How to Keep Your Plastic Retainers Clean Every Day

Learning How to Clean Plastic Retainers Properly is Crucial to Staying Healthy

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise and some states are shuttering their re-opening plans, it is more important than ever to practice safe social distancing and hygienic practices, such as frequent and thorough handwashing and wearing a mask. Cleaning your plastic retainers properly is also important.

Whether you are wearing invisible aligners at night or plastic Hawley retainers on a regular basis, it is critical that you learn how to thoroughly clean them. Not only will cleaning your retainers properly help them last longer, but it will also help you stay safe and healthy. In our latest article, the Soluria team reminds you how to clean plastic retainers, which continues to be important during the era of COVID-19. 

Woman inserting clear plastic retainers into her mouth

7 Tips for Cleaning Your Plastic Retainers

Follows These Simple and Easy Tips for Keeping Your Retainers Clean

Image courtesy of Ricci Orthodontics

Cleaning your trays isn’t exactly the most fun thing you will do all day. But it is necessary for keeping them well-maintained and for ensuring your mouth stays clean and healthy. Plus, it’s much easier to follow a quick, regular cleaning routine on a daily basis than having to deal with dental issues or problems with your retainer down the road. That’s why we are teaching you how to clean plastic retainers using these 7 tips. 

1. Bring a Portable Retainer Spray with You

Heading out? Don’t forget to take your mask, hand sanitizer, and Soluria Smile Saver™ Spray. This portable and effective spray is a must-have addition to your going-out bag. Smile Spray can be used on both clear aligners and plastic retainers to reduce the build up of bacteria and prevent bad odors too, thus offering preventative oral care with a burst of fresh and natural spearmint flavor. To use, simply spray all sides of your retainer thoroughly. Then, wait 60 seconds before re-inserting it and enjoy the refreshing taste of mint and the comfort of a clean device!

Soluria Smile Saver Spray is an easy to use spray cleaner for all oral devices

2. Soak Your Clear Trays at Least Once a Day

You don’t have to purchase an expensive cleaning solution for your retainers. If you prefer, you can make your own solution at home. We recommend mixing together either vinegar and water or hydrogen peroxide and water. For the vinegar solution, you should soak your trays for about an hour. With the hydrogen peroxide, you will want to soak your trays in the solution for at least 30 minutes, so it’s best to do this during a meal if you’re wearing clear retainers to straighten your teeth. 

Clear plastic retainers soaking in a solution

3. Don’t Forget to Wash Your Hands

The CDC encourages people to wash their hands thoroughly (for at least 20 seconds) and often. This includes:

  • Before and after you remove your plastic retainers
  • Before you prepare and eat food
  • Before and after caring for a sick friend or relative
  • After blowing your nose or coughing
  • After you touch a pet or animal feed
  • After you have been in a public place

While we are sure that you already know these rules about good hygiene, it doesn’t hurt to remind everyone of them once in a while. By washing your hands on a regular basis, you can help prevent the spread of germs and viruses. 

4. Remember to Clean Your Retainers Whenever You Take Them Out

Whenever you remove your retainers, whether to eat or to brush your teeth, you must remember to clean them as well. You don’t have to soak them or thoroughly brush them every time. But you should at least rinse them with warm soapy water (or even just cold water in a pinch). This will help prevent plaque from building up on the trays and damaging them or causing an unpleasant odor. 

5. Store Your Aligners or Retainers in a Clean, Dry Case When You Aren’t Wearing Them

Along with your Smile Saver Spray, you should carry a compact retainer case. Should you ever need to remove your retainer, you can keep it in a dry and safe place. Leaving your retainer out in the open will make it vulnerable to bacteria, which can build up on the trays. Speaking of your retainer case, this is also something you need to clean. You should clean it at least once a day with warm, soapy water. 

Woman's hands holding clear plastic retainer and a retainer case

6. Don’t Use Regular Toothpaste or Mouthwash to Clean Your Plastic Retainers

Keep the toothpaste and mouthwash for your actual teeth. Normal toothpaste is typically too abrasive for aligners and retainers and can damage their surfaces. It can also stain them if they are supposed to be clear. Mouthwash also tends to be too harsh for your retainers. 

7. Keep Your Retainer Away From the Heat to Protect Its Structure

Avoid letting your aligners or retainers sit out in the open under the heat. This can warp and distort the retainers. You should also wash your trays with lukewarm water, rather than hot water. 


Cleaning your plastic retainer is just as important as cleaning your teeth. If you didn’t know how to clean plastic retainers before, you certainly should now. Are you interested in adding an efficient cleaning spray to your routine? Contact the team at Soluria to learn more about our popular Smile Saver Spray.

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