How To Clean & Care For Your Bedside Commode Article Cover Art for the How to Age in Place Blog from AskSAMIE. Pictured is a commode next to a bed.

How To Clean & Care For Your Bedside Commode

Maintaining a clean and hygienic bedside commode is essential for the health and safety of its user. But it's also really important for keeping the commode and the room from smelling badly. It's important to make sure that all surfaces are properly disinfected, waste and liners disposed of correctly, and any toilet seat covers replaced regularly. This article is a comprehensive guide on how to properly clean and care for a bedside commode to keep it (and the room) in the best condition possible!

We'll discuss:

  • what supplies are needed
  • how to disinfect and sanitize the commode
  • how to dispose of waste and liners safely
  • wiping down and drying surfaces of the bedside commode

Following these steps has worked for us and should help make sure that your bedside commode is kept in a clean and hygienic condition.

Bedside Commode Cleaning Care 

Emilia Bourland Higher Caregiver Standards Training demonstrating how to use a bedside commode over the toilet

To keep a commode clean, there are a few key steps starting with gathering the necessary supplies, including:

  • protective gloves
  • cleaning cloths or sponges
  • disinfectant or sanitizing solution
  • any other items you may consider, like a toilet cleaning brush

Once you have all the supplies ready, let's get the area prepped. Remove any objects that could be damaged by water or cleaning solutions from your pathway from the commode to the toilet. The closer you can move the bedside commode to the toilet the better, so we've got less risk of drips and spills. Also put it in a position that allows you to easily access all surfaces so they can be wiped down and disinfected properly.

Finally, remove any liners or disposable items that you're using. Liners should be disposed of in an appropriate container outside the home if possible.


Hot Tip: Leaving a little water with bleach or disenfectant in the bucket between uses keeps the commode from smelling bad and makes it easier to empty the commode without leaving a lot that needs to be wiped out!

Disinfecting and Sanitizing the Bedside Commode

Now that we're set up, let's get to cleaning. First choose a disinfectant spray that will effectively kill germs without damaging the material of the commode. Most commodes are made of hard, durable plastics and metals, so most disinfectants are safe. But if the commode seat happens to be cushioned, just make sure you are using a safe cleaner so you aren't damaging the plastic liner, which can crack, leaving space for bacteria to hide in the foam.


Once you have your chosen product, liberally apply it to all surfaces of the bedside commode. That includes armrests, handles, or any other area that may have come into contact with bodily fluids or waste. Next, allow the spray to remain on these surfaces for at least 10 minutes before wiping them down with a damp cloth or paper towel soaked in warm water. This will make sure all germs are properly eradicated.


When using your disinfectant spray, it's vital to adhere to directions regarding how much should be used per square foot - too little can result in microorganisms surviving the cleaning; too much could lead to damage of materials such as plastic or paintwork. Additionally, some disinfectants can cause skin irritation, so protect yourself and wear gloves when applying them.


Properly Disposing of Waste and Liners 

Hot tip: If the thought of cleaning the commode is turning your stomach, I recommend using commode liners. Then everything is contained in a bag you can easily dispose of.


If you choose to use liners, they also should be disposed of properly after each use. Remove them from the bedside commode carefully. This can be done by first loosening any straps or ties used to secure the liner to the frame of the commode. Then tie them closed or place in another plastic bag you can seal before putting them in an appropriate trash container for disposal.


bedside commode liners shown inside a bedside commode with a person's glove hands fastening it.

Finally, once all waste has been disposed of correctly in a sealed container, hopefully outside the home, then you can proceed with cleaning and sanitizing as indicated above.


Wiping Down and Drying Surfaces of the Bedside Commode


Wiping down and drying surfaces of a bedside commode periodically is an important step in keeping it clean and hygienic. Keeping disinfectant wipes near the commode gives the visual cue to wipe down the high-touch areas often even if you're not ready to do a full clean of the commode. After cleaning, it's essential to let the wet surfaces dry completely to prevent potential bacteria growth.


It's also important to regularly check that all areas around the bedside commode are free from any dirt or debris that can accumulate over time. This includes checking under the seat and around edges where dust could easily settle.

Replacing Toilet Seat Covers, if Used


Toilet seat covers can help protect the user from germs and bacteria that may be present on the commode surface. It's important to use a new cover each time the commode is used, as reusing a cover could transfer bacteria and other contaminants. Often a bedside commode is only being used by one person, so covers aren't as important.


But if you decide to, there are a couple of options. There are disposable paper covers which are designed for single-use only, as well as more durable plastic covers which can be easily wiped down with a disinfectant after each use. It's also important to make sure that the cover fits securely onto the commode and isn't loose or sagging.


Finally, if cleaning and storing toilet seat covers for future use, these should be washed with hot water and soap before being air-dried or dried with a clean cloth. Plastic covers should also be regularly wiped down with an appropriate disinfectant cleaner such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide solution to kill off any germs that may have built up over time. By following these steps, you can be sure that their bedside commode remains hygienic and safe for use at all times.


In Summary

Congratulations! You just learned how to properly clean and care for a bedside commode to keep it (and the room) in the best condition possible!

We reviewed

  • what supplies are needed
  • how to disinfect and sanitize the commode
  • how to dispose of waste and liners safely
  • wiping down and drying surfaces of the bedside commode
Incontinence icon from

Following these steps and hot tips has worked for us and our clients, so we're happy to share them with you. If you'd like more caregiving hints and solutions to daily problems, use our free On Demand Assessment. Answer a few questions about the problems you're dealing with and we'll provide tailored solutions - instantly!

Back to blog

Brandy Archie, OTD, OTR/L, CLIPP

Dr. Archie received her doctorate in occupational therapy from Creighton University. She is a certified Living in Place Professional with past certifications in low vision therapy, brain injury and driving rehabilitation.  Dr. Archie has over 15 years of experience in home health and elder focused practice settings which led her to start AskSAMIE, a curated marketplace to make aging in place possible for anyone, anywhere! Answer some questions about the problems the person is having and then a personalized cart of adaptive equipment and resources is provided.

She's a wife, mother of 3 and a die-hard Kansas City Chiefs fan! Connect with her on Linked In or by email anytime.

Want more helpful articles?

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter with helpful hints for caring for a loved one, new problem solving products and discounts on services you need!