Removing soft contact lenses

Normally, tools such as suction cups aren’t necessary when removing a modern soft contact lens (CL). It can take some practice to learn how to use CL:s, but most people learn pretty quickly how it works. When you have the lenses fitted, ask the eye professional to guide you through the process of inserting and removing the CL:s.

If you are a novice CL user, ideally keep your fingernails short to avoid scratching your eyes as you practice removing CL:s.

For information about how to insert CL:s, visit our page “Inserting soft contact lenses” on this site.

removing contact lenseStep-by-step guide

  1. If you are using multi-use CL:s, make sure that you have a clean CL case ready and that it is filled with CL solution.
  2. Wash and rinse your hands well. Make sure you are clean under the nails. Don’t use any soap that may irritate your eyes. Don’t dry your hands on something that will make them unclean again. Don’t try your hands on something that may transfer lint to your hands.It is important to avoid bringing pathogens to your eyes, to the CL:s or to the CL case.
  3. Use one or two fingertips to gently remove the CL from the eye. Practice until you find a technique that suits you and the CL. Some people slide the CL out from the cornea-area towards the side of the eye using just one finger tip. Others prefer to gently press on the CL from two sides using thumb + index finger to make the CL come off the eye.If necessary, use your free hand to keep your eye open while you remove the CL.

Cleaning CL:s after removal

If you are using multi-use CL:s, you need to clean them between each use. Unless your have been given other instructions by the manufacturer or your eye care professional, place the CL in the palm of your (clean!) hand and add a few drops of cleaning CL solution or multipurpose CL solution. Please note that the U.S. FDA recommends rubbing the CL clean even if you use a “no-rub” product.

Proper cleaning will remove proteins and fats excreted by your eye, as well as other stuff, e.g. eye-lashes, pollen, cosmetics, etc.

After cleaning, rinse the CL well in rinsing CL solution or multipurpose CL solution. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for how long to rinse. Rinsing the CL long enough is important.

Place the CL in the clean CL case and fill with fresh CL solution. Never “top off” old CL solution, because that has been linked to serious eye problems. There are plenty of pathogens that can survive and grow in CL solution.


If there is a of protein build-up, you may need a special protein removal product.

Heat or UV disinfection

Heat or ultraviolet light disinfection systems are available for CL:s.