Cleaning A Bedside Commode


Tips and strategies for cleaning a bedside commode and keeping it free from viruses and bacteria.


If you are unable to use a standard toilet due to FOP limiting your mobility, you may choose to use a bedside commode instead. Bedside commodes are convenient to have when you are having a flare and it is difficult to comfortably make it to the bathroom. However, because these portable toilets are often positioned very close to your bed, it is important to clean them very thoroughly to prevent viruses and bacteria spreading to your bed and surrounding areas.

Occupational Therapist Lindsay DeLong of “EQUIPMEOT” has a great video with tips and strategies for using and keeping a commode clean.  Watch her video and see a summary of her tips below:


  1. If your commode has a lid, keep it on at all times to prevent the spread of odors. If your commode does not have a lid, consider purchasing a replacement bucket and lid that will fit your commode. Contacting the manufacturer is usually the easiest way to find out if replacement parts are available.
  2. If your commode seat has a soft seat cushion, the seams where the vinyl is sewn together will tend to collect more bacteria. Make sure you clean the seat and seams more rigorously to make sure you eliminate all contaminates.
  3.  If you are not using a liner in the bucket, keep the bucket 1/3 full with water. This will keep the odors down and make it easier to empty and clean out bowel movements. Do not use cleaning solutions in the water for deodorizing as this can splash up during use and be harmful to the skin. A few drops of essential oils in the bucket water could be added but the water alone will help reduce odors.
  4. Have a sprayer hose attached to your toilet to make it easier for your caregiver to empty and rinse out the bucket in the toilet.
  5. To clean, use a solution of diluted bleach: 1/3 cup of bleach per 1 gallon of warm water.
  6. Wherever your commode is located, it is smart to use a material underneath the commode to protect your flooring, even if you have tile or hardwood floors. Tile and hardwood floors still have grout lines and cracks between the wood planks that can accumulate bacteria and be harder to clean. Examples of easy-to-clean materials for under the commode include a small vinyl or plastic tablecloth, a highchair spill mat or a firm desk chair mat.
  7.  If it is difficult for your caregiver to empty and clean the commode bucket, consider using a commode liner with either an absorbant pad or a urine solidifier in the bottom. The liner is then simply removed and sealed and disposed of in the trash.