How To Clean Retainers?

Knowing how to clean retainers is the most important thing you must learn if you frequently wear a retainer. Usually, a retainer sits inside your mouth and against your teeth. The main purpose of using retainers is to help your mouth’s muscles and tissues to hold teeth in their new placement. When you are wearing retainers, it easily accumulates dirt, bacteria, plaque, and tartar. In this post, I will tell you how to clean retainers at home. There are different types of retainers available in the market. So, you need to clean them regularly to maintain them. Let us now study how to clean retainers in-depth. 

How To Clean Retainers?

With the help of the following items, you can learn how to clean retainers with plaque.

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Denture Tablets or Retainer Cleaner
  • Warm Water
  • Mouthwash
  • Castile Soap
  • Dental Floss/Tongue Scraper

Cleaning your retainers starts with identifying the type of retainer first! There are three types of retainers; Hawley retainers, clear plastic retainers, and fixed lingual retainers. The cleaning procedure varies depending upon the type of retainer you own.

You can keep on reading to check out the different ways to clean your retainers.

Click here – How To Clean A Clear Phone Case?

Different Ways To Clean Retainers

In this section, I have given a step-by-step guide to cleaning retainers using different items. Let us first learn how to clean retainers using baking soda.

  • Clean Retainers Using Baking Soda

Baking soda paste can help you clean retainers effectively. You can follow these steps to clean your retainers.

  1. Make a paste by mixing the same amounts of baking soda and water.
  2. Then, apply this paste onto the retainer using a soft toothbrush.
  3. Afterward, rinse the retainer thoroughly with water to remove any leftover residue.

Make sure you do not make the baking soda paste too thin. It must be thick enough to stick to your retainer.

  • Clean Retainers Using Vinegar

Vinegar is an excellent ingredient that helps to clean retainers. Follow these steps to learn how to clean plastic retainers with vinegar.

  1. Pour some lukewarm water, white vinegar, and baking soda into a stainless steel container.
  2. Now, place your plastic retainer into this container.
  3. Let it remain soaked for about 10 to 15 minutes to completely clean it.
  4. Rinse the retainer under cold water.

You can also soak your retainer in vinegar and water solution for 20 minutes. This will help you to remove plaque and kill bacteria.

  • Clean Retainers Using Denture Tablets

Hawley and clear retainers can be cleaned daily using denture tablets like Efferdent. You can follow these steps to learn how to clean clear retainers with denture tablets.

  1. In a cup of lukewarm water, add one tablet of a denture.
  2. Now, soak your retainer into this cleansing mixture.
  3. You can follow the package instructions for timing.

Before you perform this method, make sure you ask your dentist about cleaning your retainer using denture tablets. You can also consider retainer cleaner as an affordable option.

  • Clean Retainers Using Warm Water

Invisalign retainers can be easily removed while eating or drinking something. If you use an Invisalign retainer, you must be wondering how to clean Invisalign retainers. You don’t need any extra items to clean them. Simply washing them using warm water and brushing them using a toothbrush will scrub away any residue from retainers.

  • Clean Retainers Using Mouthwash

Mouthwash is designed to fight against plaque, bacteria, and other deposits found in the mouth. It is a good alternative if the above options are not available.

  1. Pour a small amount of mouthwash into a container.
  2. Dip your retainer into this solution for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Thoroughly rinse your retainer with cold water.

For this method, make sure you use non-alcoholic mouthwash. Mouthwash containing alcohol can dry out your retainer as well as your mouth.

You can keep on reading to learn how to clean metal retainers.

  • Clean Retainers Using Castile Soap

Castile soap is the least toxic cleaning product available on the list. You can follow these instructions to clean metal retainers using castile soap.

  1. Add a small amount of castile soap to warm water.
  2. Then, dip your metal retainer into the mixture.
  3. Lastly, thoroughly clean your retainers using cold water.

Instead of purchasing castile soap from stores, you can make your own castile soap using olive oil and coconut soap.

  • Clean Retainers Using Dental Floss/Tongue Scraper

You can also use dental floss to clean the grooves of your retailer. A U-shaped metal tool like a tongue scraper can also be used to get rid of bacteria stuck on your tongue. Both these tools will help you to clean out the build up on your retainer much easier.

Points To Remember While Cleaning Retainers

You won’t have a hard time cleaning your retainers by using my above hacks! Retainers need to be handled carefully to make them last longer. Below, I have given some tips you must remember while cleaning your retainers.

  • Keep your retainers away from boiling water, dishwashers, and microwaves.
  • You must never use harsh cleansers to clean your retainers.
  • Soaking retainers in the solution can harm your retainer’s plastic. So, make sure you keep an eye on the timing.
  • Always clean your retainer case once a day before you put it back in its place.

Learn more about similar topics like these on Clynerr



In my above article, I have explained how to clean retainers in a simple way. Retainers must be cleaned on regular basis using a soft toothbrush. You can also use baking soda, vinegar, and retainer cleaner like denture tablets to clean them. Depending upon the type of retainer you use, the cleaning method changes. For example, for clear plastic retainers, you’ll need vinegar solution. You can use castile soap or baking soda for metal retainers. Remember that you do not use toothpaste for cleaning retainers as it contains abrasive ingredients. By learning how to clean retainers, you can clean retainers by yourself without scratching them!


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