Cleaning yourself after going to the toilet

To clean yourself after going to the toilet and reach between your legs, you need to be able to:

  • Balance on the toilet (which may be difficult if, for example, you have a high level amputation)
  • Adjust your position and twist around on the toilet (which may be difficult if you have a stiff spine)
  • Have good control of your wrist and hands

You may be able to get to the toilet but be unable to clean yourself because of poor hand control or difficulty with twisting around (Continence Product Advisor, 2018). A bottom wiper may help; they have a long angled or flexible stem with a handle at one end and something to grip the toilet paper at the other. There are a variety of methods of releasing the toilet paper from the wiper after use, so it’s worth checking this out before purchasing, particularly if you have reduced hand dexterity. Bottom wipers are a relatively low cost and light weight product and can be taken with you when away from home (Continence Product Advisor, 2018).

View DLF's impartial list of bottom wipers

If you have difficulty with toilet paper then you may find certain toilet roll holders helpful. Toilet roll holders are available that are designed to enable one handed roll change and/or one handed unroll and tear.

View DLF's impartial list of toilet roll holders

If you still feel you are not clean after wiping, you may find some moist toilet tissues (but not baby wipes, which cannot be flushed) helpful. Many people find that doing an additional wipe with moist toilet tissues helps optimise their toilet hygiene.

Alternatively, you may choose to install a powered bidet on an existing toilet (if it is compatible) or a new toilet with integral wash and dry facilities. These may assist a person to toilet independently or allow a carer to assist without providing intimate care. Check the weight limit as they vary considerably. Some models can be wall mounted so they can be mounted at a height to suit you and there is more clearance under the bowl. These features may be particularly advantageous if you are using the bidet from a wheelchair, mobile toilet chair or commode or if you have difficulty getting on and off the toilet (Continence Product Advisor, 2018). Alternatively a wall-mounted non powered bidet also has clearance under the bowl and can be installed at a range of heights but lacks the powered wash and dry facilities.

View DLF's impartial list of powered bidets

View DLF's impartial list of non powered bidets

View DLF's impartial list of toilets with integral wash and dry facility

When considering toileting equipment, an individual assessment with an occupational therapist may be appropriate. Your safety is very important and there may be individual factors which determine what equipment is most suitable. The information on this site is not a substitute for individual assessment. It is always advisable to try equipment out before purchasing anything -equipment demonstration centre's in the UK may have a range of toilets available to try. Contact your local centre for more information.

The equipment listed here may be provided by your local authority, depending on their eligibility criteria. If you are eligible, the equipment may be provided on a long-term loan basis or via a direct payment from your local authority to purchase something suitable. Alternatively, these toilets are sometimes provided through a Disabled Facilities Grant (subject to your local council's eligibility criteria). However, if you are arranging funding and installation of one of these toilets privately, be sure to use a reputable supplier and plumber.

Advice last checked: 01 February 2018 Next check due: 01 February 2021

All advice is either supported by references (cited in the text) or is based upon peer reviewed professional opinion. Our advice is impartial and not influenced by sponsors or product suppliers listed on the site.
Conflict of interest statement