Body Wash Options For Bedridden Patients

By: Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

Using the right body wash for bedridden seniors will leave them clean and refreshed. Let the senior choose the scent and application method they prefer for the best experience.

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It’s no secret that medical innovations have resulted in more and more people finding themselves in frail and aged care facilities as time goes on. Many of these people will be spending their Golden Years’ bedridden, either as a result of physical disability or conditions such as Dementias and Alzheimer’s.

This provides challenges to caregivers, including professional nursing staff and in many instances the family members who are caring for the person with limited mobility and therefore special needs.

Traditional Bathing Options May No Longer Be An Option

One of the most challenging aspects of caring for those who are bedridden is maintaining adequate levels of hygiene – including the necessity for washing those who may find the idea of a traditional bath or shower frightening, or may indeed be simply unable to make use of the usual facilities – even with assistance.

For these patients, the correct body wash that can be used in bed can make a significant contribution to their physical wellbeing and their quality of life.

RELATED: Shower Options for Disabled Adults

No Rinse Body Washes Clean AND Moisturize

One of the most effective ways to ensure that proper hygiene and an acceptable level of cleanliness are maintained is through the use of no-rinse body wash. These types of body wash provide an alternative to traditional bathing and are ideal for those who are disabled or infirm.

However, it is not only cleanliness that makes no-rinse body wash an attractive option for those with limited mobility. While normal over the counter soaps can dry out skin, no-rinse alternatives can act as a moisturizer.

These products are also suitable for those with sensitive skin or allergies to some of the chemicals used in traditional soaps.

Best No Rinse Body Washes for the Bedridden

There are tons of product choices for bathing in bed. Based on my research, here are some of the best options:

This body wash is delivered from the bottle in the form of an easily spreadable foam application. It is enriched with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E, making it ideal for use by elderly patients with dry skin. It is mild and can be sued on sensitive body parts without discomfort. A simple wipe down with a soft towel is all that is required to complete the washing process.

It boasts a subtle tangerine smell (which will not irritate the nasal passages as other, stronger smelling applications might), which is not only pleasing but can serve to mask body scent. It is supplied in packs of three, providing excellent value for money.


This body wash is simple to apply. It requires only that a washcloth be used to encourage lathering. It is also alcohol-free, which avoids drying out the skin and makes it suitable for use on sensitive areas. In addition, it moisturizes and helps maintain the body’s natural ph balance.

The smell has been compared to baby oil and can be extremely soothing. A small percentage of users do find the smell irritating, but diluting the solution can solve this problem. Many users enjoy the fact that this body wash does not leave a sticky residue.


This no-rinse body wash is packed to the brim with natural, organic ingredients (98% plant-based ingredients) that help maintain healthy skin. Extracts of avocado and aloe vera leaf help keep the skin smooth and supple – and will not strip away the natural oils that help keep skin healthy.

This product has built a great reputation with caregivers who use it for newborn care – and is therefore ideal for use on the delicate skin of elderly patients.

It’s also easy to apply and will not cause the discomfort that can sometimes accompany the use of other no-rinse products that require rubbing to be effective.

All that is required is to gently apply the subtly scented Hypoallergenic lotion and pat dry.


This product doubles up as a no-rinse body wash, as well as a shampoo (many other products do not recommend use as a shampoo).

It is extremely mild and has been formulated to avoid skin irritation. The fresh scent of Aloe Vera is revitalizing and the majority of users find it extremely relaxing.

This no-rinse body wash and shampoo is suitable for all areas of the body. The pump-action container which delivers the foam application is also extremely easy to use and avoids both wastage and mess.


This no-rinse body was is perfect for use on those who are bedridden due to the fact that it is both pH balanced and contains a moisturizing agent that keeps the skin healthy and supple. It also does not contain alcohol which can dry out the skin and make using it on more sensitive body parts uncomfortable.

This is another one of those products that can be used as both a body wash and shampoo – and the conditioning agents it contains have been developed to nourish both skin and hair.

The fragrance is very light – and is suitable for use on both men and women, avoiding the floral scents that many men find unacceptable. It also does an excellent job of masking scent – which can be useful where the patient suffers from incontinence.

It also offers excellent value for money and is used in many care facilities.


This is an excellent choice to maintain both healthy skin and total body hygiene. The antimicrobial agents ensure that bacterial growth is kept in check and that germs that may be present on the skin are eliminated. This also has the effect of controlling unpleasant odor that may be caused by the presence of bacteria on the skin.

The product is extremely gentle on the skin and is also hypoallergenic and pH balanced which makes it ideal for use on sensitive skins and also for use on the entire body. The highly effective moisturizer is also perfect for the elderly patient who has delicate skin that is prone to breaking.

The very mild fragrance of the body wash makes it an attractive option for those who have a very low tolerance for more heavily fragranced options.

The product is supplied in packs of 24 small bottles which are ideal for those who are visiting family members in a care facility and wish to bring a body-wash along with them – these pump action bottles can easily fit in a handbag.

How Give Bed Baths with Body Wash

Curious how body washes should be used for bed baths? Here is a great video that walks you through the process of a bed bath including the use of no rinse body wash.

Wrapping Up

There are numerous different brands of body wash on the market that have been specifically formulated for bedridden patients. There are others that are aimed at the infant market but also offer an excellent alternative.

The key to finding the perfect body wash is to ensure that the patient is comfortable with the application, any potential residue, and the scent of the product.

Antimicrobial body washes are often the best choice.

Keeping these factors in mind can help caregivers contribute significantly to the quality of life of those who rely on their care.

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