How to Remove Contact Lenses

Many people swear by contact lenses to improve their vision, but removing them can be a bit of a tricky dance if you don’t know the moves. While your eye doctor can show you the proper technique during your fitting, there’s always time for a quick refresher.

Wash your hands thoroughly before removing your contact lenses. Use a pinch-and-slide motion to carefully pull the lenses away from your eyes before storing them in a sterile case.

Putting in and taking out contacts can feel daunting if you’re just getting started. But with practice comes skill, and before long, you may find it becomes second nature. Whether wearing daily disposables or specialty lenses, wearing contacts takes a steady hand.


Whether you’re putting contact lenses in or taking them out, there are some steps you should take to set yourself up for success.

  • Begin by washing your hands with unscented soap and water to make sure they’re clean and free from any debris or bacteria. Rinse well and dry with a lint-free towel. This step is crucial in keeping your eyes safe and healthy.

  • Choose a well-lit, clean area to comfortably insert and remove your lenses. A bathroom mirror or a vanity table can be perfect. The clear, bright light will help you see what you’re doing, making the process smoother.

  • Before you put your lenses in, give them a quick inspection. This applies to lenses coming out of the case or new contacts coming out of the blister pack. Make sure the lens is clean, undamaged, and right-side out. A soft contact lens right-side out will look like a bowl with straight edges, whereas an inside-out lens will flare at the edges.


Any good contact lens removal begins with wearing the contacts—that means you have to put them in. The first time you do this, it can feel weird. Even the tenth time, you could still feel like you’re about to poke yourself in the eye!

Take a deep breath, and let’s go through the steps of inserting contact lenses together:

  • Place the lens on the tip of your dominant hand’s index finger. Use your other hand to firmly open your upper eyelid, making sure that your eyelashes are out of the way. With the hand holding the lens, use the middle finger to pull down your lower eyelid.

  • Gently place the lens on the lower part of your eye. Some find it easier to look upward as they do so. However, it is best to try and look directly at the contact for a proper fit. 

  • Once the lens is in place, slowly release your eyelids and blink a few times to center it. You may also want to massage your closed eyelid lightly to help the lens settle.

  • After successfully inserting the first lens, repeat the steps for your other eye. Each eye might feel slightly different during insertion, and that’s okay! Your eyes should grow accustomed to the sensation of contact lenses.

Once your lens is in, look around to make sure your vision is clear and the lens feels comfortable. If it feels uncomfortable, your lens might not be positioned correctly. Remove it, inspect for any damage or debris, and try again.


Preparing your lens case before you remove your lenses may be a good idea. Always use fresh solution, as “topping off” your solution can lead to eye infections. If you wear daily disposables, cleaning is as easy as throwing the lenses out. However, don’t toss contacts down the drain or into the toilet!

Follow the same steps of washing your hands and setting up an area as you would when inserting contacts. If you are wearing bi-weekly or monthly lenses that you plan to store and use again, you should lay a towel down on the surface in front of you in case you drop the contact. If you remove them above a sink, place the towel above the drain so you don’t lose them. With that done, let’s get into the steps of removing contacts:

  • Use the middle finger of your dominant hand to gently pull down your lower eyelid. Keep your head straight and look up as far as comfortably possible. Imagine your rolling your eyes into the back of your head.

  • If you’re having trouble avoiding blinking, you may use the middle finger of your other hand to hold up the upper lid.

  • Carefully pinch the lens with the pads of your dominant hand’s index finger and thumb. Don’t fold or pinch the lens more than necessary.

  • Slowly and carefully lift the lens off your eye. You may have trouble feeling the contact between your fingers, but you’ll probably feel it coming off your eye. It’s like taking your shoes off after a long day.

  • Store or dispose of your contacts depending on what type they are. Feel free to celebrate a little, then do the same with the next eye.


If you’re rocking soft daily disposables, simply toss them after use. But if your lenses have more staying power, like bi-weekly or monthly lenses, you have a bit more work ahead of you.

For that spa-like cleaning, wash your hands and put one lens in your palm, bowl facing up. Sprinkle a few drops of multi-purpose solution on it. Then, gently give your lens a mini massage with your fingertip in a circular motion for about 20 seconds. Repeat on other lens. This helps whisk away little particles or build-up on the lens.

Give your lenses a thorough rinse with the solution and tuck them into a lens case filled with fresh solution. For a bonus tip, remember to replace your lens case every 3 months!


Removing your lenses doesn’t have to be scary. Doing it properly can reduce the risk of complications and help you enjoy all the benefits of contacts! If you are still struggling with either interesting or removing your contact lenses, reach out to your optometrist for help.

To learn more about the comfort and convenience of contact lenses, book a comprehensive eye exam and contact lens fitting with Eye Rx. There’s a world of clear vision for you to experience! We can’t wait to see you.

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