Having a clean liner, prosthesis and prosthetic socks is very important for many reasons, but the main reason is to avoid future infections or issues with your limb. This is especially true in the summer since lots of sweating occurs, a clean socket and socks are a must. Here are some tips on how to keep your all your prosthetic gear clean.
First of all, always clean the gel liner daily. The inside of the gel liner is in constant contact with your skin. Because of this constant contact, you’ll want to make sure your gel liner is kept clean to prevent health issues and make your liner last longer. Cleaning the liner is a simple process and can be done by following these steps:
- Remove the liner from the prosthesis.
- Spot clean the outside of the liner if needed and turn the liner inside out.
- Wash the gel section of the liner with anti-bacterial soap and warm water.
- Fully rinse the soap off of the liner and dry it with a clean cloth.
- Finally, turn the liner right side out and store it for future use.
Another thing to wash daily is your prosthetics socks or sheaths, just like any other sock or undergarment. Wearing a prosthesis sock or sheath for more than a day can cause the sock to quickly wear out and may pose a health risk. You’ll want to make sure that you are washing your prosthetic socks on a daily basis and are always wearing a fresh one. A few things to know – If your sock becomes soaked with perspiration, you should change it as soon as possible. Washing a sock will help keep it clean and restore it to its intended shape. Always follow washing instructions provided by the manufacturer to maximize the life of the sock and sheath.
Although daily cleaning isn’t necessary for your socket due to not actually coming in direct contact with your skin, keeping it clean is still very important. Cleaning the socket will keep your artificial limb functioning properly and can help reduce unnecessary wear. Here are some steps to completely clean the inside of the prosthetic socket.
- Clean the inside socket at least once a week with soap and warm water.
- Lightly spray the socket with an alcohol-based cleaner and then wipe the socket dry.
- Make sure to keep any locking or pin mechanisms clean and free of obstructions.
Always be careful when cleaning your prosthesis. Your prosthesis may have certain parts that could be damaged, broken or otherwise ruined during a cleaning. Electrical components, mechanical devices and certain models of prosthesis can all be damaged by water or corrosive cleaning agents. Always talk with your prosthetist to learn more about how to safely clean your unique prosthesis.
Let’s be honest, bodies stink! It doesn’t matter if you have legs or if you don’t, our daily movements generate sweat and it smells, sometimes badly! Let’s help each other by always washing our socks, cleaning our sockets and gel liners. We aren’t just helping our neighbors, but also helping to keep skin free from infection and increasing the life of our prosthetic gear! It’s a win-win!