How To Dispose Of Commode Liners ?

by | Beginners Info, Personal Hygiene, Safety

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.

How to dispose of commode liners ? 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 of 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 breakdown 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 you local council, or district, has particular rules on waste disposal, but note that the commode liners are listed 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.

As you can see, the actual breakdown of the liners simply splits the organic degradable parts from the non-biodegradable parts. They are no longer plastic liners.

Over a very long period of time the polyethylene, or whatever other polymer compound the liners are made of, should bio-degrade as well, but it is a very long process.

So in short, the process accelerates the break up of the liners.

How fast the liners break down depends on the microbial conditions of the situation in which they are disposed of. Some of the processes require air and light, so landfill will not break them down.

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 – $18.89

Carex Commode Liners – Standard size with absorbent powder – 7 liners – $10.72

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

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 – $17.95

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 – £11.00

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 – £11.99

Healifty – Universal size with absorbent pads – 20 Liners – £19.99

Reynard Commode Liners – Universal size with absorbent pads – 24 Liners – £11.99

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 – $ 55.80

Cleanwaste Sani-Bag+ – Universal size with gelling agent – 100 Liners – $ 119.99

Cleanwaste Sani-Bag+ – Universal size with gelling agent – 200 Liners – $ 199.45

Medaccs Commode Liners – Universal size with absorbent pads – 50 Liners – $32.00

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 – £54.98

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.

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

Better Moments Commode Liners – Standard size – 48 Liners – $15.99

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

SaniCare Commode Liners – Universal size – 50 Liners – $17.95

SaniCare Commode Liners – Universal size – 150 Liners – $36.99

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

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 with the liner
  • place the empty liner in the outside trash destined for landfill

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

WitaHome – 50 absorbent pads – $18.99

In the Uk

Gelmax – 25 absorbent pads – £9.95

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 another scoop or two of kitty litter on top
  • when the liquids are asborbed 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 these 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 incase 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 environment around it, 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 fibre, 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

Don’t forget to clean the seat and frame of the commode

Eve 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

Cleaning a bedside commode

Cleaning the seat and frame

To clean the structure of the bedside commode you want to start by making sure that you are properly covered.

As you are dealing with feces and urine, so you should have gloves on and something covering your clothes.

Some cleaners may contain bleach, and this can ruin clothes if you get it on them.

 

 

  • start by removing the armrests, the seat, the seat lid and the splashguard from the frame
  • clean with your cleaner of choice, but do make sure it is non-abrasive as it will damage the plastic parts 
  • wipe off each part once they have been cleaned
  • following that disinfect each piece – if you are using a combination cleaner and disinfectant, just do it a couple of times and rinse in between
  •  the armrests and seat are where your loved one’s skin has the most contact, so do give these a thorough going over, and if you are using bleach, make sure you rinse it off thoroughly, as it is an irritant to the skin
  • the underside of the seat, and around it will be exposed to the most urine and feces, so really disinfect them thoroughly
  • after washing and disinfecting, give everything a good rinse and then wipe it all dry
  • clean the frame following the same steps
  • check the plastic parts of the commode for any cracks as these may split and break – be especially careful to check the seat
  • once everything is dry reassemble, and check all the parts are properly fastened 

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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How to dispose of commode liners ?
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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.
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