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

  1. Rag(s) or towel(s)

  2. Warm water

  3. Mild soap (non-irritating body soap)

  4. Mild detergent

  5. Rubbing alcohol





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:

  1. Turn your liner inside out

  2. Take a towel and wet it with warm soapy water

  3. Using the towel gently clean the inside of your liner

  4. Then you can use a dry towel to gently pat the liner dry

  5. Roll your liner so the inner gel is back on the inside

  6. 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:

  1. Turn your liner inside out

  2. Take a towel and dip it in a rubbing alcohol solution

  3. Gently clean your liner using the towel

  4. Wash off the rubbing alcohol solution with warm water

  5. If you have sensitive skin it is recommended that you then clean your liner with another towel that has been dipped in a mixture of mild soap and warm water similar to your daily clean

  6. You can then use this towel with mild soap and water to gently clean the liner

  7. Rinse off the liner with warm water

  8. Roll your liner so the inner gel is back on the inside

  9. Then hang your liner over night to dry


There are several products that you can use to hang your liner up over night. Some that we like are:

  • My Liner Buddy - this product is great if you have a liner with a pin

  • Liner Drying Stand - there are many different brands and types of liner drying stands. The link for this strand is one of the more affordable options.








How to Clean Your Socket








Your socket is the part of your prosthesis that you place your residual limb in. It is created to custom fit your limb for a comfortable and snug fit. Sockets are typically made out of a special plastic that is lightweight but durable. You do not need to fully submerge your socket to get it clean and this may damage some of the components on your socket over time. You can use warm water, soap, and a towel to scrub your socket clean. Make sure to clean the outside and inside of your socket thoroughly. You can either allow the socket to dry overnight if you clean it before bed or you can dry it off with another towel. If you are going to dry your socket off with a towel make sure it is completely dry before you put it back on so that you are not trapping water inside of your socket. This can cause bacteria to build up and skin irritation.



What about the rest of your prosthesis?