Tips for Handling Odor Issues with Prosthetic Liners

Life with a prosthesis presents its own unique set of challenges. Beyond the obvious problems, there’s the ongoing maintenance of your prosthetic, its liners and your residual limb. Wearing a prosthesis with a liner can cause sweating in addition to the accumulation of dirt and bacteria.

Life would be much easier if you could learn how to get rid of odor in prosthetic liners. This article will offer some tips to help you with that.

Here’s how to eliminate odor from your prosthetics.


Before we get into specific tips, it’s worth noting that not every amputee’s body or situation is the same. What works for one person might not work for someone else and vice versa. It might take a few different tries for you to find something that definitively works for you, so keep experimenting until you find a solution to eliminate odor from your prosthetics.

Proper skin hygiene

The root cause of prosthetic liner odor is often the reaction that occurs between the amputee’s skin and the liner; therefore, the cleaner the underlying skin is, the less chance there is for a strong, stinky smell. You should be washing your residual limb with a gentle, scentless cleanser that doesn’t contain any abrasive chemicals. Dry the skin completely when done; you can finish with a skin moisturizer designed to battle fungal and bacterial infections.

Rotate liners

Having more than one liner can be immensely helpful. This is because you can clean the liner or liners you aren’t currently wearing and have them ready to go for the next day. It also prevents excessive buildup of sweat, dirt and debris if you’re not wearing the same liner all the time.

Body wash

Many amputees take their liners into the shower with them and clean them with their own body wash that they use for their skin. This can work because you already know that your skin won’t react negatively to the body wash, and you can ideally create a uniform scent profile. Just make sure to avoid body washes that contain scrubs or beads, as these could harm the liner’s material.

Mild dishwashing soap

The favored dishwashing soap among prosthetists is Dawn, the bottle of blue liquid with the baby duckling on it. It works because it’s strong enough to remove debris and odor-causing bacteria but not so harsh that it will damage the liner. Put a little bit on your skin first to make sure you won’t negatively react to it.

Prosthetic cleanser

Luckily, there are several specifically-designed prosthetic cleansers that are meant to be used on liners made from synthetic materials like urethane, silicone or gel. You’ll want to check with your prosthetist and the manufacturer of your liner to make sure the cleanser is compatible, and do a skin test first to make sure it won’t irritate your skin.

Call for your prosthetic liner today

Knowing how to get rid of odors within prosthetic liners can lead to an improved quality of life for amputees. With these tips, hopefully you’ll be able to eliminate odors from your prosthetics. If you need new liners or want to discuss prosthetics, call us at Prothotic Laboratories, Inc. For decades, we’ve been the premier source of prosthetics in the Farmingdale, NY area, and our team has helped improve the lives of patients of all ages and conditions.