Prosthetic Cleaning Guide
Shrinkers and socks and liners OH MY! We are here to help you manage cleaning all of the parts and items you will use with your prosthetic device. This blog post will talk you through the steps of cleaning and maintaining these items. How often should you clean these items? Everyday! It is important to keep up with the cleaning and maintenance of your device, liners, and socks to reduce the amount of build-up on your prosthesis and reduce your risk of getting irritated skin.
What You Will Need
Rag(s) or towel(s)
Mild soap (non-irritating body soap)
How to Clean Your Shrinker
You will be wearing your shrinker almost full-time following your amputation as it is helping reshape your residual limb to best fit your prosthesis. For more information about the purpose of the shrinker, you can check out our shrinker blog post here. The best way to clean your shrinker is by hand using your detergent or mild soap and warm water. You can fully submerge the shrinker in water and use your hands to gently clean the material. Then you can hang your shrinker up overnight to let it dry by the morning.
How to Clean Your Prosthetic Socks
Prosthetic socks are used over your liner to help maintain an appropriate fit of your prosthesis throughout the day. Similar to your shrinker you can clean your prosthetic sock by hand with warm water and soap. Some brands of prosthetic socks recommend that you place them in your washer on a cold and gentle setting. You can then let the sock air-dry overnight.
How to Clean Your Liner
Your liner is placed directly on your skin to create a comfortable barrier between you and your prosthesis as well as help keep your residual limb in the socket. At our office we typically provide liners that have either a silicone or thermoplastic polymer elastomer (TPE) layer on the inside. You can get a buildup of skin cells, sweat, and debris from wearing your liner daily so it is important that you clean the inside and outside of your liner.
Steps to clean your liner daily:
Turn your liner inside out
Take a towel and wet it with warm soapy water
Using the towel gently clean the inside of your liner
Then you can use a dry towel to gently pat the liner dry
Roll your liner so the inner gel is back on the inside
Then hang your liner up over night to allow for it to fully dry
It is also recommended that you provide a more thorough clean of your liner about once a week! For this you will also need to use rubbing alcohol. The rubbing alcohol can reduce the risk of bacteria and fungus building up in your liner.
Steps to deep clean your liner weekly:
Turn your liner inside out