When I have returned equipment is wiped down and placed back into dry box.
Easy deal, I know exactly where each item is on a moments notice, no searching
around trying to find anything it’s all right at my finger tips.

Bags are on a small shelf right next to the dry box’s as is a small set of drawers
with any and all accessories that don’t have fungus issues.

The smaller box is used for lenses that are not used very often and it too is
chest high and all contents are visible.
Both box’s have temperature and humidity gauges on them so you can fine tune
the desired affect you need in your environment.

Long before I purchased the dry box’s a lens was lost to fungus due to being
left in a black case with silica gel packs. My shooting partner here in Thailand
has lost his D80 and Sigma 70-300 by leaving them in the camera bag with
a few gel packs. Once the fungus starts they are of no value any more.

Jon in Thailand

There are times that you need to store your contact lenses in a solution that is not meant for that purpose. You might be using monthly contacts that need to be taken out for each night, and you either run out of the solutions or you don’t spend the night at home. Some people use disposable contacts when they go out for the night, so they don’t have to worry about storing them, but every now and then something unexpected happens and you have to improvise a little bit.

First of all you need to be sure not to directly use tap water on your contacts – it contains bacteria that you don’t want in your eyes. Failing to follow this rule may result in a serious eye infection.

The first best option is to use distilled water – this is water that consists only of H2O and it is free from bacteria. If this is not available the second best thing that you can get is saline – which is a mixture of salt and water.

If neither of these are available – most likely isn’t – your next best thing is to prepare distilled salt water yourself. Storing your contact lenses in a solution like this is easy but it does take some time to prepare. First of all you need to boil water and have the vapor cool down so it forms water once again. Then drop this water in a glass or a jar and add a teaspoon of salt per eight ounces of water. You can do this easily with a slightly misplaced lid on the top of the kettle and place the drinking glass next to the kettle. The salt further helps to kill bacteria.

Always remember to clean the contact lenses with a proper solution before you put them on to avoid any bacteria getting in your eyes.

Question by Guest | 2012-08-24 at 22:48

Often, it happens to me, that I spontaneously stay somewhere over the night. Unfortunately, I wear contact lenses and it is always difficult, because I have not, of course, the necessary care products such as contact lens disinfecting solution and the small box for storage with me.

In order to reduce the stress on my eyes, I then usually threw away the soft monthly lenses at the evening and then the next morning, I got out blind of the house.

Slowly, this solution is becoming a bit expensive for me. I would like to take the monthly lenses a month long and so, I wonder, if there is no other way to clean the contact lenses or store them overnight by using the things, you can find in a normal household. I never dared to simply take water, because my eye doctor recommended to do not so. Or is it just scaremongering, so that I have to buy the expensive cleaning solution?

Your eye doctor is right! I even once made the mistake and cleaned my contact lenses with water and then preserved them in a schnapps glass with water in the night! The contact lenses were yellow after that night and looked very very strange!

When I inserted my lenses again after doing so, my eyes were hurting incredibly, and I think, I was fairly close to an eye infection!

This is really not to be trifled, the eyes are very sensitive and it is more than frivolous, to not disinfect the lenses properly!
2012-08-25 at 11:44

It often happens to me too, that I sometimes spontaneously stay overnight at my best friend and then have no more desire to go home.

At this friend, I then just have a storage container for contact lenses and a bottle of lens solution. If it often occurs at the same people, this is definitely the best solution. Simply keep another of your utensils there.

Otherwise, you can also take a small bottle with care solution and a storage box with you (in your purse, your car, etc). That does not take up much space, and in an emergency it is always with you!

Anything with water or the like, I would not even try. This can quite turn out shit.
2012-08-25 at 17:34

I have once heard, that you can also take mineral water or spit! Saliva comes pretty close to the fluid in the eyes and should be the first choice.

But I would only try that in case of emergency! And I take no responsibility for this tip! Maybe, someone of you knows even more accurateabout that? Then please write a comment below mine.
2012-08-26 at 09:32

You can take common salt solution for your contact lenses. You can do that yourself by mixing water and salt (mix 1 teaspoon salt with no additives to half a litre of water and bring that to boil respectively boiling off it) or you buy it at the pharmacy.

But keep in mind: This saline solution has no cleansing effect. So, in any case, you have to clean your lenses again in the morning with the correct cleaning solution. If possible, you can also let the lenses in the solution, go home and then clean it again properly.
2012-08-28 at 11:42

Another little tip from me: In an emergency, you can also leave the lenses overnight in your eyes! With some lenses, that should not be a problem and I have also survived that once. However, you should better not do that too often, your eyes also still need rest!
2012-08-30 at 20:17

Temporary saline solution for storage is your best bet, or even just boiled (and cooled down again) water. It will save your contacts and you can rinse and clean them properly at home. Keeping them moist in cling film and a few drops of water works too. Tap water has way too much bacteria and pathogens to be safe without being boiled first, and even then barely good enough for temporary storage.

Alternatively, and perhaps better, you could switch to a type of contacts approved for extended wear, like 6 days or 30 days continuously. They can stay in the eye over night, and they work very well as regular monthly contact which you take out at night too. Keeping them on over night is an option 😉
2014-01-20 at 01:24

Fill a lens case with your all purpose storage solution and take it with you when you go out. This way you are only carrying the small lens case, and can put your lenses in it over night to keep them hydrated. You can even reinsert them in the morning.
2015-11-01 at 14:39