How to Give a Sponge Bath

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How to Give a Sponge Bath

A sponge bath is usually given to someone who is confined to bed and can not wash on his or her own. Here are instructions on how to administer a sponge bath.


  • Liquid gentle cleansing soap
  • Clean face towel
  • Towel
  • Small tub or large basin
  • Hot water
  • Cold water
  • Blanket


  1. Boil water using an electric kettle, electric jets or over a stove top.
  2. Pour the hot water in the basin, followed by the same amount of cold water. Mix three parts cold water with one part hot water. Mix the water thoroughly.
  3. Test the temperature to see if it is friendly to sensitive skin. Dip your elbow in the water and see if you feel comfortable with the temperature. To make the water colder, take out some of the water from the basin and add in more cold water. To make the water warmer, add more hot water.
  4. Mix a few drops of gentle cleansing liquid soap in the water. Agitate the water to generate a few suds.
  5. Help remove the person’s clothes and keep them warm by covering him or her with a blanket.
  6. Lay out a large, dry towel beneath the person to keep the bedding from getting wet.
  7. Get the face towel and dip in the soapy water. Wring the towel slightly to get rid of excess water. Use this to gently wash the person’s face. After finishing with one portion of the body, immediately dry using a dry towel to prevent the person from getting cold.
  8. Wash one portion of the body at a time, left arm, right arm, torso and legs. Pay special attention to the skin creases. Dry each part before moving on to wash another.
  9. Once you’re done on the front side of the person, gently assist him or her to lie on one side of the body. This is done to clean the back side of the body.
  10. Do the same steps as you did with the front portion.
  11. Clean the genital areas last. Use a separate face towel and body towel for this purpose. Make the person lie down on his or her back, tucking a towel under the buttocks.
  12. Prop the knees up and gently open the person’s legs.
  13. Use downward strokes, from front to back, gently washing the genital area. Again, pay special attention to the skin creases. Dry the genital area using the same motions.



  1. on March 1st, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    [...] Tepid sponge bath will help alleviate increase in body temperature, especially during exacerbations. (Learn how to give a sponge bath) [...]