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How to Use a Bedside Commode: Usage, Cleaning & More

By kbeveridge

How to Use a Bedside Commode

A bedside commode is a device that people with reduced mobility can use instead of going to the toilet in their bathroom. It is an easy-to-use and easy-to-access device that you can place beside the bed. That way, you don’t have to make a lot of physical effort every time you want to go.

In today’s guide, we’ll teach you how to use a bedside commode. You’ll also learn what these devices are and how to clean them properly.

What Is a Bedside Commode?

Best Bedside Commode for Adults

A bedside commode is a device that you can place beside your bed for easier access when using the toilet. This product is similar to a chair, but it has a plastic pail to hold the waste until it is time for cleaning.

You can find them in different models and types. For instance, the standard version is comfortable and easy to use. It has a set of armrests that can make sitting and standing up a lot easier. There are also bariatric commodes, which have excellent weight capacity without compromising the portability of the device.

How to Use a Bedside Commode: Step-by-Step

Bedside commodes are not challenging to use or set up because they are designed to help people with reduced mobility. Most bedside commodes work similarly, so you only need to know the basics of how they work.

Get the Necessary Supplies

The first thing you need to do is to get all the necessary supplies you’ll need to use the bedside commode. The supplies you’ll need will depend on whether you’ll use the commode yourself or you’ll help someone else use the commode.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Wipes or toilet paper
  • A container with warm water
  • Soap
  • Washcloth
  • A towel

Additionally, you can get a pair of disposable gloves, especially if you are helping someone else use the commode.

Using the Commode

  1. 1
    When it comes to using a commode, safety is an essential aspect. That’s why, before using it or helping anyone to use it, you should ensure that it is properly locked so that it won’t move.
  2. 2
    Now, it is time to check the plastic pail. It should be clean and properly placed on the chair.
  3. 3
    If possible, put some water in the pail. That way, it will be easier to clean after you’ve used it.
  4. 4
    Use the armrests to help you sit.
  5. 5
    Ensure that someone near can help you if you cannot stand up after using the commode. Also, if you are helping someone using it, remain with the person through the entire process.

After Use

  1. 1
    If you need help, ask someone to lend you a hand through the cleaning process.
  2. 2
    Remember to always disinfect your hands, especially after helping someone use the commode.
  3. 3
    Use the armrests to get up or ask someone to help you get back into the bed.
  4. 4
    Always clean the commode right after it's been used.

Here’s a video if you want a more visual guide on how to use a bedside commode:

How to Clean a Bedside Commode

Cleaning a commode can be challenging, mainly because the entire process requires being close to human waste. However, it is an essential part of home care. If you do not do it right, it can create an unhygienic and harmful environment.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. 1
    Put on a pair of disposable gloves.
  2. 2
    Remove the pail. Do it carefully to avoid dropping any waste on the floor or yourself.
  3. 3
    Take the pail to the bathroom and pour the waste inside the toilet. Ensure that it is empty before going onto the next step.
  4. 4
    Take the pail to the bathroom and pour the waste inside the toilet. Ensure that it is empty before going onto the next step.
  5. 5
    Put the pail back in the commode chair.

Tip: You can also use a face mask to avoid direct contact with the smell. Additionally, remember to dispose of the gloves right after finishing the cleaning process.

Here’s a video if you want a more visual guide on how to clean a commode chair:

Bedside Commode Odor Control - How to Reduce Odor?

The best thing you can do to reduce bedside commode odor is to be careful with the cleaning process. For instance, you should clean not only the pail of the commode but also the entire device at least three or more times a week. That way, you can prevent bacteria responsible for the odor from growing and spreading.

You should also keep good airflow in the bedroom to prevent the odor from attaching to couches, beds, or curtains. Additionally, you should clean around the area where the commode is at least once a week. It means cleaning the floor regularly, as well as washing and changing the sheet of the bed.

There’s also the option to use a disposable liner to reduce the smell of the waste. This option can be a bit expensive in the long term. Still, it can be beneficial, especially if there’s no airflow inside the room.

Here is a video of how to use disposable liners to reduce odor:

Where to Buy Bedside Commode Replacement Parts

  • Amazon: Amazon is the most popular global website for selling and buying products. Many of the most popular and reliable commode chair manufacturers like Medline and Carex have online stores on Amazon's website.
  • Preferred Health Choice: Preferred Health Choice is another platform you can use to find replacement parts for your bedside commode chair. It sells replacement parts of the most popular medical equipment products.
  • Avacare Medical: Avacare medical is another online platform that specializes in selling high-quality medical equipment. You can also find replacement parts of commode chairs and other devices.

You can also find the replacement parts directly with the manufacturer. So, you can try Invacare's or Drive Medical’s website.


Bedside commodes can be extremely helpful for seniors or people with reduced mobility. Still, they can be tricky to have in an enclosed room. Suppose you don’t clean them correctly and consistently. In that case, you risk making the bedroom stink or spreading bacteria that could endanger your health.

Overall, ensure that the commode is clean and disinfected. Also, do not forget to lock the chair in place to avoid unwanted movements and accidents.

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