I am wearing contact lenses on a daily basis. Many times, when outdoors, I cannot put in my contact lenses (because of limited time or just no sterile conditions).

Is there any cleaner I could safely use to quickly clean my hands before putting contact in?

  • 1
    I agree with Russell - great question. I wear contacts as well, and when trekking in Nepal I struggled with a hygienic way of cleaning. For that month I did okay with a quick hand wash with soap, followed by hand sanitizer, but I can't really recommend that method.
    – Greg.Ley
    Mar 13, 2012 at 17:36
  • 5
    To avoid the question, look into extended wear contacts. They are doing amazing things with porous contacts now. I use a 1 month never-take-out brand (that I stretch for 6 months by cleaning between trips.)
    – Lost
    Mar 14, 2012 at 17:07
  • @LBell, I think your comment is the best answer here! Monthly contacts are great, and I am not aware of any disadvantages to them. Just new technology at the same price :)
    – Vorac
    Mar 6, 2013 at 14:32

1 Answer 1


I would recommend taking a small container of rubbing alcohol and some cotton balls, as described for cleaning yourself here. Plain old rubbing alcohol kills everything, and is not sticky like an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. A bottle like this one ought to do you pretty well. It should even fit in your pocket so you don't have to go fishing around through your gear to find it when you need it.

If you want something that's pre-made, I've found a couple of threads on hiking forums that recommend carrying around a small container of baby wipes to clean your hands before handling contacts. I would probably shy away from these due to the residue they tend to leave behind (not to mention the smell!).

Also, as @Russell suggested, you'll probably want to have a small bottle of contact solution to rinse your hands off with afterward-- just in case. A travel size bottle might be nice for that.

  • 7
    Having put in contacts, I'd also say enough contact solution to rinse your fingers off with just in case. Alcohol + contacts + eyes = omfg that hurts :P Mar 14, 2012 at 2:48
  • 2
    Also note that that answer says rubbing alcohol. Hand sanitizer is not the same as rubbing alcohol. Hand sanitizer may have a much lower percentage of alcohol and thus would be less effective. Apr 6, 2016 at 14:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.