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How to Remove Protein Deposits from Contacts Lenses?

Contact lenses are meant to provide crystal clear vision but soon after a few wears they start to become hazy. Contact Lenses are coated with protein that transfers from your tear film if you did not rinse it after each wear. There are several solutions available in the pharmacy on how to remove protein deposits and lipid buildup from contacts in order to maintain crisp vision. Although it could be daunting at first to select a contact lens care regimen, talking with your doctor significantly helps.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Why and How protein build-up?

Why and How protein build-up from contacts?
  • Lens calculi, also known as jelly bumps or mulberry spots. It’s composed of lipid, protein and calcium that raised circular bumps to penetrate the front surface of the contact lens. It is usually caused by improper lens handling.
  • Potential Debris like makeup and hair products can fall into the eye and coat the contact lens with a substance that may cause blurry vision.
  • Iron deposits Such deposits are round and brown-to-orange in color, it may be a consequence of lens wearers rinsing or storing their lenses with tap water.
  • Fungal deposits usually occur when wearer store multiple pairs of lenses (e.g colored lenses) together or exceeded the recommended periods of time in solution.
  • Environmental Debris like makeup and hair products can fall into the eye and coat the contact lens with a substance that may cause blurry vision.

Being in a windy or with a lot of air conditioning environment will also cause your eyes to dry out constantly too. Your eyes will begin to tear to lubricate. Situations like this will leave residue on the lens and contribute to protein buildup on the lens.

How to remove protein buildup from contacts

How to remove protein deposits from contacts?
  • Enzymatic cleaner is for removing protein from your contacts and you only do it on a weekly basis. Use the tablets with saline solution or disinfecting solution (multipurpose or hydrogen peroxide), as directed. Always clean and rinse your contacts with other products before using an enzymatic cleaner
  • Daily disposable lenses can be the solution for contact lens users who have continued problems with protein buildup. The longer lenses have used, the risk of protein buildup and infection to the cornea that damage eye tissue is higher.
  • Eye drops (in this case it must be lubricating eye drops) can clean your contacts and prevent protein build-up by lubricating the eyes, but constant strain and wind can still cause blockages.

Using eye drops daily are vital to maintaining your contacts, but to keep your eyes healthy and maintaining good vision, you also need to clean your contact lenses with saline.

What is the Best Solution to Remove Protein Buildup From Contacts?

Multi-Purpose Solution

Multi-purpose solution is a one bottle ‘no-rub’ cleaning regimen that replaces cleaning and rinsing solutions. As mentioned by name it helps to remove debris by breaking down protein & lipid. It does not only clean & rinse your contact lenses but also fight against bacterial accumulation.

However, a multi-purpose solution contains preservatives which is sometimes not very friendly to some patients. They are advised to use hydrogen peroxide solution as it is preservative-free.

Hydrogen Peroxide Solution

The hydrogen peroxide solution is used to clean, rinse & disinfect contact lenses but it is not a one-step process. Never put your lenses directly in your eyes as this chemical can cause serious burns and injuries to your cornea. It requires a neutralizing process to make your lenses wearable again.

Hydrogen Peroxide Neutralising case for contact lenses

Hydrogen peroxide often comes with a special case featuring a neutralizer basket. It contains a built-in disc that breakdown hydrogen peroxide molecules into water and oxygen making it safe for you to wear contacts. With other cases, you may need neutralising tablets which further add a step to your daily cleansing routine.

Saline Solution

Saline solution is a solution of distilled water and salt. It safely rinses and stores your lenses but can neither clean your lenses from protein buildup nor disinfect them from bacterial contamination. It is best to follow with other solutions to disinfect your contact lenses to keep it hydrated.

What are the Different Cleaning Devices to remove protein from Contact Lenses?

Cleaning devices rinse and disinfect contact lenses. There are a variety of devices available, each engineered slightly different and have often more to offer than the other. They make use of ultrasonic sound waves or subsonic agitation where disinfection occurs by multi-purpose contact lens solution or ultraviolet light.

3N Cleaner for Contact Lenses

Run on batteries, some of the cleaning devices create an abrasive reaction and produce sound during the disinfection process. There are also slightly expensive devices that make no sound and comparatively clean contact lenses more effectively.

As per studies, it is suggested that ultrasonic waves impact the lens structure adversely hence reduces the life span of contacts. Cleaning machine like 3N cleaner shall be the best device to remove protein from contacts. It runs on a method It effectively removes impurities of all kinds and protein debris within 30 seconds. It makes no noise & helps protect your contact lenses from damage.

Contacts Cleaning Devices Comparison
Contacts Cleaning Devices Comparison


It can be serious damage to your eyes if you did not take care of your eyes or the lens carefully. Changing the contact lens, remove protein buildup or even care regimen is not enough to ward off deposits. Blurred vision and spots in your field of vision could mean anything, so it’s best to get a doctor’s opinion on the matter.

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