Home Health How to clean Invisalign retainer with harsh chemical

How to clean Invisalign retainer with harsh chemical

How to clean Invisalign retainer with harsh chemical

Invisalign retainers are a great way to keep your teeth straight after you have completed your Invisalign treatment. However, like any other piece of jewelry or dental appliance, they need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Here is a guide on how to clean your Invisalign retainer using harsh chemicals. 

As with any other type of jewelry, it is important to clean your Invisalign retainer regularly to prevent the build-up of dirt and bacteria. One effective way to do this is by using harsh chemical cleaners such as bleach or ammonia. 

What Types of Retainers Are Out There?

1. Fixed Invisalign Retainer

A fixed Invisalign retainer is a thin wire attached to the back of your front six teeth, from canine tooth to canine tooth. The wire is not visible and hardly noticeable and within a few days, you’ll be used to it.

After your last Invisalign aligner is removed, the wire will be bonded straight away.

The advantage of this Invisalign fixed retainer is you don’t have to remember to put it in. You can go about your daily business knowing your teeth are fixed and won’t move. However, it can be tricky to clean. You’ll have to replace flossing with interdental brushes and need more regular hygienist appointments to stop tartar buildup. It also only fixes the front six teeth, so if your Invisalign treatment has moved teeth further back, there’s still a chance these can relapse.

2. Removable Retainers

Sometimes called “Essix retainers”, these are similar to the Invisalign aligners, making the transition from treatment to retention easy. After your Invisalign treatment is finished, the attachments are removed and a mould of your teeth will be taken. This is sent to the lab for your retainers to be made.  They will normally arrive back within a day or two.

Until the Invisalign retainers arrive, it’s important to wear your last Invisalign tray to stop your teeth from drifting. Normally, I’d recommend wearing the removable retainer for three months after treatment completion during both the day and night time.

After this, I’d recommend lifelong nighttime wear. But check with your dentist as they may recommend a different regime based on your treatment.

3. Hawley Retainer

These are also removable retainers. They consist of wires covering the front surfaces of your teeth, clasps on the back teeth and plastic over the roof of your mouth.

They can be adjusted over time and are durable. However, the Hawley retainer is not cosmetic due to the metal on show. Therefore if you want to avoid any metal braces, these might not be right for you.

Here are the 5 steps of cleaning the Invisalign retainer with harsh chemicals in detail:

Step 1: Clean the retainer

Start by rinsing the Invisalign retainers under running water. Be sure to remove any food or other dirt that might be on them. You can do this by wiping it with a cloth, if necessary.

Step 2: Put in mouthguard case filled with bleach solution

Next you will want to put your Invisalign retainer into a container filled with diluted bleach solution. Be sure to use gloves when doing this, as bleach can irritate skin and even burn it if left on for too long. Use an old toothbrush to scrub away any stains or build-up, including any bacteria that has formed underneath your Invisalign retainer. 

Be sure not to get undiluted bleach on your retainer, as this can damage it. Always dilute bleach with water before using it on any type of jewelry or dental appliance.

Step 3: Soak in diluted ammonia solution

After you have scrubbed the Invisalign retainer with bleach, soak it in a container filled with diluted ammonia solution. This will help to remove any remaining dirt or bacteria. Again, be sure to use gloves when doing this and avoid getting undiluted ammonia on your retainer, as this can also damage it.

Step 4: Rinse and dry

Rinse the Invisalign retainer thoroughly under running water after you have soaked it in the ammonia solution. Be sure to dry it off completely before putting it back in its case.

Step 5: Store in a cool, dry place

Store your Invisalign retainer in a cool, dry place when you are not wearing it. This will help to prevent the build-up of bacteria and dirt.

Regular cleaning with harsh chemicals is an effective way to keep your Invisalign retainer clean and free of any staining or bacteria. However, it is important to take precautions when doing this, such as wearing gloves and avoiding contact with undiluted bleach or ammonia. Be sure to rinse the retainer thoroughly after using harsh chemicals and store it in a cool, dry place.​


It is important to keep the Invisalign retainer clean and sanitized. You can do this with a strong chemical cleaner, but it might be better for your teeth if you choose an antibacterial rinse instead.

If you’re looking for a less-invasive, more affordable solution to clear up your smile, clear braces could be the answer. Invisalign benefits are tremendous. Call our experienced team of prosthodontics who specialize in both children’s dentistry and adult orthodontic treatment. You’ll love how natural it feels—and we’ll love seeing your beautiful new smile soon!

Related Articles