Updated on February 22, 2024
3 min read

Invisalign Cleaning Crystals: What They Are & How To Use Them

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What are Invisalign Cleaning Crystals?

Invisalign cleaning crystals are the official cleaning formula for Invisalign aligners and retainers. When you mix a packet of Invisalign cleaning crystals with water, it creates a soaking solution that disinfects and freshens your aligners. 

Invisalign Cleaning Crystals for clear aligners and retainers

Use Invisalign cleaning crystals for just 15 to 30 minutes per day to:

  • Prevent bad odor or discoloration
  • Help your aligners last longer
  • Reduce the chance of plaque or gum infection

You can find Invisalign cleaning crystals online, at your local orthodontist’s office, or a dental supply store.

Straighten your teeth at a fraction of the cost. Learn about clear aligners.

How Often Should You Use Cleaning Crystals for Invisalign?

Bacteria can form on aligners overnight. These bacteria can cause a bad odor and discoloration, as well as raise your risk for plaque, gingivitis, and periodontitis. 

Just like brushing and flossing your teeth, you should clean your Invisalign aligners with cleaning crystals every day. 

How to Use Cleaning Crystals

Invisalign manufactures the cleaning crystals, which are safe for daily use. Their non-toxic materials break down plaque and bacteria and keep your aligners clean.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use Invisalign cleaning crystals:

  1. Place your aligners or retainer under room temperature running water
  2. Allow the running water to remove food debris and any excess saliva
  3. Fill a clean glass with room-temperature water
  4. Pour a packet of Invisalign cleaning crystals into the water and dissolve them by stirring or shaking them in the water
  5. Fully submerge your aligners or retainers into the cleaning solution
  6. Let the aligners soak in the solution for 15 to 30 minutes
  7. After the time is up, remove the aligners and rinse them under room temperature water
  8. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, gently brush off any remaining plaque or build-up on the aligners
  9. Rinse the aligners under warm water to wash off the solution, then wash out the glass

Repeat this routine daily to keep your aligners clean and free of bacteria or discoloration.

Find the best at-home clear aligners for mild misalignment. See our expert recommendations.

How Much Do Invisalign Cleaning Crystals Cost? 

Invisalign cleaning crystals can be found online or at any dental supply store. 

A 50-pack of Invisalign cleaning crystals retails on Amazon for around $45.

Why Do Invisalign Cleaning Crystals Smell Like Bleach?

The reason Invisalign cleaning crystals smell like bleach is that they are made of sodium-based ingredients, including:

  • Sodium sulfate
  • Sodium carbonate
  • Sodium tripolyphosphate
  • Sodium dichloroisocyanurate
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)

Despite the smell, all of these ingredients are completely non-toxic.

Straighten your teeth conveniently at home. Compare the best clear aligner brands.

Alternatives to Invisalign Cleaning Crystals

Here are some other at-home options to clean Invisalign aligners:

1. Non-Whitening Toothpaste

Take a soft-bristled toothbrush and scrub the retainers with toothpaste. Be sure to use non-whitening toothpaste, as a whitening toothpaste will discolor the aligners.

2. Hydrogen Peroxide

Fill a glass with equal parts hydrogen peroxide and warm water. Stir the two together and then soak your aligners in the solution for 15 to 30 minutes. 

Rinse and brush the aligners with a soft-bristled toothbrush afterward.

3. Denture Cleaner

Denture cleaners are effective for cleaning Invisalign clear aligners. Soak the aligners for about 15 to 30 minutes and then rinse thoroughly. 

Brush the aligners with a soft-bristled toothbrush and run them under warm water to remove residue. 

4. White Distilled Vinegar

Mix three parts of warm water with one part of white distilled vinegar. Stir the two together and then submerge the aligners. Rinse and brush them afterward.

5. Mouthwash

Soak the aligners in a glass filled with antibacterial mouthwash for 15 to 30 minutes. Then wash them with warm water. 

Be aware that colored mouthwash can stain aligners with frequent use.

6. Retainer Cleaner Solutions

Commercially available products like Retainer Brite and SonicBrite are an alternative way to clean your aligners. Soak your aligners in them for 15 to 30 minutes and then wash them with warm water.


Invisalign cleaning crystals are the official Invisalign cleaning formula for aligners and retainers. It disinfects your aligners, prevents bad odor and staining, and helps them last longer.

Mix a packet of crystals with room-temperature water to create a cleaning solution. Soak your aligners or retainer daily to keep them clean and fresh.

If you don’t want to use Invisalign cleaning crystals, you can clean your aligners with alternatives like non-whitening toothpaste, denture cleaners, and mouthwash.

What’s Next?

Discover the best fit for your smile.

Explore top at-home clear aligner brands.

Last updated on February 22, 2024
5 Sources Cited
Last updated on February 22, 2024
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
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