Daily Living

Squeaky clean – a guide to disability washing aids

Many people who develop disabilities worry about personal hygiene.  Luckily there are a growing number of disability washing aids available to help you retain your independence.  This post introduces some of the disability bathroom aids available.

Hair washing

If you have problems with your upper body strength or flexibility, washing your hair may be very difficult. There are some options available that may help.

One option is to use no rinse shampoo.  You apply this to your hair, massage it to a lather and then dry your hair.  There is no need to rinse it off, so it’s ideal if can’t easily access a shower or other running water.

No rinse shampoo is also available in a shampoo cap version.  You warm the cap in a microwave before use, so it feels nice and warm (this is optional), then place the cap over your hair and massage until your hair feels saturated with the product.  You then just throw away the cap and style your hair as normal.

This is probably an expensive option for everyday use, but useful if you’re temporarily bed-bound, or away from home without access to your usual facilities.

If reaching your hair is a problem, then it is possible to get a gadget with a long handle, specifically for washing hair. This helps you to massage your scalp and make sure your hair gets a good wash (and condition) without you having to raise your arms too far.

If you cannot access (or don’t have) shower facilities, and struggle to wash your hair in the bath, there are a couple of aids that may help.

Portable showers and basins

The first is a portable shower.  This can be hung on a bed post, or a pole, or anywhere with a hook, and used to help with washing hair or other bathing needs.

A portable shower is useful when you can’t get into the main shower

The portable shower can be used with an inflatable shampoo basin, which is designed to be used when you’re bed-bound.  It’s provides support for your head and shoulders and has a drainage hose for easy emptying when you have finished.

An inflatable basin is a useful bathroom alternative for disabled or elderly people with limited movement


Once you’re safely in the bath or shower, you want to be able to reach all parts of your body, and make sure you’re nicely scrubbed.

This can be easier said than done if you can’t move as you’d like too.  But there are aids available to help you reach all the nooks and crannies!

This include bath sponges, brushes and lotion dispensers with long handles.  There are a variety of options, such as angled and bendable handles.  And a variety of ends, including sponge, net, sheepskin, flannel, loofah and foam.  Find a good range by clicking this link.

Washing your feet

Washing your feet can be really difficult if you cannot easily reach them. But there are also aids to make this easier.  Options include toe-washers, which have a long, bendable handle, with a thin pad on the end, to reach in between your toes.

There ae also various foot cleaners which attach to the bottom of your bath or shower via suction pads.  You simply put your foot on them and move it around so that the sole of your foot gets a good scrub.

A foot washer can be a great help if you aren’t able to wash your feet independently
These small aids are inexpensive, but make it so much easier to feel clean all over.  Most bathroom aids can be purchased without VAT in the UK, if you have a long-term condition that affects your daily living skills. 
For more information about what is available, see our posts on bathroom safety aids; baths and bathing; showering; and toilets and basins.

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