How to Wash Your Prosthesis Safely

If you’ve just recently lost a limb, wearing a prosthesis can be a big adjustment. You’ll have to make time to master the proper cleaning of your prosthetic. Just like you should clean your body every day, you should wash your prosthesis every day as well.

Maintaining and cleaning your prosthetic safely is of paramount importance. It can prevent ancillary health problems associated with having an amputated limb and a prosthesis. It can also help you feel better about yourself knowing that your prosthetic and limb are clean and taken care of.

This article will answer FAQs and offer some tips on the proper cleaning of your prosthetic.

How often should I clean my prosthesis?

There’s no hard-and-fast rule, as weather conditions and perspiration can dictate how clean or unclean your prosthesis is. Most medical professionals recommend cleaning the prosthesis socket every day or every other day.

What’s the best time of day to clean my prosthesis?

Medical professionals recommend that you wash your prosthesis at nighttime. This is because letting the prosthesis sit out overnight allows it to dry thoroughly. Trying to wear a prosthesis that you just cleaned might cause skin swelling or skin stickiness which could lead to rubbing and irritation.

How should I clean my prosthesis?

Regularly maintaining and cleaning your prosthetic safely can prevent the buildup of sweat, dirt and bacteria. You can use a damp cloth and mild soap to clean the inside of the prosthesis. When washing it, focus on the areas that touch your skin, and don’t forget to wash the liners and any accompanying rubber pads that you may have. If you want to disinfect your prosthesis, you can use alcohol or disinfecting soap.

Is there anything I should avoid when cleaning my prosthesis?

Yes—do not totally submerge your prosthesis in water. This can lead to water damage, which can be very deleterious to your prosthesis over time. Use cloths to wipe off any soap or water, and make sure the prosthesis is completely dry when you’re done cleaning it.

Also, stay away from using any harsh chemicals on your prosthesis like acetone. This can damage the plastic portions of your prosthesis and should be avoided.

Is there anything I can do to make everyday wear more palatable?

Yes. There’s going to be an adjustment period if you’re just starting out with a prosthesis. Many new amputees perspire a lot, as they have the same amount of body heat but less skin to release and disperse said body heat. Sweating at the site of the prosthesis can be an issue at first.

Medical professionals recommend that you remove the prosthesis at various points throughout the day, so you can clean and dry the limb and the prosthesis when you first start wearing it. The perspiration should decrease over time; however, if it doesn’t, you can try applying some regular antiperspirant to your socket. Proceed with caution though, as the antiperspirant could cause irritation.

Call for your prosthesis today

Now that you know how to properly clean your prosthetic and the importance of maintaining and cleaning your prosthetics, call us at Prothotic Laboratories, Inc. in Farmingdale, NY. Our experts can draw on over 30 years of experience to help you find a viable prosthetic solution today.