Why do we recommend cleaning invisible aligners with liquid dish soap?

Posted by Jill Zimmerman at

On our newest On-The-Mirror Guide, Invisible Aligner Care & Cautions™, we recommend keeping aligners clean by "thoroughly brushing once a day with dish liquid" for several reasons:

  1. Dish soap is non-abrasive. Many toothpastes contain abrasive ingredients for stain removal and whitening that are too harsh for aligners. Just like with eyeglasses, scratches make the material opaque.
  2. Dish soap is inexpensive. Since it works just as well as products specifically meant for clear aligners, why not use it? A plus is that some versions have antimicrobial properties.
  3. Dish soap is convenient. Recommending a product that people already have around the house helps make compliance that much easier. 

To help keep that soapy taste from getting in patients' mouths, remind them to rinse aligners thoroughly after each cleaning. You may also recommend patients use a designated brush for aligner care  - not the same one they use to brush their teeth. 

As with all of our On-The-Mirror Guides, the goal is to make compliance easier for your patients, which yields better overall treatment results!


2017 update to this post:
Dish liquid is a safe option for cleaning aligners, however we understand some practices may wish to recommend other methods. The text on our most recent printing of Invisible Aligner Care & Cautions now states:

"Keep aligners clean and odor free by thoroughly bushing once a day with a soft toothbrush and dish liquid. (Or, your doctor's recommendation.)"


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