How to cleanse urinary catheter bags with vinegar

Updated April 17, 2017

Patients are sometimes sent home with urinary catheter bags. When this occurs, keeping the catheter bag clean is imperative. Vinegar provides a natural and chemical-free alternative for washing catheter bags at home. The steps to use vinegar for cleaning a urinary catheter bag are simple and quick.

Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water. Disconnect catheter bag from tubing, and connect tubing to backup bag. Drain catheter bag completely.

Mix a vinegar solution: three parts water to one part white vinegar. Using two cups of vinegar and six cups of water should provide ample solution.

Soak the catheter bag in the vinegar solution for 30 minutes in a clean basin specifically allocated for this task. Make sure the inside of the bag fills completely with the vinegar solution.

Rinse the catheter bag thoroughly with lukewarm water. Shake the excess water out of the catheter bag.

Allow the catheter bag to dry completely on clean, unused paper towels. While the catheter bag is drying, thoroughly wash basin with perfume-, dye- and deodorant-free dishwashing liquid, then rinse and dry. Store dry catheter bag in a clean zipper bag or clean plastic storage container with a lid.

Things You'll Need

  • White vinegar
  • Clean basin
  • Gallon-sized zipper bag or plastic storage container with lid
  • Paper towels
  • Additive-free dishwashing liquid
  • Water
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