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Photo by Martha Dominguez de Gouveia on Unsplash

The Correct Way to Safely and Hygienically Clean a Bariatric Bed

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Bariatric beds are great for overweight individuals or those requiring the rehabilitation therapist to be on the bed. They are designed to provide comfort and stability for both the patient and the caretaker. Considering the patient spends most of their day in it and caregivers handle it each day, proper cleaning of the bed is the only way to prevent the spread of infectious disease and cross-contamination.

Even with strict disinfection procedures, the bed and mattress must be cleaned regularly. If you’re taking care of someone who uses this type of bed, you might want to learn a few tricks on how to clean it. From start to end, we take you through all the steps of the correct way to safely and hygienically clean a bariatric bed. 

First Step: Preparation 

Before cleaning the bed, you should equip yourself with PPE (personal protective equipment) . This should include gloves and potentially a surgical mask and long-sleeved gown. Proper PPE will protect you from coming in touch with germs and bacteria. 

Next, prepare the bariatric bed by raising it and pulling it out of the wall to facilitate the cleaning. If the bed is electric, make sure to unplug the power cord. Then, remove the sheets, making sure they are not stirred to minimize dispersing microorganisms into the air, and then carefully place them in the laundry or a laundry bag.

Second Step: Cleaning

The recommended practice to clean the bariatric bed hygienically is to wash the surface with water and mild detergent and then rinse it. Make sure to avoid harsh solvents or scrubbing pads. Also, keep in mind that you should never submerge bed parts or use water jets to clean the bed.  

Use the mixture to wipe down the bars, framework, and bed mattress. When choosing a bariatric bed, make sure to choose a mattress that is easily washable and has a stain-resistant and waterproof cover. Start by cleaning the upper sections and working toward the bed’s lower sections. This practice will prevent the spreading of microorganisms. Clean the wheels last. 

Additionally, remove the mattress to wipe the metalwork and other areas under it. Finally, ensure that no residual water is left behind on the upholstery or framework as it can permanently damage the bed.  

Third Step: Disinfection

The next step is to disinfect the bed. Proper disinfection methods are a must in preventing the spread of germs. Use a pH-approved disinfectant to kill microscopic germs and break up sweat stains. Stay away from products containing bleach as it can damage the mattress fibers. 

Gently mist the mattress surface, framework, bars, and bed panels, and then absorb it with a damp cloth. Use a soft bristle brush to remove difficult spots or stains. It’s recommended that the patient not use the bed for an hour after cleaning to ensure it’s properly dried. 

Special Areas to Pay Attention To

To clean a bariatric bed hygienically, you should pay attention to high-touch areas. You should focus more on the side rails, pendants, and patient controls. Additionally, you should thoroughly clean the headboard and footboard. 

Furthermore, you should take extra care to clean areas that might entrap dirt or dust. Finally, don’t forget to clean the accessories like the lifting pole and handsets with special care. These areas are highly exposed, and it’s recommended that you clean them daily. 

Final Step: Disinfection of Bed Sheets

Cleaning the bariatric bed isn’t complete if you don’t take proper care of the bedsheets. Ideally, you’ll want to wash the sheets at least once a week to keep the bedding free from bacteria, dust, and allergens. 

Once you put the sheets in the washer, set it on the hottest setting the fabric can handle. It’s recommended to use bleach-safe bedsheets to wash them with disinfecting bleach which can safely remove protein stains like bodily fluids and oils. 

Dry the sheets in a dryer on a high setting or let them air out in direct sunlight. High heat will act as a natural disinfectant. 

Bariatric Bed
Photo by Martha Dominguez de Gouveia on Unsplash

The Takeaway

A bariatric bed can be a great asset for overweight individuals and those in post-operative recovery. Regular cleaning will ensure the patient feels good while minimizing the risk of spreading infectious diseases from contaminated surfaces. To ensure you stay safe during the process, follow all the steps of cleaning a bariatric bed safely and hygienically that we outlined for you. 

Featured Photo by Martha Dominguez de Gouveia on Unsplash