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How Should I Clean My Invisalign: The Invisalign User’s Handbook of Best Practices

the dentist treats teeth of patient

Written by:

Dr. Justin Soon

Published on:

How Should I Clean My Invisalign: The Invisalign User’s Handbook of Best Practices

Invisalign treatment can be a life-changing experience, providing a convenient and discreet way to straighten your teeth and improve your smile. However, to achieve optimal results from your treatment, keeping your Invisalign aligners clean and well-maintained is essential. Failing to do so can lead to a buildup of bacteria, staining, bad breath, and other dental issues. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the importance of keeping your Invisalign clean and provide tips on how to do so effectively to get the most out of your treatment.

Summary of The Content

  • Invisalign aligners are a popular orthodontic treatment that requires regular, consistent cleaning and maintenance for optimal results.

  • To keep Invisalign aligners clean and efficient, following a regular and detailed cleaning routine, avoiding harmful cleaning products, and handling them with extra care are essential.

  • A deep cleaning may be necessary periodically to remove bacteria buildup, staining, and odours.

  • Choosing the right cleaning products is essential for regular cleaning and avoiding aligner damage.

  • Invisalign aligners should be inspected regularly for damage, and any issues should be reported to a dentist immediately.

  • You can achieve straighter teeth and a healthy smile by practising good oral hygiene with Invisalign and following proper care and maintenance of the aligners.

Understanding Invisalign

Invisalign is a modern orthodontic treatment designed to straighten teeth without traditional metal braces. Instead of brackets and wires, Invisalign treatment involves wearing clear, removable aligners that gradually shift teeth into their desired position. The treatment includes wearing the Invisalign trays for at least 20-22 hours every day, taking them out only when eating and doing routine cleaning.

Invisalign aligners are tailor-fitted to your teeth using a thermoplastic material that is flexible, comfortable, and free of BPA, BPS, latex, and gluten. The aligners have no sharp edges or wires that can irritate your mouth and are virtually invisible, making them a discreet choice for teeth straightening.

Each aligner is slightly different and must be replaced every 1-2 weeks to gradually move your teeth into their proper position. The aligners are made using a unique 3D printing process for an accurate and precise fit, trimmed for comfort, and transparent for invisibility.

Depending on the severity of your oral health problem, the treatment process could take up to 18 months. Factors that affect the duration of the treatment include:

  • How your teeth move throughout treatment
  • Severity of malocclusion
  • Compliance with wearing the aligners
  • Other treatments that your dentist may recommend

Importance of Keeping Invisalign Clean

Maintaining good oral hygiene with Invisalign is crucial for the success of the treatment. Failing to clean your Invisalign aligners properly can have several negative consequences, including:

  • Bacterial plaque build-up:
    When you wear your aligners, saliva and food particles can become trapped between the aligners and your teeth. This can create a breeding ground for bacteria, leading to bad breath and dental problems.

  • Staining:
    Invisalign aligners can become stained over time if not cleaned properly. This can be unsightly and may cause your aligners to be less discreet.

  • Reduced effectiveness:
    If your aligners become coated with bacteria, dental plaque, or tartar, they may not fit properly or be ineffective in shifting your teeth into their desired position.

  • Bad breath:
    Failing to clean your aligners can lead to bad breath, which can be embarrassing and affect your social interactions.

Cleaning Invisalign Aligners

Keeping your invisible aligners clean is essential for maintaining good oral hygiene and ensuring the best possible outcome from your treatment.

Here’s a step-by-step process for cleaning aligners:

  1. Rinse your aligner trays:
    Before cleaning them, rinse them under lukewarm water to remove saliva or food particles.

  2. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush:
    Use a separate soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your plastic aligners gently. You can also use a special Invisalign cleaning brush designed to fit into the aligners.

  3. Use a clear, antibacterial soap:
    Apply a small amount of clear, antibacterial liquid soap to your aligners and gently brush them. Avoid toothpaste. It can scratch the aligners and create growth areas for harmful bacteria.

  4. Rinse your aligners again:
    After brushing them, rinse them again under lukewarm water to remove any soap residue.

  5. Soak your aligners:
    Soak your aligners in Invisalign cleaning crystals for 15-20 minutes once a day. This can help remove any built-up bacteria or stains.

Choosing the Right Cleaning Products

You can use several products when cleaning your Invisalign aligners. Here are some of the most common types recommended for proper Invisalign care.

  1. Invisalign cleaning crystals:
    Invisalign cleaning crystals are a specially formulated cleaning product designed to remove stains and bacteria from Invisalign aligners. These crystals are dissolved in a cup of water where the aligners are soaked for 20-30 minutes.

  2. Steralinger:
    Steralinger is an antibacterial agent for cleaning and sanitising Invisalign aligners. It contains a powerful, active ingredient that helps kill bacteria and other microorganisms on contact.

  3. Invisalign aligner cleaning foam:
    Invisalign aligner cleaning foam is an easy-to-use foam that deep cleans and sanitises your aligners. It also helps remove food debris and plaque buildup on plastic trays without abrasive scrubbing.

  4. Aligner cleaner wipes:
    Aligner cleaner wipes are pre-moistened cloths designed to quickly and easily clean and sanitise Invisalign aligners. They can be used on the go, making them suitable for patients who are always on the move.

  5. Aligner cleaning tablets:
    Aligner cleaning tablets are specifically formulated to clean and sanitise your Invisalign trays. They are safe and can help remove plaque and food debris without scrubbing or brushing.

  6. Denture cleaning tablets:
    Denture cleaning effervescent tablets are another option for cleaning Invisalign aligners. It can help remove bacteria, stains, and odours. However, be careful in using them as some of them contain harsh products.

Alternative Cleaning Products

If you are unable to find the Invisalign-specific cleaning products, then these products can be used as homemade cleaning solutions:

  • Gentle soaps:
    Mild soap is also good for cleaning Invisalign aligners. Simply mix a small amount of mild soap with water to create a gentle cleaning solution. Rinse thoroughly with water after cleaning, and avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials.

  • Distilled white vinegar:
    Distilled white vinegar has natural antiseptic properties that can help remove bacteria and stains from Invisalign aligners. However, do not use distilled vinegar as your primary cleaning method, as it may damage the aligners if used too frequently.

    How to use it:
    • Mix 1-part vinegar and 1-part water in a small container.
    • Soak the aligners in the vinegar solution for about 30 minutes.
    • Rinse the aligners with water and repeat if necessary.
    • Rinse the aligners thoroughly with water and dry them with a soft, clean towel.

  • Baking soda:
    Baking soda is a natural cleaning product that can help clean Invisalign and remove stains. However, do not use baking soda as your primary method of cleaning Invisalign aligners, as it is not effective in killing most bacteria.

    How to use it:
    • Create a baking soda paste by mixing baking soda with water.
    • Apply the paste to the aligners using a soft toothbrush.
    • Gently brush the aligners, focusing on any areas with stubborn stains.
    • Rinse the aligners with water and repeat if necessary.
    • Rinse the aligners thoroughly with warm water and dry them with a soft, clean towel.

  • Hydrogen peroxide:
    Hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic and disinfectant. Be careful in using this for cleaning since higher concentrations can damage the aligners.

    How to use it:
    • Mix hydrogen peroxide and water in equal parts in a small container.
    • Soak the aligners in the solution for about 30 minutes.
    • Brush the aligners gently with soft-bristled brushes.
    • Rinse the aligners with water and repeat if necessary.
    • Rinse the aligners thoroughly with warm water and dry them with a soft, clean towel.

Cleaning Products to Avoid

When choosing cleaning products for Invisalign aligners, it’s important to avoid certain types of products, including:

  1. Toothpaste:
    Abrasive toothpaste can scratch the surface of your aligners, creating areas for bacteria to grow.

  2. Hot water:
    Hot water can warp or damage your aligners, affecting their fit and effectiveness.

  3. Bleach:
    Bleach is harsh and can damage the surface of your aligners, leading to discolouration and a shorter lifespan.

Dos and Don'ts of Invisalign Cleaning

Knowing the proper cleaning methods can help you avoid common mistakes and ensure your aligners stay in good condition throughout your treatment.


  • Do brush your aligners gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and clear, antibacterial cleansing soaps or Invisalign cleaning crystals to remove bacteria and prevent stains.

  • Do soak your aligners in Invisalign cleaning crystals for 15-20 minutes once a day to remove stubborn bacteria and stains.

  • Do rinse your aligners under lukewarm water before and after cleaning to remove any saliva or food particles.

  • Do store your aligners in a clean, dry container when not in use to prevent bacteria buildup.

  • Do brush and floss your teeth before putting your aligners back in to avoid built-up food particles between the aligners and your teeth.

  • Do keep a spare set of aligners on hand if you lose or damage your current set.


  • Don’t use hot water to clean your Invisalign. This can warp or damage them and affect their fit.

  • Don’t use toothpaste or other abrasive cleaners to clean your aligners, as they can scratch the surface and create areas for bacteria to grow.

  • Don’t eat or drink anything other than water while wearing your aligners, as this can stain or damage them.

  • Don’t use alcoholic mouthwash or other alcohol-based products on your aligners. They can dry out and damage the plastic material.

  • Don’t soak your aligners too long in cleaning solutions.

The mentioned tips are important in keeping your Invisalign aligners clean and in good condition. By following the dos and avoiding the don’ts, you can maintain good oral hygiene with Invisalign, prevent bacterial plaque buildup, and ensure the success of your Invisalign treatment.

Dealing with Stains and Odours

Stains and odours can develop on Invisalign aligners over time, especially if they’re not cleaned regularly or properly. Here are some tips for dealing with stains and odours on your aligners:

  1. Soak your aligners in a cleaning solution:
    Invisalign cleaning crystals can effectively remove stains and odours from aligners. Dissolve the cleaning crystals in lukewarm water, then soak your aligners for 15-20 minutes.

  2. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and mild cleaning product:
    Gently brushing your aligners with clear, mild antibacterial soap can help to remove stains and bacteria that may be causing odours. Do not forcefully remove stains by brushing roughly. It will damage your aligners.

  3. Rinse your aligners thoroughly:
    Be sure to rinse your aligners thoroughly with lukewarm water after cleaning to remove any residual cleaning solution.

To protect your Invisalign aligners from any pesky odours or stains, follow these simple steps for prevention before it’s too late:

  1. Clean your aligners regularly.
    Daily cleaning at least twice a day will prevent bacteria buildup and staining.

  2. Avoid eating or drinking anything other than water while wearing your aligners.
    Foods and beverages can stain and damage your aligners, so remove them before you consume anything other than water.

  3. Brush and floss your teeth before putting your aligners back in.
    Brushing and flossing your teeth can help remove any food buildup between your teeth and your aligners, preventing bacteria accumulation and odours.

  4. Store your aligners properly.
    Store your aligners in a clean, dry container when not in use to prevent bacteria buildup and odours.

Following these cleaning tips can help maintain the cleanliness and condition of your Invisalign aligners, preventing stains and odours from developing during your treatment.

Deep Cleaning Invisalign Aligners

Deep cleaning is a more thorough cleaning process that removes bacteria and buildup that basic cleaning methods may not be able to address. Deep cleaning aligners periodically can prevent bacteria buildup, staining, and odours that can affect the treatment outcomes.

You can use hydrogen peroxide diluted in water for deep cleaning aligner trays. Refer to the instructions above for details on how this product is used safely for Invisalign care. Be aware that high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide may cause damage to the trays – so only use as instructed!

Maintenance Tips for Invisalign Aligners

If your Invisalign trays become damaged, contact your dentist immediately. They will provide further instructions on what to do next, including temporarily wearing a previous set of aligners or ordering a replacement set.

Final Thoughts

Keeping your Invisalign aligners clean is vital to the success of your treatment. Neglecting to clean your aligners or using the wrong cleaning products can lead to bacterial buildup, staining, and even damage to your aligners.

By following the tips in this article, you can maintain your aligners’ cleanliness and effectiveness, preventing the need for replacements. You can enjoy the benefits of a healthier, more beautiful smile for many years with proper care and a good oral hygiene routine.

At Karrinyup Dental Centre, we are here to help answer any questions about proper Invisalign care. To learn more, contact us today to book your appointment with our team of experienced dentists. We look forward to helping you achieve the smile of your dreams!

Dr. Justin Soon


Dr. Justin Soon

Dr. Justin completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery at the University of Western Australia. Dr Justin completed his surgical implant training under the mentorship of Dr. Glen Liddelow, Dr. Graham Carmichael, and Dr. Brent Allan at the Branemark Centre.

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