How to Clean Invisalign: Expert Tips for Maintaining Clear Aligners

Treating Missing Teeth With Invisalign

Invisalign aligners are a quick and discreet solution to correct your bite problems and straighten your teeth. Unlike traditional braces or other orthodontic solutions, they are removable, making them the best and most accessible choice for your orthodontic issues.

No matter how easy they are to use every day, Invisalign cleaning is something you need to take extra care of. Although aligners are meant to be changed every 2 weeks, they still require extreme care and cleaning. If not done right, you will end up with stained and smelly aligners – something no one wants!

What is the Best Way to Clean Your Invisalign Aligners?

The best way to clean your Invisalign aligners is by using a clear, antibacterial soap and a soft-bristle toothbrush. Gently brush the aligners, rinse them with lukewarm water, and avoid hot water or harsh chemicals. Finally, store them in their case when not in use to keep them clean and safe.

What are the Best Practices for Cleaning Your Invisalign?

  • 01

    Soak Your Aligners in Cleaning Crystals

    Invisalign cleaning crystals are used to get rid of foul odors, bacteria buildup, and staining from your trays. Add the crystals in the suggested amount of water and soak the aligners in them.

    It takes about 15 minutes for the solution to work on your aligners. Once you soak them, brush, rinse and replace the trays.

  • 02

    Brush Your Aligners Twice a Day

    The first rule of great Invisalign care is to brush them every morning and evening. Not cleaning them every day will form plaque and build up bacteria.

    Gently clean your aligners twice a day with toothpaste and a soft toothbrush. This ensures that the remaining bacteria are washed off your aligner.

  • 03

    Keep Invisalign Trays in the Case

    If you do not store your Invisalign in a safe place, you risk losing them or leaving them in a place where they could get damaged or develop bacteria.

    If you are taking your Invisalign out to eat or drink, develop the habit of putting them back in their case.

How Often Should You Clean Invisalign?

You should clean your Invisalign aligners every night at the time you brush and floss. This will remove any food particles, debris, or bacteria stuck inside your teeth during the entire day. Moreover, you can also clean them if you stain them, after accidentally drinking anything that is not clear.

Do not stay under the impression of not cleaning your aligners because you will change them in 2 weeks. This will lead to stained discolored aligners and cause bad breath. Additionally, your teeth will be exposed to bacteria buildup.

What Cleaners Should You Use to Clean Invisalign?

There are several cleaners available for cleaning your Invisalign aligners. Here are some of them you can soak your aligners in:

  1. Soap and Water

    Take a small amount of liquid soap into lukewarm water. Avoid extremely hot water. Mix them to create suds and soak your aligners in the solution for about 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse them after soaking.

  2. Vinegar and Water

    Mix one part white vinegar with three parts lukewarm water. Soak your aligners in the solution for 20 minutes and then rinse them with cold water.

  3. Baking Soda and Water

    Take one tablespoon of baking soda with half a cup of water. Soak your aligners in the solution for 60 minutes. Rinse them before placing them back.

  4. Sterialigner

    Sterialigner is an aligner cleaning solution by Invisalign that comes with a tray. It contains rubbing alcohol and sodium bicarbonate – a natural antiseptic. Set your aligners in a tray and soak them in the solution for three minutes. Rinse it off with lukewarm water.

Which Cleansers Should You Avoid while Cleaning Invisalign?

While the above cleansers are safe for your aligners, several products can damage your aligners. If your aligners are distorted, they will hinder your progress. So try and avoid these cleansers for an uninterrupted treatment:

  • Mouthwash


    Mouthwash will clean your mouth but fail to work cleaning your aligners. There are coloring dyes in your mouthwash that will permanently stain your aligners, making them less discreet and appealing to wear.

  • Dishwasher


    Dishwashers use hot water that can cause discoloration of your aligners. Moreover, the hot water can also damage your clear aligners by distorting the plastic, making it not fit on your teeth perfectly.

  • Cleaning Soaps

    Cleaning Soaps

    Soaps with red, blue, or green dyes can easily stain your clear aligners. Alcohol, bleach, and other chemicals are also contributing factors in destroying your aligners.

How to Take Care of Your Invisalign Aligners?

Here are some practices that you can follow to keep your aligners clean and bacteria-free:

  • Avoid Eating or Drinking with Invisalign

    Avoid Eating or Drinking with Invisalign

    Although there are some beverages that you can drink while wearing your Invisalign, the rule of thumb is to remove the aligners every time you want to eat or drink. If you skip this step, there are chances that the food particles can build up in the aligners and damage them.

  • Don’t Use Hot Water to Clean

    Don’t Use Hot Water to Clean

    Disinfecting things with hot water is common, but disinfecting your aligners with hot water will only damage them.

    Plastic trays are durable, but they can soften and change shape due to extreme heat, leaving no meaning to the aligners. Instead of boiling water, you can use warm water to rinse and clean them.

  • Avoid Smoking

    Avoid Smoking

    You should never smoke while wearing an Invisalign. Smoking affects your Invisalign trays mostly in a bad way. It stains them and also decays your teeth due to trapped nicotine and tobacco in your teeth.

  • Store Safely

    Store Safely

    Store your aligners in airtight containers every time you remove them. This will protect them from germs and prevent bacteria buildup.

Read on this complete guide on do’s and don’ts of Invisalign to increase the effectiveness of the treatment.

Bottom Line

Invisalign aligners are one of the most popular methods to straighten your teeth. But they require immense cleaning to keep them intact. We hope these cleaning and care tips for your Invisalign help your aligners free of bacteria and germs. If you have any more questions about cleaning your Invisalign, feel free to give us a call. The team of doctors at Brite Orthodontics is always happy to help you.

Dr. Satish Pai, M.D.S

Dr. Satish Pai is an orthodontist and Ivy League trained dentist who has served as a faculty at Columbia University. He believes a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics and a Partner at Brite Orthodontics, he is dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients. He also writes to educate people about everything orthodontics and the importance of correctly aligned teeth along with good oral health. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing, and spending time with his family.

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