You may be surprised to know that urine shouldn’t be smelly when it leaves the body. If it is, it may be a sign that the person you’re caring for is dehydrated or that they have an infection. If you suspect the later, you must make an appointment with your doctor as Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are unlikely to resolve themselves.
Urine is, in fact, sterile when released from the body but with exposure to air and using the urine as a nutrition source, bacteria quickly multiply, producing by-products such as hydrogen sulphide and various ammonia compounds which smell bad. It only takes a small amount of urine and time – and the more bacteria, the stronger the smell.
You may already be aware that all TENA products contain SAP – Super Absorbent Polymer. (link to the August article of the difference between period and incontinence pads) These tiny, non-toxic beads can absorb up to 300 times their weight in liquid. As they draw fluid in, it transforms into a gel deep in the pad, reducing exposure to air The Odour Control SAP used in TENA products keeps the pH level down inhibiting the growth of bacteria. Bacteria produces ammonia which causes odour, so the SAP helps hinder bacteria growth, and therefore, the development of odour.
Establishing good personal hygiene habits will also help keep odours at bay. Daily bathing or showering, and thorough cleaning when changing products is a good start. Have a look at TENA’s Skin Care Range which includes disposable wipes, gentle cleaners, barrier creams and washes.
Use disposable gloves when changing and handling used products and wash hands thoroughly after– even if you’ve used gloves.
A pump pack of hand-sanitising gel in easy reach for when you’ve completed a change may work for you.
Don’t delay when washing soiled clothes or bedding. It’s the delay and exposure to air that allows the powerful and distinct odour of stale urine to develop, even from just a small amount.
Line dry laundry in direct sunlight whenever you can. UV rays help remove any stains as well as odours.
The home environment
Weather permitting, open doors and windows regularly to allow air to circulate.
Room sprays can be useful, especially after a faecal episode. Odour neutralising ones are probably better than those with a heavy perfume that can mingle with the smells you’re trying to eradicate – not always with great results!
Try and protect furniture and mattresses from urine leaks by using washable protection pads or disposable ones like TENA Bed If you do have an accident, absorb as much as you can with a clean cloth before sponging with an antibacterial cleaner.
Antibacterial cleaning and laundry products typically contain chemicals that kill bacteria, and therefore the chance of developing odours. Antibacterial sprays are also handy to stop the development of the odour causing bacteria.
By understanding the principles of how the odours develop, you’ll be better equipped to prevent them.
Asaleo Care makes no warranties or representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information. This information should be used only as a guide and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional, medical or other health professional advice.