Washable Incontinence Products

There are millions of people who experience bladder weakness, urinary incontinence, and urge incontinence. Extensive research has been put in place by many product brands to establish the best and most suitable products to assist in managing continence. Many of these product ranges now offer a washable incontinence option. 

Washable incontinence products can be washed and reused, and just like disposable products they draw moisture away from the body, and this will aid in reducing chafing and burning of the surrounding skin.

Reusable absorbent products are generally made up of three layers. The layer worn next to the skin may be cotton, cotton towelling or polyester, or a combination of all three. It is usually constructed to allow fluid to pass into the inner layer leaving the surface layer dry. The outer layer usually has a waterproof barrier, which protects clothing and other surfaces.

Washable incontinence products consist of body worn (pants, briefs), chair and bed protection.

Body Worn Products

These come in two basic types, those with a built in absorbent pad and those that require a separate washable pad or a disposable pad.

Body Worn Product with built in Pad

There are a wide variety of designs available with a range of sizing to suit children, adult men and women.

It is important to choose the correct size and capacity. To select correct size women should be measured around the hip and children and men around the waist.

The capacity of the built in pad can be supplemented by using a washable or disposable booster pad.

Body Worn Products using a Disposable or Washable Pad

These work in much the same way as those with a built in pad, but they allow for different designs and pad capacities to be used. They can also be useful in that the pad can be changed without needing to undress or change the pant.

Chair Pads and Bed Pads

Chair pads have a waterproof backing and can protect chairs and car seats. Urine is drawn away from the surface into the inner layer. These pads come in a range of styles, colours and patterns, they are also light, portable and convenient to use. Chair and Bed pads come in various sizes, with or without tuck-in flaps, and most have waterproof and non-slip backing.

They can be used alone or as a back up to pads and pants. Bed pads can aid in avoiding having to change and wash bedding daily. These pads are not designed for faecal incontinence, a body worn pad should be used where faecal incontinence may occur.

Some “light” products can best be described as linen protectors and are useful for very light incontinence. These products do not draw moisture away from the surface. They are particularly useful in maternity or surgical use.

Care of Washable Products

After use, first turn pad to outside, and rinse in cold water. Then warm wash using a mild detergent (Napisan is recommended). Re-usable products can be machine washed and tumble or line dried.

DO NOT use fabric softeners or bleach when laundering washable products, as they will decrease the efficiency and lifespan of the product.


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