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Cleaning the Prosthesis 

Jennifer Latham Robinson

Any material worn against human skin should be cleaned on a regular basis.  Prosthetic liners, socks and prosthetic sockets pick up bacteria and dead skin cells, which can irritate the residual limb.  Self-maintenance is crucial for any prosthetic wearer.  Here are some tips on keeping prosthetic supplies clean and wearable:

  • To clean a prosthetic socket, wipe the inside of the socket with a damp soapy cloth. Be sure to use a gentle soap.  The cloth should only be mildly damp, so that excess water does not permeate the prosthetic components.  After this has dried, apply rubbing alcohol to a paper towel and wipe the inside of the socket thoroughly.  This is an excellent way to disinfect a socket.  Make sure that the alcohol has fully evaporated prior to wearing the prosthesis.  This is best done at night, so that the prosthesis can fully dry overnight.  If the alcohol does not thoroughly dry, it can irritate the skin.
  • Hand wash silicone liners with gentle soap and water.  Rinse thoroughly.  Allow the liner to dry naturally overnight.  Ideally, a second liner could be worn while the first is set to dry.
  • Hand-wash prosthetic socks in cool water and gentle soap.  Let the socks air-dry.
  • If the prosthetic foot shell becomes dirty or stained, try using Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser. 
  • If a prosthetic protective skin cover becomes dirty or stained, gently wipe with a damp cloth and dry carefully.  
  • Remember, keeping prosthetic components clean reduces foul odors and reduces skin-irritating bacteria.  This type of maintenance will preserve the condition of the prosthetic components and help avoid premature wear and tear.

       More on Cleaning Silicone Liners

  • Remove the liner & turn the liner inside out.   Hand-clean the inner portion of the liner using a mild soap.
  • Rinse the liner well to remove soap residue.
  • Dry the liner gently with a towel, in a patting motion.
  • Turn the liner right side out again and hang on a drying stand, or lie on a counter.

Clean and inspect the residual limb every night.



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