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You may have read a recent comment by a contact lens wearer about using washing-up liquid as an alternative to contact lens solution that was published in the Daily Telegraph.

Denise Voon MCOptom, Clinical Adviser at The College of Optometrists, explains:

“It is vital that you do not use washing-up liquid or tap water to clean any contact lens, as this could result in you developing an eye infection, which could be sight threatening. It can also damage your contact lenses.

“Contact lens solution should be used to clean, disinfect, and lubricate all reusable contact lenses, and is specifically formulated to do so safely and effectively. Your optometrist or eye care practitioner can advise you on what solutions would be best based on your lenses and individual needs.

“Any domestic detergent is designed to remove debris and grease from the surface of dishes and is not intended to provide disinfection or sterilisation, so it should never be used on contact lenses. Washing-up liquid should also not be used on the lenses of your glasses, as it may scratch and damage them. In addition, most dish detergents carry warnings about eye irritation if it goes into the eye and can cause serious eye problems.”

Top tips for contact lens care:


  • wash, rinse and dry your hands thoroughly before handling your lenses
  • have an up-to-date pair of glasses for when you need to remove your lenses
  • replace the lenses at the interval specified by your practitioner
  • have regular check-ups with your practitioner as recommended
  • seek professional advice if you are having problems with your contact lenses.


  • go to bed with a painful red eye – seek advice immediately
  • bring any contact lens into contact with tap water
  • wet your lenses with saliva
  • wear your lenses for swimming
  • use washing-up liquid to clean your lenses.

Watch our how-to videos on inserting and removing contact lenses to learn more.

September 9, 2022