When you help someone up a hill, you get that much closer to the top yourself. -Anonymous
Question #45220 posted on 05/24/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is the nasty white gunk that keeps appearing inside my retainer case and how do I get rid of it?


A: Dear sleepy ~

Probably the same white gunk that keeps appearing on the inside of my travel toothbrush holder. How do you get rid of it? Wash it.

~ Dragon Lady
A: Dear Zzzzz,

The "nasty white gunk" is a result of calcium deposits in your saliva. You can find higher-end retainer cleaners online (like SonicBrite), but why use those when you can use common househoud items? I once read somewhere that vinegar and water worked to clean retainers and their cases, so last night I tried it out.

Use 1/2 C water and 1/2 white vinegar for your retainer. In your case (literally), place a paper towel soaked with the solution in your container and let it sit overnight. When you wake up, give it a quick rinse and it should be as good as new! I had to scrub my retainer with my toothbrush to get rid of the extra residue, but now it gleams.