How can I deal with smell from commode while cleaning it?

I've been the sole caregiver 24/7 for my 80-year-old mother, for the past 10 years. She has many significant health problems and dementia. My question is this: I empty her commode bucket 1-2 times a day (both urine and poo) and take out her wastebasket of used Depends, but the smell when I'm doing this is making me absolutely sick to my stomach. I am at the end of my rope and have been for a long time. Does anyone have any ideas for the smell while I'm cleaning up? I always add a little bleach to the new water.

Answers 1 to 10 of 10
Top Answer
I stumbled on something to freshen up my mom's bedside potty, and I find it works quite well. I put mint mouthwash (Listerene) in her potty after emptying and cleaning. It leaves her room smelling minty, and doesn't smell like a "cover-up" like some candles and room spray tend to do.
I use tons of Vinegar daily! I put it in a spray bottle with half water.. I use it for everything regarding my dads clean up process. I found in the downy ball using vinegar really gets urine smell out of his clothes, sheets what ever. I use it to clean out the waste baskets.. I keep a waste basket near his bed in the bathroom, as soon as a depends goes in I spray it, tie it and put it in an outdoor can. When changing his sheets I spray the bed with the vinegar and open his windows to air his room. When he has soak through and leaves a trail of urine on my floor, I mop with the vinegar. I clean the toilet after he messes with vinegar. It has been great for many uses... I do a lot of cleaning up but my house Never smells..I use it to clean out his commode, after it's been cleaned I use vinegar or Lysol sprayed in in and just leave. As far as dealing with the smell as you are cleaning, in addition to your gloves try a face mask.. Hope this helps some.. Hang in there.
Roberta,I sympathize with you.I only changed My mom's diapers a few times but it was a challenge.I found,personally,that if I put a little vicks vapor rub on my Mustache area it blocked the odor for the most part and also it wasn't that evident to my Mom.You might substitute another "Masking" smell also...
Also ,with your house Issue.I had a cat for a short time that used various parts of my house as his personal pee-palace so I ,on the advice of a friend, bought an "Ionizer" which uses some kind of static charge to eradicate the smell molecules...I might be way off base on my description but I can confirm that for my purposes this little Fan-driven machine works well.They are a little pricey but even the small ones are well worth the investment I feel.I hope these suggestions help you and I encourage you.
sincerely Bill
I have had success with Nature's Miracle enzyme spray for urine, feces, and other smells. You get it at a pet supply store. The enzymes neutralize the odor rather than masking it. I spray it around the base of the toilet, in the waste basket, and use it to clean the floor after "accidents".
Baking soda helps absorb odors and can be sprinkled into the bottom of trash cans.
Activated charcoal also works to remove odors.
The suggestion to encourage your mother to drink more water is wise and may help your mother in other ways. Dehydration can cause the body to absorb toxins normally flushed out in sweat and urine. This can lead to mental confusion and aches and pains, among other more serious things....
When the commode is sitting ready for use, you should have it 1/3 filled with water just like there is water in the toilet bowl. This makes it easier to clean. To empty, pour contents directly into toilet bowl. If you have a shower hose, put the bucket down, pour in a mixture of vingegar, water and fragrent dish soap, use the shower hose to fill the bucket, then empty it. Then hold the bucket at an angle over the toilet bowl, get the sprayer ready over the bowl (assuming the hose reaches) and rinse spray the bucket while over the toilet bowl, then flush. This cleans the bucket and the toilet at the same time. For cleaning toilets, I stopped using smelly chemical cleaners b/c they made me sick. I pour about 1/4 cup of baking soda directly into toilet, then I pour about a cup of straight vinegar in. it will fizzle up, then swish around with toilet brush. you can experiment with the amounts. If you query home made green cleaners on the internet, you will get lots of ideas. But the most useful thing is to put water in the commode bucket before they sit down to use it.
Since My mom came back from the hospital last week she has been wearing depends and I found the urine smell very strong and it was hard to stomach. My sister has been taking care of her and will be for the next two weeks to give me a break and when she complained about the smell I asked her if Mom was drinking enough water. So I told Mom that she needs to drink at least 4 glasses of water a day and the smell is not half as bad as it was.
Get a little bottle of really good lavender essential oil (the real oil, not just an artifically scented cheaper kind) and place a tiny drop just below your nostrils before doing the jobs that you find bother you due to odor. breathe in a good whiff just before you're exposed to the odor that bothers you. You may need to experiment with how to make the process work for you, but this has always worked for me. However, after a few times, I found I no longer needed the oil as I had built up a tolerance. There are also very good essential oil room sprays that might help by using them in the room before or after you do the clean-up.
I just KNEW you all would have some ideas, thank you! This message board is my new home and you are my new family. ((hugs))
There are garbage bags that contain fragrance and come in various sizes. I use one with every diaper change, it gets tied up and immediately goes outside. Mom uses Molicare diapers. I spray the room after each change and keep a small amount of Lysol in the bedside commode. It also gets emptied/cleaned immediately after each use. Bed pads are changed daily and the room is mopped daily. Odors collect everywhere and it can be a constant battle. We use alot of candles and a Scentsy runs all day long in bedroom and hall. A nurse at the hospital told me about the Vicks moustache...whatever helps. Good lukc!
Roberta,I failed to mention that with the ionizer the room would have to be vacant (or closed off) because while the emissions from an ionizer are not harmful it may make your throat sore/dry...I've not heard of a scentzy.maybe that is a viable solution also.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support