How to Effectively and Safely Clean Your Invisalign Trays

Written by:

Dr. Justin Soon

Published on:

How to Effectively and Safely Clean Your Invisalign Trays

Are you an Invisalign patient looking for tips to help make your trays stay clean? You’ve come to the right place!

Keeping Invisalign trays clean is essential to the success of your Invisalign treatment. It also helps prevent bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease and other dental diseases.

With proper care, you can keep your invisible braces in top condition. This results in a healthier smile and better overall oral health.

Let’s discuss ways to clean Invisalign trays effectively and safely.

What Should I Use in Cleaning My Invisalign Tray?

Cleaning Invisalign trays is vital to keep them looking and feeling new. There are plenty of options available to help you keep your trays clear and clean.

In addition to the classic combination of lukewarm water, a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste, Align Technology – the company behind Invisalign – has created its own range of specialised cleaners. These products are made specifically for Invisalign aligners.

Invisalign Cleaning Crystals

Invisalign Cleaning Crystals are special cleaning crystals designed to quickly and effectively remove plaque from Invisalign aligners and retainers. In just 15 minutes, this Invisalign cleaner removes stubborn deposits that can cause staining and discolouration, so your aligner trays look as good as new.

Invisalign Aligner Cleaning Foam

Invisalign Aligner Cleaning Foam is a great way to keep Invisalign aligners odour-free, hygienic and clean. These cleaners are formulated specifically for Invisalign products to keep them fresh and clean. The foam comes in a handy compact size that makes it portable, allowing you to carry it wherever you go.


Steraligner is a cleaning product that quickly deep cleans aligners. In just three minutes, Steraligner eliminates 99.9% of bacteria from Invisalign aligners. This is ideal for at-home Invisalign cleaning. The solution breaks down grime and removes tartar buildup. It also leaves your Invisalign trays feeling and smelling fresh.

How Are Invisalign Cleaning Crystals Used?

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use Invisalign Cleaning Crystals.

  • Take the aligners out of your mouth and rinse under tap water.

  • Pour some lukewarm water into a cleaning container enough to soak the aligners completely.

  • Add one packet of Invisalign Cleaning Crystals into the water.

  • Gently shake the solution for 20 seconds to thoroughly disperse and dissolve the cleansing agent.

  • Soak the aligner in the solution and let it stand for 15 minutes (or longer if you want an even deeper clean).

  • Rinse your aligners thoroughly with lukewarm water.

How Is Invisalign Cleaning Foam Used?

To clean your aligner using Invisalign Cleaning Foam, dispense one full pump of foam into your aligner. Spread them out evenly, then pop them back in your mouth – no need to rinse! You may use this up to 4 times per day for better results.

What Other Cleaning Aids Can I Use on My Aligner?

Invisalign cleaners aren’t the only way to keep your aligners clean. There are other cleaning aids you can use to help keep them clean. The following are viable options:

  • Denture cleaning tablets:
    Denture cleaners are effervescent tablets that provide a gentle, disinfecting cleanse.

  • Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide:
    This cleaning solution creates a bubbly and fizzy combination. It can effectively remove plaque.

  • A soft toothbrush with clear liquid soap:
    This lathers up nicely when used properly. Choose antibacterial soaps that are colourless and odourless.

  • A 50/50 mixture of water and distilled white vinegar:
    This helps remove bacteria and unpleasant odours.

Whichever cleaning aid you choose for your Invisalign aligner, make sure it is safe and won’t damage your Invisalign. Talk to your dentist and ask them for advice on how to clean Invisalign trays.

What Products Should I Not Use When Cleaning My Aligner?

To keep Invisalign looking like new, avoid these products when cleaning them.

  • Mouthwash:
    Although mouthwash is an antiseptic, it contains harsh chemicals that can damage the material of the Invisalign. Most mouthwashes are also coloured and may cause staining of the aligner trays.

  • Bleach:
    Bleach is damaging to the aligner, even when diluted with water. Do not use bleach on your Invisalign trays, as it can cause permanent damage. It is also toxic.

  • Abrasive Toothpaste:
    It can scratch the aligner, causing minute spaces where plaque can enter. This can lead to odour and discolouration.

  • Harsh Detergents:
    Some detergents are too harsh for Invisalign. Some may contain ingredients that can damage or discolour the material. Avoid using any detergent on your Invisalign trays.

  • Scented Soaps:
    Scented soaps can leave a residue on your aligners. The added fragrances may cause an unpleasant smell and taste.

  • Alcohol:
    Alcohol can cause discolouration to the aligners and should not be used for cleaning Invisalign plastic trays.

  • Hot water:
    Hot water can damage the aligners and distort their shape.

  • Hard toothbrush:
    Avoid using a hard toothbrush to clean your Invisalign trays, as it can scratch the aligner.

Why Can’t I Use Regular Toothpaste on My Aligner?

When cleaning your Invisalign aligners, it is important to use non-abrasive toothpaste instead of regular toothpaste. Regular toothpaste can contain abrasive ingredients that scratch and damage the aligners, causing them to become cloudy and less effective. Additionally, the high fluoride content in regular toothpaste can cause discolouration on the aligners. Using non-abrasive toothpaste, specifically formulated for cleaning clear aligners, can help to effectively clean the aligners without causing damage or discolouration.

How Often Should Aligners Be Cleaned?

Ideally, you should clean your Invisalign at least twice a day, in the morning and evening. This will help keep bacterial growth and plaque buildup at bay.

It’s important to remember that when cleaning aligners, you’ll want to avoid abrasive or harsh cleaning products, as these could cause damage or lead to discolouration. Instead, try a mild, unscented liquid soap and warm water solution, which works just as well and isn’t as hard on the plastic.

For added effectiveness, soak your aligners overnight, one day each week, in a dentist-approved solution. Check with your dentist if you are unsure what these entail.

What Will Happen if I Don’t Keep My Aligners Clean?

Failing to clean your aligners regularly can come with consequences that can be detrimental to your progress and oral health.

If you don’t keep your aligners clean, the following may happen:

  • Stains and tartar may appear on the aligners, and if left unaddressed, can transfer into your mouth and damage your teeth and gums.

  • It may lead to bad breath. Bacteria that stick to the aligner can produce an unpleasant odour if not removed on time.

  • Your teeth may not move as they should. This means that you could take longer to achieve your desired results. You even risk starting all over again if there are major delays in achieving a straight smile.

  • The most serious consequence is gum disease, which can have long-term effects on oral health. This can be prevented by regularly brushing and flossing to remove the harmful bacteria that have accumulated on your aligners.

Ultimately, not cleaning your aligners can lead to costly repairs. It’s important to make a good oral hygiene routine a part of your daily routine, especially if you’re wearing orthodontic appliances.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning your Invisalign trays is an important part of achieving an attractive smile. Practising regular cleaning habits is essential so that your aligners remain fresh and germ-free.

The most effective way is to use Invisalign cleaners. These specially-designed cleaners can help loosen food particles and bacteria on the aligner. If you don’t have access to these cleaners, you can opt for denture cleaning tablets or a soft-bristled toothbrush with lukewarm water and mild soap or non-abrasive toothpaste.

Whichever cleaning method you choose, make sure that you carefully remove all residue from the trays before wearing them. Remember also to store your aligners in their case for safekeeping.

If you have questions about cleaning your Invisalign trays or want to learn more about Invisalign treatment for yourself or a family member, why not book an appointment with Karrinyup Dental Centre? Our friendly team of professionals is always available to answer any queries you might have. Book an appointment through our website or call Karrinyup Dental Centre today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Invisalign treatment is an amazing technology that has revolutionised orthodontic care, allowing more efficient and less noticeable means for straightening teeth. Although Invisalign offers many advantages over traditional braces, there are limitations to consider when exploring this type of treatment.

  • Invisalign may not be a good choice for complex dental issues. Patients with extreme malocclusions, such as severe crowding, can be better served by metal braces.

  • Invisalign requires patient dedication and compliance. Patients must wear aligners as prescribed to achieve results.

  • Existing oral health habits need to be considered. Bad habits, like grinding or nail biting, may significantly impact treatment duration or effectiveness.

The aligners used in Invisalign treatment are designed to provide gentle force to move slightly misaligned teeth into the desired position. However, this same gentleness limits the ability of Invisalign to move severely overcrowded teeth.

Traditional braces are the better option when it comes to straightening severely crowded teeth. The brackets, wires, and elastic bands of traditional braces offer stronger force and more control to allow for greater movement. This level of specificity cannot be achieved with Invisalign, which relies on a series of removable aligners that shift the whole arch of teeth at the same time. As a result, Invisalign is not strong enough to successfully realign severely crowded teeth, and in these cases, it is necessary to rely on traditional braces to create that desired smile.

One thing patients cannot do while wearing their aligners is eat. Invisalign aligners must be removed to consume food and beverages other than water.

While taking Invisalign out to eat multiple times throughout the day may be inconvenient, it is necessary. Food particles can get stuck in your aligners and cause staining or discolouration. Additionally, certain acidic foods and drinks can weaken the plastic material of your aligners and damage them.

It’s important to follow the instructions given by your dentist. This can help maintain the effectiveness of Invisalign during treatment. Removing your aligner during meals is just one step in achieving that beautiful smile.

Invisalign treatment is not suitable for everyone. Some people have severe alignment problems, while others might have dental conditions such as gum disease or generalised tooth decay that contraindicates this treatment.

If a dentist suspects that Invisalign would not provide a patient with good results, or if the patient is not willing to wear their Invisalign aligners as often as instructed by their dentist, then this treatment may not be suitable for them.

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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