How to Bathe With an Arm Sling

Woman relaxes in a marble tiled bath tub. image by Andy Dean from

Bathing with an arm sling can seem close to impossible to do because the arm sling itself cannot get wet. However, it can be done. While it is easier to have someone help you bathe, you can do it yourself. Just remain patient throughout the whole process and take your time.

Warm a pot of water on the stove or in the microwave. You want it warm enough to feel comfortable to the touch. Round up a handful of washcloths and have towels at hand for when you are done, so you do not get too cold.

Remove your clothes and find a comfortable place to sit. Some find it convenient to sit in the bathtub while bathing, so excess water is not a problem. However, when one is bathing by themselves it is often hard to get out of the tub using only one hand. Sitting on a toilet or chair in the bathroom with towels on the seat and around the area usually works best for those who are bathing by themselves.

Dip your washcloth in the pot of warm water and squeeze the excess water from the cloth. You want it wet enough to help wash off, but not dripping to the point of making a mess. Then use a bar of soap and thoroughly saturate the washcloth with soap.

Starting with your face and working your way down to your toes, thoroughly wipe your body down using the soapy washcloth. Make sure you get all the essential places, such as under the arm pits. Getting to your back can be hard to do by yourself, making it nice to have someone there to lend a hand. However, if having someone to help is not ideal, do the best you can by using your one good arm to get what you can of your back. Make sure to not get soap on your arm sling.

Use a new wet washcloth to start removing the soap from your body. Make sure to start with your face and work your way down. Keep rinsing your washcloth in your warm pot of water. You may also occasionally change to use a new washcloth. Make sure you get all the soap. Once again, make sure you don’t get your arm sling wet.

Thoroughly dry yourself off. Since this can be hard to do one handed, you can lay the towels over your legs and shoulders and drip-dry. Do not try to dress before getting completely dry because it will be hard to get your clothes on. This will also help get any access soap that you may have missed.