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How To Dispose Of Commode Liners ?

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Disposable commode liners are a real time saver, and can make life a lot easier in terms of cleaning up messes. I was very happy when I first discovered them, and was relieved to no longer have to through the process of washing out the commode bucket – not because of the smell, but because I didn’t want to end up having any spills. Once the liner has been used, you just tie it up and toss it out in the trash.

To dispose of a commode liner, you simply pull the ties at the top and then make a knot with the top of the bag and throw it away in the outside trash. The liners are made to be biodegradable and are allowed in landfill. Never put commode liners or down the toilet.

Biodegradable commode liners

 

All the different brands of commode liners I am talking about here  are made to be biodegradable, and sanitary.

The contentious issue here is how quickly does an element have to take to break down naturally – the liners will break down, but they will take a long time.

Another issue is how they break down – certain liners state that they do not break down in landfill as they need air or sunlight for bacteria to be able to break them down, but also do not give off greenhouse gases in landfill. So as most people are putting them in the trash, and they are going into landfill, how will they break down ?

Of course, I would always check to see if your local council, or district, has particular rules on waste disposal, but note that the commode liners are listed as biodegradable products which are destined to go to landfill.

This is something which may not be the case with DIY commode liners, and I’ll be looking at that later.

 

So, how are the disposable liners biodegradable ?

 

Disposable plastic liners use a polymer – mostly polyethylene (polythene) – which they combine with starch, or cellulose, to lower their resistance to microbial attack, and to accelerate the speed at which they degrade.

Here is a text section taking from an academic paper explaining the process –

“different degradable plastics have been developed where inertness and resistance to microbial attack of plastics is reduced by incorporating starch and later pro-oxidants. These synthetic and biodegradable polymers are made in industries by mixing a non-biodegradable polymer with organic biodegradable starch or cellulose. In such cases,  bacteria will digest the biodegradable part, and the non-biodegradable part will be broken down into small particles or powder. These kinds of “biodegradable” polymers are really an industry trick to gain the mark of biodegradability for the purposes of selling to consumers, where only the degradable part is eaten by bacteria. The by-product of the degradation is, thus, the by-produst of bacterial digestion plus the original non-biodegradable polymeric component that is now in powder form.”

– Source – Indian Journal of Biotechnology Vol 7, April 2008, pp 235-239
“Impact of soil composting using municipal solid waste on biodegradation of plastics”
By
Ch Vijaya and R Mallikarjuna Reddy
Department of Biotechnology, Jawahar Bharati Degree College, Kavali, India
Department of Microbiology, S V University PG Centre, Kavali, 524 201, India

Here is a link to the paper.

How to use a disposable commode liner with absorbent pad, gelling agent or powder ?

 

Using the liners with some form of absorbent element, does remove what is probably, to most people, the most objectionable part of the job.

Each liner will have either an absorbent pad which is placed in it, a gelling agent or powder (already in the bag), which is there to absorb any liquid in a very short space of time as well as the odors.

 

To use commode liners –

 

  • place the liner over the commode bucket and push the bottom down into the bucket
  • put the absorbency pad into the bottom of the liner in the bucket
  • if it is a powder or gelling agent and not a pad, it is already in the bag
  • place the commode bucket under the commode seat
  • after the liner has been used, remove it
  • pull the draw ties at the top of the liner and tie them up
  • make a knot with the top of the liner – or if it has a sticky seal, use that as per instructions
  • place the bag in the outside garbage straight away to get rid of any odors which could hang around

 

Just because you are using a disposable liner, this is not an excuse for the commode frame, seat and surrounding areas to be neglected, and not cleaned on a regular basis.

Popular brands of disposable commode liners with absorbent pads, powder or gelling agent

 

In the US

Here’s a list of some of the more popular brands of commode liners sold in, what I would call starter quantities, that are readily available in the US using either absorbent powder, a gelling agent, or an absorbent pad to treat the urine and feces, and to solidify the liquids.

The prices are the approximate cost for the items at the beginning of 2020 – they are available on Amazon, at Walgreens, Walmart, Target and many other stores.

There is no clean up involved with these liners.

 

Bearals Commode Liners  – Universal size with absorbent pads – 32 Liners – $22.00

CareBag Commode Liners – Universal size with absorbent pads – 20 Liners – $19.95

Carex Commode Liners – Standard size with absorbent powder – 7 liners – $9.99

Cleanwaste Sani-Bag+ – Universal size with gelling agent – 10 Liners – $22.90

Lundberg Commode Liners – Universal size with absorbent pads – 20 Liners – $20.99

Medaccs Commode Liners – Standard size with absorbent pads – 20 Liners – $12.95

Medline Commode Liners – Standard size with absorbent pads – 12 Liners – $17.79

Nurture Commode Liners – Standard size with absorbent pads – 24 Liners – $17.95

TidyCare Commode Liners – Standard size with absorbent pads – 24 Liners – $14.70

Vive Commode Liners – Universal size with absorbent pads – 24 Liners – $17.99

In the UK

 

Abena Abri-Bag – Standard size with absorbent pads – 20 Liners – £11.70

Age Co Commode and Bed Pan Liners – Universal size – absorbent liner – 20 Liners – £9.49

CareBag Commode Liners – Universal size with absorbent pads – 20 Liners – £15.00

Dr Helewa – Standard size with absorbent pads – 20 Liners – £10.99

Healifty – Universal size with absorbent pads – 20 Liners – £14.79

Reynard Commode Liners – Universal size with absorbent pads – 24 Liners – £12.44

TidyCare Commode Liners – Standard size with absorbent pads – 24 Liners – £16.30

Vive Commode Liners – Universal size with absorbent pads – 24 Liners – £24.30

Buying disposable commode liners with absorbent elements in bulk

 

In the US

You can see how using several bags a day, or more, can quickly become expensive, and you may want to buy them in larger amounts to try to lower the per-unit cost.

If you are looking to buy commode liners in bulk in the US, here are some of the brands selling larger amounts – still with either pads, powder or gelling agent included with each liner.

Again, the prices below are approximate costs for shops such as Amazon, Walmart, Walgreens and Target.

 

Cleanwaste Sani-Bag+ – Universal size with gelling agent – 50 Liners – $67.20

Cleanwaste Sani-Bag+ – Universal size with gelling agent – 100 Liners – $131.13

Cleanwaste Sani-Bag+ – Universal size with gelling agent – 200 Liners – $240.01

JJ Care Commode Liners – Universal size with absorbent pads – 90 Liners – $55.89

Lundberg Commode Liners – Universal size with absorbent pads – 150 – $69.95

Medaccs Commode Liners – Universal size with absorbent pads – 50 Liners – $35.90

Medline Commode Liners – Standard size with absorbent pads – 72 Liners – $41.99

Medustry Commode Liners – Standard size with gelling powder – 60 Liners – $30.00

Nurture Commode Liners – Standard size with absorbent pads – 72 Liners – $44.95

Vakly Commode Liners – Standard size with absorbent pads – 48 Liners – $35.99

In the UK

 

Medaccs Commode Liners – Universal size with absorbent pads – 50 Liners – £36.00

 

I was staggered to find that I couldn’t find much by way of larger packet sizes in the UK, or that SaniCare did not seem to be available, as they are made by the same French company who make CareBag commode liners.

I would suggest if you can’t find any, you may want to look on eBay, or the US Amazon site and order from there.

 

How to use a disposable commode liner without absorbent pad, gelling agent or powder ?

 

  • place the liner over the commode bucket and push the bottom down into the bucket
  • place the commode bucket under the commode seat
  • after the liner has been used, remove it – don’t forget to wear gloves
  • tip the contents of the commode liner and bucket into your toilet – go slowly to avoid spillage and the liner turning itself inside out
  • once empty, remove the liner from the commode bucket
  • pull the draw ties at the top of the liner and tie them up
  • make a knot with the liner
  • place the empty liner in the outside trash destined for landfill

    Buying disposable commode liners without absorbent pads, powders or gelling agents

     

    If you don’t like the idea of putting body waste into the trash destined for landfill, but you can quite bring yourself to wash out the commode bucket every time it’s used, you have another option.

    You can buy liners which don’t have absorbent pads, gelling agents or powders in them.

     

    In the US

     

    Bearals Commode Liners – Universal size – 60 Liners – $19.99

    Medaccs Commode Liners – Universal size – 60 Liners – $19.99

    SaniCare Commode Liners – Universal size – 50 Liners – $12.99

    SaniCare Commode Liners – Universal size – 150 Liners – $29.99

    TidyCare Commode Liners – Universal size – 48 Liners – $14.99

     

    In the UK

     

    Medaccs Commode Liners – Universal size – 50 Liners – £54.98

    TidyCare Commode Liners – Universal size – 48 Liners – £19.25

     

    If you regret buying commode liners without pads, you can also buy the absorbent pads separately

     

     

    In the US

     

    Medaccs – 20 absorbent pads – $9.99

    TidyCare – 40 absorbent pads – $16.00

    Bearals – 40 absorbent pads – $18.99

    WirtaHome – 50 absorbent pads – $18.99

    Lundberg – 100 absorbent pads – $34.95

    Lundberg – 200 absorbent pads – $59.99

     

    In the UK

     

    Gelmax – 25 absorbent pads – £11.00

    Do-it-yourself disposable commode liners

     

    Due to the cost of commode liners with absorbent pads, gelling agents or powders, it seems to be quite popular to make your own DIY commode liners from household plastic bags and kitty litter.

    I have not tried this method myself, and so I can only outline it here

    The method suggested is –

     

    • place a couple of plastic bags over the commode bucket
    • put a scoop or two of kitty litter into the bottom of the bags in the bucket before it is used
    • after it has been used, place another scoop or two of kitty litter on top
    • when the liquids are absorbed, tie the bags
    • straight away, dispose of it in the outside trash

     

    The kitty litter is supposed to  both absorb liquids and suppress unpleasant smells.

    The problem for me here is that these are not biodegradable or environmentally friendly.

     

    How to make liners  more environmentally friendly

     

    The first problem is the usage of ordinary household bags which will go into the ground and take hundreds of years to break down, and that’s only if the conditions are right. Plus, to be on the safe side, people are using two bags at a time in case they leak !

    Why not buy disposable commode liners without the absorbent pads, powders or gelling agents, and use these instead of plastic bags ? The disposable liners are more biodegradable and have been designed to breakdown at an accelerated speed, and would be better for the environment with the kitty litter, than any old plastic bags.

    An example of disposable commode liners without pads etc. –

     

    • SaniCare Commode Liners – Universal Size – 150 Liners -$28.00

    The second problem here is the kitty litter. If you don’t use a biodegradable kitty litter you are using products which come from strip mining of clays which is terrible for the surrounding environment, or from sand mining which is not environmentally friendly either.

    Clay based kitty litters also produce dust, which is not particularly good for the health.

     

    So use a biodegradable kitty litter

     

    There are many types made from different kinds of natural products – grass, pine wood, cedar wood, corn fiber, recycled paper and grass seeds.

    Examples of natural biodegradable kitty litters –

     

    • Arm and Hammer Naturals Clumping Litter
    • Exquisicat Naturals Pine Cat Litter
    • Abound Natural Clumping Cat litter
    • Exquisicat Naturals Paper Cat Litter
    • Pioneer Pet SmartCat All Natural Cat Litter
    • Okocat Natural Wood Clumping Cat Litter
    • TidyCats Pure Nature Cat Litter
    • Frisco All Natural Grass Clumping Cat Litter

     

    Clean the seat and frame of the commode, even if you are using commode liners

     

    Even though you’re using disposable commode liners, this doesn’t mean you don’t need to clean the commode on a regular basis.

     

    To clean a commode, you will want to clean and then disinfect.

    You want to wipe down all the parts to get any matter off the surfaces, and then disinfect it all.

    There are plenty of good bathroom cleaners and disinfectants.

    Below are just a few examples that are very popular on caregiver forums

     

    • Lysol cleaner and disinfectant
    • OdoBan
    • Dettol
    • Pine-Sol cleaner and disinfectant
    • White Vinegar cleans disinfects and kills germs and even some fungi

     

    You’ll find out a lot more about how to clean bedside commodes, in this article, “The Best Way To Clean A Bedside Commode ?”.

    Do you put water in a bedside commode ?

    Even if you are going to use disposable commode liners, you may run out occasionally, and you will want to know a few tricks that will make the job of cleaning out the bucket a lot easier.

    Each time you use the commode, put 2 -3 inches of water in the pail before use. This serves a couple of purposes –

     

    • the water will stop the bacteria becoming airborne and releasing the odors
    • the water will make emptying and cleaning the pail much easier

     

    There’s a lot more to it than just that, so if you want to find out more it’s all in this article,  “Do You Put Water In A Bedside Commode ?”.

    Bedside commode odor control

     

    Now, whether, you are using disposable commode liners or not, you will need to take some precautions for odor control with the bedside commode.

    With regular cleaning, prompt emptying of the bedside commode bucket and some disinfecting, you can keep any unpleasant odors down to a minimum.

    Here are the main pointers –

    • What protective gear are you using ?
    • Cleaning products
    • Frequency of cleaning ?
    • Emptying the commode bucket ?
    • Properly preparing  the commode bucket
    • Using multiple commode buckets
    • Put in an extractor fan
    • The area around the bedside commode
    • Floor protection under the bedside commode
    • Proper handling of trash from the commode and incontinence products
    • Washable soft coverings and fabric
    • Air filters

    All the points are expanded upon in my article, “Do You Put Water In A Bedside Commode ?”.

    I’m Gareth and I’m the owner of Looking After Mom and Dad.com

    I have been a caregiver for over 10 yrs and share all my tips here.

    Gareth Williams

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