Before you start, you need a:

  • cleaning area such as a sink or wash pan
  • strong disinfectant solutions such as liquid bleach or Pine Sol
  • small funnel or syringe (not required, but it helps to clean inside the bag, connector & tubing, and
  • place to hang leg and bed bag for drying.


Step 1  Unplug the dirty bag, tubing and connector from the catheter.

Step 2  Attach a clean bag, tubing and connector to the catheter.

Step 3  Completely empty urine out of dirty bag.

Step 4  Clamp the drainage valve closed.

Step 5  Use a small funnel or syringe to pour a mixture of water and disinfectant solution through the connector and tubing into the bag (1 part disinfectant to 8 to 10 parts water – less water makes for a stronger disinfectant, but too strong a solution can damage your skin on contact).

Step 6  Shake bag gently so solution cleans all parts of the inside of bag.

Step 7  Open drainage clamp to empty solution from bag.

Step 8  Wash off outside of bag with fresh solution.

Step 9  Repeat steps 4-8 using water without solution.

Step 10  Hang bag up to dry.

Clean your urine drainage bag each day, and check your tubing and connectors every 2 to 3 days for sediment buildup. If you see mineral build up after cleaning, soak the tubing and connector in bacteria-killing solution for 6-8 hours. If this does not remove the buildup, replace the tubing or connector.

Keeping skin clean is another important element for maintaining an individual with SCI’s health.  First, always wash hands before and after any bladder management method. To care for the indwelling catheter (Foley or Suprapubic), cleanse the urethral area (where the catheter exits the body) and the catheter itself with soap and water every day. After removing a condom, wash the entire genital area with soap and water before putting on a new condom. Finally, change clothes and wash well immediately after any urine leakage or bowel movements.

Getting a yearly medical check-up should be a part any individual’s long-term care plan. The check-up should include a urologic exam to see that the individual’s urinary system is healthy. This usually includes a renal scan or ultrasound to determine whether or not the kidneys are working properly. The exam may also include an X-ray of the abdomen (KUB). This check-up helps the doctor ensure that the individual’s urinary system is acting appropriately and identify other potential problems as early as possible.