How to Clean a Retainer

Masses of white build up that only seem to grow day by day, a horrid smell, impossible stuck on hardened slime, this may sound like something out of a horror movie, but really it is just a mouth retainer. You know, that pain in the neck mouth piece that is usually worn after getting your braces removed. These things seem nearly impossible to clean, only making the problem worse every day it is put off. Cleaning it everyday from the beginning would solve this problem, but since this is unlikely due to laziness (it’s true, even I did not want to take the minute to clean my retainer every time I took it out), a few tips can ensure that all that saliva build up will be gone for good, or until the next time you decide not to clean it for 3 months.

Brush that Retainer!

Using an ordinary toothbrush and tooth paste will do a fine job at cleaning the retainer. A normal toothbrush can work, but an electric one is recommended. Don’t push too hard though, retainers are sensitive and not cheap to replace. This can cause a small build up to occur if it is not properly rinsed, but it will keep it clean and free of germs hence being a pretty decent method, and handy since you already have a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Denture Cleaner

Yes, denture cleaner will do wonders on a dirty retainer. Denture tablets, hot water, and a long soak will get rid of that nasty build up. This can also be used in conjunction with brushing the retainer, especially if there is some toothpaste residue on it. You might be weird looks at the store as to why your buying denture cleaner, but it does a good job, and you can always say its for your grandma if you don’t feel like explaining the situation.

Vinegar is Great for Everything

Vinegar can be used around the house for just about anything, so it will work for retainers as well. Mix equal parts vinegar to equal parts water and let the retainer soak. It might need a good rinse after this unless you enjoy the taste of vinegar. This cleans it and should loosen up a lot of the residue and build up on the retainer. Once again, this can be used along with the brushing.

Having a retainer does not have to be a gross, unhappy experience. Daily cleaning is a must, but for those slackers out there these options should work quite well to clean those retainers.

Betsy Cline

Betsy Cline has been a professional house cleaner for 15 years and also a mother of 4 amazing kids (who make lots of messes). She is the founder of How to Clean It and loves to share tips and advice for cleaning up anything life throws at you.

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