How to Make Your Retainer Crystal Clear Again
Oral Health Blog

How to Make Your Retainer Crystal Clear Again


To restore your retainer's clarity, opt for a purple persulfate-free retainer cleaner. This solution effectively removes stains and build-up without harsh chemicals, leaving your retainer crystal clear and fresh.

In this article, we'll delve into effective methods to make your retainer clear again, tackle common issues like cloudy retainers and unpleasant odors, and provide insights into the use of retainer cleaning tablets and mouthwash.

How Do I Make My Retainer Clear Again?

Keeping your retainer clear is achievable with proper cleaning and care.

Points to consider:

  • Regularly clean your retainer with a mild dish soap and a soft toothbrush.
  • Soak your retainer in a mixture of water and white vinegar or water and baking soda for 15-20 minutes.
  • Avoid using abrasive toothpaste or harsh chemicals, as they can scratch the retainer and affect its clarity.

How Do You Clean Dirty Retainers?

Dirty retainers can be effectively cleaned with a combination of soaking and gentle brushing.

Points to consider:

  • Soak your retainer in a mild solution, such as water and vinegar or water and baking soda.
  • Gently brush the retainer using a soft toothbrush to remove debris and plaque.
  • Rinse the retainer thoroughly to ensure it's clean and free from any cleaning residue.

Do Retainer Cleaning Tablets Work?

Retainer cleaning tablets can be effective for maintaining retainer hygiene.

Points to consider:

  • Retainer cleaning tablets are designed to dissolve easily in water and help remove stains, odors, and bacteria.
  • Follow the instructions on the packaging for the recommended usage of these tablets.
  • While effective, they should not replace regular cleaning with a soft toothbrush and mild soap.

How Often Should I Use Retainer Cleaner?

The frequency of using retainer cleaner may vary, but regular cleaning is key.

Points to consider:

  • A general rule of thumb is to clean your retainer daily using a mild dish soap.
  • You can use a retainer cleaner or soaking solution once or twice a week for a deeper clean.
  • Consistency in cleaning is crucial for maintaining a clear and hygienic retainer.

How Do You Deep Clean a Retainer Overnight?

A deep overnight clean can be achieved with a water and vinegar solution.

Points to consider:

  • Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a container.
  • Place your retainer in the solution and leave it overnight.
  • In the morning, scrub the retainer gently with a soft toothbrush and rinse thoroughly.

Is It Bad to Not Clean Your Retainer?

Neglecting to clean your retainer can lead to a range of issues.

Points to consider:

  • Not cleaning your retainer allows bacteria and plaque to build up, potentially causing bad odors and oral health problems.
  • Retainers may become discolored, cloudy, or damaged over time if not properly maintained.
  • Regular cleaning is essential to ensure your retainer remains effective and free from unpleasant odors.

Why Do Retainers Get Cloudy?

Retainers can become cloudy due to a buildup of plaque and mineral deposits.

Points to consider:

  • Saliva and plaque can accumulate on the retainer, leading to cloudiness over time.
  • Regular cleaning, including soaking in a mild solution, can help prevent and remove this buildup.
  • Avoid using abrasive substances, as they can scratch the retainer and contribute to cloudiness.

Why Does My Retainer Smell When I Take It Out?

Unpleasant odors from a retainer can result from bacterial growth due to inadequate cleaning.

Points to consider:

  • Neglected cleaning allows bacteria to thrive on the retainer's surface, leading to unpleasant smells.
  • Regular cleaning and soaking in mild solutions can help eliminate odor-causing bacteria.
  • Always ensure your retainer is dry before storing it in its case.

Can I Soak My Retainer in Mouthwash?

Mouthwash can be used to soak a retainer, but it should be diluted with water.

Points to consider:

  • Create a solution by mixing equal parts water and alcohol-free mouthwash.
  • Soak your retainer for 15-20 minutes and then scrub gently with a soft toothbrush before rinsing thoroughly.

What Happens If You Leave Retainers in the Cleaner for Too Long?

Leaving retainers in a cleaning solution for an extended period can damage them.

Points to consider:

  • Excessive soaking can affect the retainer's material, causing it to become brittle or discolored.
  • Always follow the recommended soaking times provided on retainer cleaner packaging.
  • If you accidentally over-soak your retainer, inspect it for any signs of damage or changes in color.


Maintaining a clear and clean retainer is crucial for both its appearance and your oral health. Regular cleaning with mild dish soap and a soft toothbrush, as well as periodic soaking in solutions like water and vinegar, keeps your retainer fresh and clear. Retainer cleaning tablets can also be effective, but they should complement regular cleaning, not replace it. Neglecting retainer cleaning can lead to unpleasant odors and discoloration, so consistent care is essential to ensure a sparkling smile's guardian.

Are you currently using or thinking about using retainer cleaning tablets? It's important to be aware that certain cleaner brands have the potential to cause toxic reactions.

It's crucial to be aware of harmful ingredients hiding in common cleaner brands. One such persulfate, which can pose SERIOUS health risks and is found in almost all leading retainer cleaners brands. Moreover, persulfate's health risks potentially impact respiratory health and skin sensitivities in your family, especially in teens and sensitive individuals. Learn more about the risk of persulfate HERE.



The content in this article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare provider before making any changes to your health regimen. The author and publisher do not take responsibility for any consequences resulting from the information provided in this article.