7 Best Retainer Cleaner of 2020 Reviews | Effective and Hassle-Free Cleaning Options

You are finally done with your invisible braces or braces for adults and moved onto wearing a retainer to seal the deal of aligning your teeth and keep them that way. The problem with retainers is that they have lots of nooks and crannies that collect bacteria and plaque. Rinsing them with water won’t help get rid of this build-up, and they’ll eventually lose their shine and give you bad breath. So, instead of wearing them all day, you’ll be inclined to remove them, giving nature a golden chance to win the fight and move your teeth back to their original positions. That’s why you need the best retainer cleaner, and I’m here to help you find it. I’ve tried many products, and these are my favorites. You can also check the top-rated toothbrushes for braces, in case you stick with them, or look into our toothpaste for sensitive teeth reviews, if your teeth sensitivity bothers you. 

3 Top Retainer Cleaners

1. [Best Overall] Smile Again 

Smile Again is a powder retainer cleaner that comes with 22 packets that can last you six months. The reason I think it’s the best retainer cleaner out there is that no matter what stain your appliance has, Smile Again is capable of removing it and returning your retainer as good as new. 

4.9/5

  • Effective against stubborn stains
  • Each packet can be reused for 7-10 days
  • Effective against bacterial infections

2. [Best For The Money] Fancymay

Looking for an effective solution to keep your smile pearly white without emptying your pockets? Fancymay is the cheapest retainer cleaning tablets on this list. Yet, being the most economic doesn’t mean it compromises anything. 

4.8/5

  • Works in 15 minutes
  • Suitable for clear retainers and wire retainers
  • Tablets dissolve quickly

3. [Best For The Easy Use] M3 Naturals 

M3 naturals is a trusted and relatively popular brand that offers top-quality products at give-away prices, and this retainer cleaner is no exception. Coming in the shape of tablets, this retainer cleaner is super easy to use. It works even faster than Fancymay.

4.7/5

  • Gets rid of morning breath and foul odors
  • Compatible with both plastic and metal retainers
  • Gets the job done in 10 minutes 

Reliable & Quality Retainer Cleaner - How to Choose

My experience with cleaning retainers has been quite long. I’ve tried lots of methods before, most of which have failed to give me the result I desire. That’s besides being time- and energy-consuming. And thus, I deduced that the best way to clean retainers is by using a dedicated retainer cleaner which provides as many benefits as does the best natural toothpaste for my teeth. But before we jump to the reviews, here are a few tips you should know to make the right choice. 

1. Make Sure It's Compatible With Your Retainers

Generally, there are two types of removable retainers: plastic and metal.

A plastic retainer, also known as a clear retainer, is the most commonly used type since it's transparent and doesn't attract much attention to your teeth. Although it looks better, it's less durable, so it needs to be handled with care. On the other hand, a metal retainer is more robust and withstands harsh cleaning methods.

Usually, people use either denture or retainer cleaners to clean their retainers. You’ll find that nearly all retainer cleaners are compatible with both types. However, other cleaners, like denture cleaner tablets, can be harsh on plastic retainers since they’re too abrasive and end up scratching them. 

A metal retainer can handle this type of cleaners. My advice is always to check the labels and see if it specifies it can’t be used with a particular type.

Best Retainer Cleaner Reviews 

[Best Overall]


4.9/5

Smile Again is a powder retainer cleaner that comes with 22 packets that can last you six months. The reason I think it’s the best retainer cleaner out there is that no matter what stain your appliance has, Smile Again is capable of removing it and returning your retainer as good as new. 

The product uses a super-strong, non-chlorinated formula with mint flavor that dissolves and removes calcium plaques, calculus, and mineral deposits. It’s also a powerful disinfectant as many dentists recommend it against candida infection.

Features:

  • Non-chlorinated solution for both types of retainers

  • Effective against stubborn stains

  • Each packet can be reused for 7-10 days

  • Effective against bacterial infections 

  • Breath stays fresh longer

If you’re a coffee lover or like to have a couple of drinks during the day without removing your retainer, you’ll like Smile Again. You won’t even need to use a sonic cleaner, as it removes stains of nicotine, wine, tea, and coffee like a dream. 

Not only is it safe for both metal and plastic retainers, but it’s also safe for your mouth, as it doesn’t contain harsh chemicals that cause blisters, burns, and sores. However, it’s not persulfate-free, so it’s not suitable for people who are allergic to it. 

Although it’s the most expensive cleaner on my list, it’s economical. After the powder is dissolved in some water, you can reuse this solution for up to 10 days. Some people may think it’s not something pleasant to reuse the same solution. However, it stays clear and smells good for days, so that won’t be an issue.

I won’t say it’s the best choice for travelers because once it’s dissolved, you’ll have to walk around with a bottle full of liquid instead of a small sachet. But, it’s the best for home use. 

Pros

  • Half a year supply
  • Compatible with metal and plastic retainers
  • Delicate for sensitive teeth

Cons

  • Not-persulfate free
  • Costs more than other options

[Best For The Money]

2. Fancymay 


4.8/5

Looking for an effective solution to keep your smile pearly white without emptying your pockets? Fancymay is the cheapest retainer cleaning tablets on this list. Yet, being the most economic doesn’t mean it compromises anything. 

Features:

  • Works in 15 minutes
  • Suitable for clear retainers and wire retainers
  • Tablets dissolve quickly
  • Keeps your retainer clean and odorless throughout the day
  • Extends the lifespan of your retainer if used daily

The box includes 120 tablets in sealed packages, which can cover you for four months. The tablets are fast, effective, and easy to use. All you have to do is drop the tablet along with the retainer in a cup of water before you shower or prepare for bed. After 15 minutes, the retainer will be clean, shiny, and ready for you to wear.

While some tablet cleaners take ages to dissolve, Fancymay tablets dissolve in an instant. The solution contains high-grade ingredients that are neither irritating to the mouth nor damaging to the retainer. I've used these tablets with metal as well as plastic retainers, and both came out clear without a hint of dullness or damage.

The cleaner is super-effective with its 360-degree cleaning capabilities that remove stains and foul odor. I especially like the mint flavor of this product as it feels genuine and doesn’t leave that ugly chemical aftertaste in your mouth. 

All in all, the product is excellent and worth every penny, though it’s a bit weaker than Smile Again. Sometimes it requires some scrubbing to remove hard plaques and stains. Moreover, it contains persulfate, so it’s not suitable for everyone. 

Pros

  • Comes at a competitive price
  • 4-month supply
  • Prevents retainer discoloration
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Contains persulfate
  • Hard stains require some scrubbing

[Best For The Easy Use]


4.7/5

M3 naturals is a trusted and relatively popular brand that offers top-quality products at give-away prices, and this retainer cleaner is no exception. 

Features:

  • Destroys germs and bacteria
  • Prevents plaque build-up and remove discoloration
  • Gets rid of morning breath and foul odors
  • Compatible with both plastic and metal retainers
  • Gets the job done in 10 minutes 

Coming in the shape of tablets, this retainer cleaner is super easy to use. It works even faster than Fancymay. Just immerse it in warm water and let it dissolve. Then, add the retainer and leave it to soak for 10 minutes. It’ll come out clean and clear without residues or discoloration. 

Like Fancymay, the box contains 120 tablets, so it’ll last you four months if you use it daily. I specifically recommend this cleaner for people looking for a powerful disinfectant as well as an effective cleaner. It has antibacterial capabilities and is proven to kill 99% of harmful mouth bacteria.

Just like on your teeth, the plaque and bacteria build-up on the surface of your retainer is what causes the bad smell you may experience. With such power, this product eliminates foul odors and keeps every corner of your retainer healthy and bacteria-free.

Usually, retainers get dull and lose their clarity after a couple of months. However, with M3 Naturals, your retainer will remain as good as the day you brought it home. Although it’s not persulfate-free, it’s one of the safest cleaners for sensitive teeth. Moreover, it can be used with either metal or plastic retainers. 

If there’s one thing I’d complain about is that sometimes hard tobacco and tea stains don’t come out as quickly as expected, so I have to leave my retainer in the solution overnight. However, it’s not a deal-breaker since the cleaner’s advantages clearly outweigh its disadvantages.

Pros

  • Powerful disinfectant and cleaner
  • Works fast
  • Easy to use
  • 4-month supply

Cons

  • Not persulfate-free
  • Stubborn stains require soaking overnight


4.7/5

Out of all the retainer cleaners I’ve used, Retainer Brite is always my choice while traveling. Each tablet is wrapped individually in a sealed packet to keep it fresh and protected from moisture. Instead of moving around with the entire box, you can store some tablets in your backpack and never worry about them getting spoiled.

Features:

  • Individually wrapped tablets in sealed packages
  • Kills 99% of odor-causing bacteria
  • Removes cloudy film
  • Keeps the retainer transparent
  • Works in 15 minutes

However, that’s not the only advantage. The package includes 120 tablets, which means you won’t need to buy another one for four months. Like any tablet cleaner, you need to dissolve it in water and soak the retainer for 15 minutes.

While most cleaners demand the water to be warm, Retainer Brite works as effectively in cold water. This is a useful feature since sometimes warm water can be the cause your retainer is turning yellow.

The antibacterial solution removes germs and plaques from the grooves of your appliance. Moreover, it eliminates the cloudy film that accumulates on the retainer due to tartar and mineral precipitation on the material. 

However, be aware, as the formula contains persulfate, which might cause you inflammatory reactions if you’re allergic to the substance.

Some would say these tablets give better results if used in an ultrasonic cleaner, but I find that they clean my retainer and remove odors perfectly without the machine. Moreover, they’re compatible with both metal and plastic retainers, though they’re not recommended for artificial teeth and partial dentures. 

I just hope it didn’t leave that chemical taste in the mouth. However, you can get rid of it if you wash the retainer thoroughly before wearing it.

Pros

  • Best for traveling
  • Perfect for daily use
  • Dissolves in cold water

Cons

  • The flavor is more chemical than minty
  • Contains persulfate


4.6/5

Here’s a different option if you’re not into using powders or tablets. WhiteFoam On-the-Go is a spray retainer cleaner that uses a low-dose hydrogen peroxide formula that kills odor-causing germs and mouth bacteria like Escherichia coli, Streptococcus mutans, and Staphylococcus aureus. 

Features:

  • Best for daytime use
  • Prevents tooth decay and foul odors
  • Contains teeth whitening powder
  • Works while you’re wearing your retainer
  • Persulfate-free formula

Each bottle contains 50 milliliters of foam. This supply will last you only a month since you’ll need to clean your retainers at least 3-4 times with it. 

It's essential that you know how to clean retainers with sprays as they’re quite different from tablets. Unlike tablets and powders, there is no need for soaking or rinsing. You won’t even need to take off the retainer for long. 

All you have to do is apply 1/2 to one full pump of the spray to the tray, then spread it with your finger to cover all the retainer areas. After you’re done, put it on and split out the excess foam.  

This whole procedure won’t take more than two minutes. That’s why it’s the best cleaner to use while in your office or on the go. It’ll refresh your breath, keep your retainer clean, and protect your teeth from decay due to the build-up of plaque.

Besides hydrogen peroxide, the solution contains teeth whitening powder to keep your smile bright. Moreover, it’s free from persulfate, making it safe for everyone.

Overall, the product is a no-brainer, and it comes at a reasonable price too. Nevertheless, it works with clear retainers only, so you might want to consider another choice if you use a metal appliance.

Pros

  • Affordable for a spray cleaner
  • Safe for everyone
  • Whitening and cleaning formula
  • Works in less than two minutes

Cons

  • Lasts only a month
  • Not for metal retainers

6. Avistar  


4.4/5

If you’re looking for the most cost-effective option, then Avistar tablet retainer cleaner is about to make your day. Instead of the 120-tablet package provided by most brands, Avistar offers 150 tablets in one box and at a price that’s not too much higher than Fancymay. 

Features:

  • Lasts nearly half a year
  • 150 tablets instead of 120
  • Stain remover, cleaner, and whitener
  • Compatible with plastic and metal appliances
  • The best to fight bad breath for a longer time

Personally, I like the fact that I can buy a package and forget about getting a new one for five months, which is quite a long time. The cleaner works as a powerful disinfectant, stain remover, and whitener at the same time. It removes bad odor and eliminates any traces of plaques and tartar. 

Each of the tablets is individually wrapped in a crumble-resistant packet that’s completely sealed so that you can use them while traveling. It takes the pill 15 minutes to dissolve and clean the retain entirely, whether it’s metal or plastic.  

The solution leaves the retainer fresh and seems to fight bad breath for a long time. The minty flavor on this cleaner is one of my favorites. It feels like it contains natural peppermint oil, not just an artificial flavor. 

Similar to M3 Naturals, it’s not sufficiently powerful against harsh stains, so you might need to leave your retainer soaking overnight. Furthermore, it contains persulfate and artificial colorings, so it would be better to check the ingredients if you’re aware you’re allergic to some chemicals.

Pros

  • Long-lasting supply
  • Cost-effective
  • Gives a fresh minty breath
  • Works fast 

Cons

  • Contains persulfate and artificial colorings


4.3/5

The last product on my recommendation list is the tablet cleaner from Dental Duty. The box comes with a four-month supply of 120 tablets that work in 15-20 minutes and can clean even the worst of stains. Sometimes, you’ll need a brush to scrub afterward, but that’s only if the stains have been there for days and became more stubborn.

Features:

  • 120 tablets enough for four months
  • Works in 15-20 minutes
  • Effective antibacterial and stain remover
  • Safe for both metal and plastic appliances
  • Minimizes retainer visibility

Performance-wise, Dental Duty is nearly as effective as my top choice. The only difference is that it takes some time to dissolve, but it removes all plaques, films, tartar, and odor on the retainer once it does.

If you’re worried about your retainer looking old and losing its transparency, Dental Duty will restore its clarity and give it a natural look. The formula kills the bacteria that cause foul mouth odor and freshen the breath with its minty flavor.

It’s also safe for both types of retainers, and although it contains persulfate, it doesn’t cause any irritation, provided that you’re not allergic to the chemical.

Pros

  • Powerful cleaner
  • Best value for the money
  • Minty aftertaste
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Not persulfate-free
  • Sometimes leaves a slight blue tinge on clear retainers

2. Pick a Type Based on Convenience

There are many types of effective retainer cleaners as long as you know how to use them. Here are the options:

  • Tablets and powders: The most common and easiest-to-use types. All you have to do is mix the tablet or powder with water and leave the retainer to soak for 15 minutes. This type is also the most travel-friendly since it comes in small sachets that you can store in your backpack and use while on the go.

  • Spray: A less common but faster type since it doesn’t require rinsing. Just spray the retainer and wait for a couple of minutes. Then, scrub it lightly with a toothbrush and rinse it. Although it’s faster, it’s not preferred by people who travel frequently since you’ll have to carry many items.

  • Paste: This type works the same way as toothpaste but has a less abrasive effect on the retainer. Like spray cleansers, it works fast but takes a lot of space in your bag.

  • Wipes: The most favored type by travelers since it occupies the least space and doesn’t require much work. However, it’s not as effective in removing the white stuff from the nooks of your retainer as the others. 

3. Avoid Persulfates When Possible

Persulfate is a chemical that's present in most denture and retainer cleaners. It's an oxidizing agent that kills bacteria like a ninja. However, with that kind of power also come adverse effects in some cases. The chemical is so strong that some people are allergic to it.

Unfortunately, you can be allergic to it, but you just don’t know yet. If you use a cleaner and notice symptoms like gum tenderness, irritation, and hive-like bumps, then you’re allergic to persulfate. Since it’s better to be safe than sorry, always choose persulfate-free retainer cleaners if possible.