Caring for Your Catheter

For male patients who use catheters, properly caring for the catheter is essential. Doing so in an important step in preventing infection and other potential problems. Taking care of your catheter will also allow you to regularly check to make sure that it is functioning properly. Learning how to properly care for a male catheter is easy, but it is absolutely essential for catheter users as well as caregivers. 

Cleanliness is the most important aspect of catheter care. Before you begin, make sure you have everything you need to fully clean the system as well as your skin anywhere the system touches your body. You should have two clean washcloths, two clean hand towels, mild soap and a clean sink or other container. 

Cleaning Your Catheter

Begin by thoroughly cleaning your hands, including under your fingernails, with warm water and mild soap. Wet one of the washcloths with warm water, and lather it with soap. Use the cloth to gently clean the area where the tube is inserted. Always wipe from the head of the penis downward. Rinse the washcloth, later it again and wash any area where the catheter system touches. Rinse all the soap away, and pat the skin dry with a hand towel. Do not apply any lotions, creams, powders or other products unless directed to do so by your health care provider.

Wet and lather the second washcloth. Hold the catheter, and gently clean it. Always move the washcloth from the insertion site away from your body, not toward. Cleaning the tubing toward the insertion site can cause bacteria to enter your urethra. Gently dry the tubing using your second dry hand towel. Attach the collection bag to your stomach or thigh. Do not allow it to touch the floor at any time. 

Wash your hands again, and inspect your catheter system. Check for kinks, and make sure it is draining properly. If you notice any problems, fix them right away or contact your health care provider. 

Danger Signs After Cleaning Your Catheter


If you experience pain near the catheter, bloody or cloudy urine, increased or decreased urination, signs of infection, leakage or if your catheter seems to be blocked, seek medical attention right away to avoid possibly complications.