Can I wipe down my prosthetic leg or arm?
The short answer, ab-solu-tely! You should wipe down your prosthetic socket at a minimum of once per day, if not more. Whether you use a damp soapy towel or an Prosthetic Shower Wipe, wiping down the inside of the socket at night is an important step of a prosthetic skin care regimen. Using a prosthetic wipe in many instances is the preferable method versus showering or bathing with hot water. A hot shower or bath can dehydrate your skin and increase swelling leading to a overly tight and difficult socket fit.
Warning: Never submerge your prosthetic device or socket under water. This can cause corrosion, rust, and mechanical/microprocessor failure.
Often times we used to recommend using an antibacterial soap to clean any prosthetic limb. However, after reading 5 Reasons To Stop Using Antibacterial Soap you may want to reconsider. Many Prosthetists recommend rubbing alcohol to kill germs, however remember to allow your socket to dry thoroughly. Considering rubbing alcohol, isopropyl alcohol or denatured alcohol, is a drying agent, it may be good advice to limit how many times you use alcohol to clean the inside of your socket or prosthetic gel liners. It's almost a prosthetic industry standard to use a flexible inner socket, especially for above knee amputees. Apply rubbing alcohol or even worse bleach to deodorize or remove discolorations from flexible inner sockets can cause premature breakdown of the material.
Warning: Do not use compressed air, the same stuff used to clean computer keyboards, on your prosthesis, especially on prosthetic knee and hip components.