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How to Use a Tub Transfer Bench: Quick & Easy Guide

By kbeveridge

Tub transfer benches (also called shower benches) are helpful devices that can make the bathing process safer for patients and caregivers. They tend to be steady, reliable, and capable of withstanding much weight, even on wet surfaces.

In today’s guide, we’ll outline the features of tub transfer benches and what their benefits are. You’ll also learn how to use a tub transfer bench, how they work, and what’s the best way to keep them clean.

What Is a Tub Transfer Bench?

A transfer bench, or tub transfer bench, is a device designed to help people bathe more safely. It is beneficial for people with reduced mobility, vision loss, and caregivers.

The purpose of this bench is to provide a safe way to get in and out of the bathtub. It is also a good option for caregivers as it can make the bathing process a lot safer for them and the patients. Another way transfer benches can help is by providing a place to sit while in the shower.

How Does a Tub Transfer Bench Work?

A tub transfer bench or shower bench works by providing steady support for the patients inside the bathroom. The seat is long and has rubber grips to prevent unwanted movement, even on wet floors. One part of the bench is secured in the shower or bathtub, and the other part attaches outside the shower or bathtub.

Instead of lifting their legs, patients just sit on the part of the bench outside of the bath. Then, all they need to do is slide in to get to the other section.

It is also a good way for caregivers to transfer the patient from a wheelchair or commode to the shower or bath.

How to Use a Tub Transfer Bench? (A Step-by-Step Guide)

A tub transfer bench can make the process of washing a patient a lot easier and safer, but only if you know how to use it correctly. You should always place the device securely, ensuring that it won’t move while you use it.

Here’s what you should do:

  1. 1
    The first thing to do is to ensure that the bench is secured to the floor and won’t move while using it.
  2. 2
    Make sure that the bench is set to the right height for you and the patient.
  3. 3
    Help the patient sit on the side of the bench that is slightly outside the bathtub or shower.
  4. 4
    If the patient has the strength to slide in, let him do it. If not, help him slide inside the bathtub.

Note: To avoid skin damage when the patient slides in, you can place a towel over the surface of the bench. It can help reduce the friction between the skin and the molded plastic seat.

Here’s a video that can guide you through the process:

How to Adjust a Bathtub Transfer Bench

You can adjust the height of most transfer benches or tub transfer benches. All you need to do is find the adjusting mechanism of the legs. Once you locate it, you can use it to increase or decrease the height of the bench. Do not forget to adjust all four legs to the size that you want.

Note: You should always ensure that the tub transfer bench is level with the floor. It should feel like a flat surface to work correctly.

How to Protect Floor from Water Using a Tub Transfer Bench

The best way to protect your floor from getting wet while using a tub transfer bench is to get a set of shower curtains. You can place the curtains around the seat to create a shield from the water. That way, you can easily help a patient or a loved one bathe without worrying about wet floors.

Here’s a video if you require a more visual guide:

How to Clean a Tub Transfer Bench (Step-by-Step)

The best thing you can do to clean a tub transfer bench is to find a good plastic surface cleaner. Bacteria and mold will stick to the legs, but the most challenging part of the bench to clean is the surface.


Find the Cleaning Manual

The cleaning manual of these devices usually comes with the user’s manual. You can also try looking for it on the brand’s website. Although, you should know that not all manufacturers offer one.

If you do have a cleaning manual, all you need to do is follow it. However, if you don’t, you should continue to the next step.


Find Out What the Bench Is Made Of

Knowing what materials are part of your tub bench will give you an idea of how to clean it properly. For instance, most of these devices are made of some sort of molded plastic and aluminum.

Once you know what the bench is made of, you can find the right products to clean the materials.


Cleaning and Disinfecting

You can use a bit of bleach diluted in water for the steel or aluminum part of the bench. Apply the mix with a sponge, and don’t forget to wear gloves to protect your hands. Alternatively, you can find a cleaner that is specifically made to clean those two materials.

For the plastic part of the bench, you should use something mild like soap and water. Or you can find a molded plastic cleaner. Clean the plastic part with a cloth, a brush, a lot of water, and a mild detergent.



Scum forms on the bench because it doesn’t have the time to dry between uses. To avoid this from happening after cleaning it, ensure that it is completely dry. You can open a window to help if you need extra ventilation.


Tub transfer benches are essential tools that you can use to help a patient or a loved one get in the shower or bath. They are not tricky devices to use, but they require knowledge of how to assemble and disinfect them.

Overall, you should always ensure that your tub transfer bench is secured to the floor and clean.

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