Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common condition caused by pressure on one of the wrist nerves. It can cause numbness, tingling, and pain in the wrist, but a carpal tunnel wrist brace can help. If you wear a carpal tunnel wrist brace, how often should you clean it?
Here are six ways to clean a carpal tunnel wrist brace:
- Wipe your wrist brace with a damp cloth or wipe daily.
- Spot treat stains on your brace immediately.
- Clean your brace with soap and water every few days.
- Machine wash your wrist brace if you prefer.
- Spray your brace with disinfectant.
- Allow the brace to air dry completely.
Carpal Tunnel wrist braces can be annoying at best, and if they get grubby, they can make you feel even worse about having to wear them. However, they fulfill an essential role, and keeping them clean is important for aesthetic and hygiene reasons. Read further to find out more details about the best ways to clean your carpal tunnel wrist brace.
1. Wipe Your Wrist Brace With a Damp Cloth or Wipe Daily
The wrist is one of the most exposed areas of the body, and it makes sense that it constantly gets exposed to dirt, dust, germs, and bacteria. Although you don’t need to clean your carpal tunnel wrist brace thoroughly every day, experts recommend that you wipe it down with an antibacterial wipe or damp, soapy cloth daily.
Our Magic™ Surface Disinfectant Cleaning Wipes don’t contain alcohol and come in a box of 100 individually-packaged wipes for your convenience, making them an excellent product to keep your wrist brace clean.
Giving your wrist brace a quick wipe-down each day helps remove surface stains or dirt that could become embedded if you leave them. It only takes a couple of minutes, but it is an excellent way to keep your wrist brace looking clean.
Here’s how to do a quick daily clean of your carpal tunnel wrist brace:
- Take your wrist brace off, and lay it on a clean surface. A clean kitchen or bathroom counter is ideal.
- Remove any visible surface dirt with a tissue. This step is crucial as you don’t want to embed surface dirt or food when you wipe it down.
- Using an antibacterial wipe, gently wipe the brace’s exterior. If you want to use a cloth and soapy water, immerse the fabric in the soapy water. Wring out the excess water as you want to avoid getting your wrist brace too wet, and wipe it.
- Take another wipe, and use it to clean the inside of your wrist brace. Using a separate wipe for the interior and exterior of your wrist brace helps prevent bacterial transfer.
- Allow the wrist brace to air dry for a few minutes, and put it back on. If your antibacterial wipes contain alcohol, this shouldn’t take long as alcohol dries fast.
If you don’t have antibacterial wipes and don’t feel like going to the effort of using a soapy rag, baby wipes will also be effective for daily cleaning.
2. Spot Treat Stains on Your Brace Immediately
Stains can make your wrist brace look dirty, untidy, and off-putting to people who see it. Old stains can sometimes smell, making the wrist brace look unattractive.
In addition to wiping your carpal tunnel wrist brace daily, treat any stains as soon as possible. This quick action helps prevent the stain from becoming permanent and embedded into the fibers.
You can spot-treat stains by gently removing the surface dirt or food with a tissue and then dabbing at it with a soapy rag until the stain disappears. When you’re not at home or in the office, consider carrying a small pack of baby wipes to spot-treat stains on the go.
You don’t need to remove your wrist brace when spot-treating stains because they occur on the exterior.
3. Clean Your Brace With Soap and Water Every Few Days
Cleaning your carpal tunnel wrist brace thoroughly every few days is essential. A thorough clean helps remove unseen dirt, keeps it smelling fresh, and kills any germs or bacteria that have started to grow.
Here are some helpful steps for cleaning your carpal tunnel wrist brace:
- Remove your wrist brace. Take care when removing it, as you’ll no longer have the support your wrist needs. If you wear a brace on your dominant side, consider asking someone else to help with the cleaning, as you risk further injury during the cleaning process.
- Take out any metal parts. You should avoid immersing the metal components as the water and detergent can promote rust build-up. Take note of the metal parts’ location to reinsert them easily later.
- Fill a sink or plastic container with warm water and detergent. A drop of Tide Liquid Detergent (available as a four-pack on our website) works well to remove dirt and stains. If you’d like a natural cleaner, add a few tablespoons of baking soda and white vinegar to the warm water instead of detergent. In a pinch, dish soap or a gentle shampoo also works well.
- Immerse the wrist brace and gently clean it. After immersing your wrist brace in soapy water, gently clean it, ensuring that you clean the hard-to-reach places, like the area between the fingers. Try not to rub the wrist brace vigorously, which could affect the fibers’ integrity.
- Rinse. After cleaning your wrist brace, rinse it under a gentle spray of water, or fill a bowl with fresh water and rinse it. Avoid opening the faucet at full force as this could damage the fibers. Fold the wrist brace to squeeze out the excess water but don’t wring it as this could stretch the delicate fibers.
You might consider buying a second (or even a third) carpal tunnel wrist brace to give your current one time to dry and air thoroughly between washes. This extra brace can be helpful if you need to wear a wrist brace for several months. Our Modabber Wrist Brace costs just over $20, is available in a left and right-hand model, and is easy to clean.
4. Machine Wash Your Wrist Brace if You Prefer
The previous point described an effective way to clean your carpal tunnel wrist brace every few days. If you’re short on time, you could always machine-wash it. Before throwing it in with the rest of your laundry, take note of a few points:
- Use a mild laundry detergent. Arm & Hammer for Sensitive Skin (available on our website) is ideal as it’s gentle on the wrist brace’s fibers and is not likely to irritate your skin. Avoid using fabric softener, which could impact the wrist brace’s effectiveness by loosening the fibers.
- Select a low-temperature water cycle. Washing your wrist brace on a hot cycle can shrink it, but a cold cycle will help maintain its size.
- Remove the metal parts and fasten the wrist brace before washing. The metal parts can come loose, become damaged, or damage your washer. Securing the wrist brace ensures that the loose ends and velcro don’t get stuck or tangled.
- Place the wrist brace in a gauze bag. Placing your wrist brace in a gauze bag protects it. If you don’t have a gauze bag, you could use a lingerie bag or pillowcase.
- Add baking soda if your wrist brace is particularly dirty or smelly. It’s normal for your wrist brace to get dirty and smelly after a few days, and if you want it to turn out extra clean, add a tablespoon of baking soda to your washer.
5. Spray Your Brace With Disinfectant
After thoroughly cleaning your carpal tunnel wrist brace, most of the bacteria and viruses on it should be a thing of the past. However, lightly spraying it with some disinfectant ensures that it’s 100% sanitary and healthy to wear again.
Sanitizing your wrist brace is especially important if you’ve suffered an injury to your wrist where the skin was broken, as it can prevent the wound from becoming infected.
After cleaning your wrist brace, mist some disinfectant over its entire surface. Use an effective disinfectant, such as our Spray Disinfectant (available on alliedusa.net), which comes in a box of six bottles and is on EPA list N for an emerging viral pathogen claim for use against the Covid-19 virus.
Alternatively, look for a disinfectant offering both anti-viral and antibacterial properties.
Bleach is a highly effective disinfectant, but you should avoid using it on your wrist brace as it can fade the color from the fabric, causing it to look worn out.
6. Allow the Brace To Air Dry Completely
After cleaning and disinfecting your carpal tunnel wrist brace, allow it to air dry completely. If you only have one wrist brace, you might feel impatient and want to put it on as soon as possible. However, putting your wrist brace back on when it’s still slightly damp is not good.
The area between your skin and the wrist brace is dark, warm, and damp (if you haven’t allowed the brace to dry thoroughly). This area is the ideal breeding ground for bacteria, something to avoid, especially if your skin is broken or healing from an injury.
After cleaning and disinfecting your wrist brace, allow it to dry in a well-ventilated space away from direct sunlight. It can be tempting to dry your wrist brace in direct sunlight to speed up the drying process, but the sun’s heat can stretch the fibers and decrease effectiveness.
Before leaving the wrist brace out to dry, cover it with a clean towel and gently press it to remove excess water.
Instead of hanging your wrist brace out to dry, lay it flat on a clean, dry towel so that it can maintain its shape.
Putting your wrist brace in the dryer is also not a good idea as the heat could shrink the fibers. However, if you’re in a hurry and only have one wrist brace, it should be fine on the lowest heat cycle in the dryer.
Insert the metal parts back inside once your carpal tunnel wrist brace has dried completely.
Why Is It Important To Keep Carpal Tunnel Wrist Braces Clean?
I’ve described how to clean a carpal tunnel wrist band. So, why is it so important to keep it clean?
It is crucial to keep carpal tunnel wrist braces clean to prevent bacterial build-up, leading to infection. A clean wrist brace also looks neat and won’t cause you embarrassment when out in public.
Soap or detergent surrounds harmful microorganisms (bacteria or viruses) and ruptures their membranes, effectively killing them. Regular cleaning keeps bacterial and viral build-up at bay, which is vital if you’re wearing a wrist brace due to an injury with broken skin.
Some people feel self-conscious when wearing a carpal tunnel wrist brace, but wearing a dirty one can cause even more embarrassment.
How Do I Maintain My Carpal Tunnel Wrist Brace?
If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, your doctor might have advised you to wear your wrist brace for several weeks or months. This period will result in inevitable wear and tear on your wrist brace, so what are some ways to maintain it?
You can maintain your carpal tunnel wrist brace by checking it for signs of wear and tear, not using harsh chemicals on or around it, not storing it in an excessively hot place, keeping it dry and clean, and keeping it away from pets.
Other essential ways to maintain your brace include the following:
- Choose a good quality carpal tunnel wrist brace that is made to last and won’t easily break. However, it’s essential to check it regularly for signs of wear and tear so that you can fix any issues before they become more serious.
- Harsh detergents or chemicals can affect the integrity of the fibers. If you need harsh chemicals to clean your home or car, consider removing your wrist brace beforehand to prevent accidental exposure. You can maintain the fibers by using gentle detergents when cleaning your brace.
- Avoid applying lotion, creams, or oils with your wrist brace. Oily lotions may easily stain the surface of your brace. Furthermore, the lotion on your skin beneath the brace may become damp and harbor germs.
- Store it in a cool, dry place if you have a spare wrist brace. Excessively hot areas (such as a car’s interior in the direct summer sun) can warp the splint inside the brace and reduce its effectiveness.
- Wear long rubber gloves or cover your wrist brace with plastic when working around water or dirt. It is essential to keep your brace covered to prevent it from getting dirty or wet.
- If you have pets, store your wrist brace where they can’t get to it. Wrist braces make interesting pet toys, so your pup may decide to nibble on the brace!
How Do I Wash My Hands When Wearing a Carpal Tunnel Wrist Brace?
Most people wash their hands several times a day, and if you’ve just been told that you need to wear a carpal tunnel wrist brace, you may wonder how you’re going to wash them.
You can wash your hands when wearing a carpal tunnel wrist brace by removing it beforehand. Ensure that your hands are completely dry and soap-free before putting the wrist brace back on.
What Do I Do With My Carpal Tunnel Wrist Brace When Showering?
You probably already know that you shouldn’t get your carpal tunnel wrist brace wet, but what do you do when showering?
You should remove your wrist brace when showering to prevent it from getting wet. However, if your doctor has advised that you must wear it at all times (even while showering), you can cover it with a plastic bag and tape it.
If your doctor or physical therapist has said it’s okay to remove your wrist brace while showering, take care not to strain your wrist or use it too much as you risk exacerbating the carpal tunnel syndrome.
Wrapping your wrist brace in plastic and taping it sealed can be tedious and annoying, and you might want to consider bathing instead.
What Are Some Tips for Wearing a Wrist Brace?
Have you just recently started wearing a carpal tunnel wrist brace? If so, you might wonder if there are any tips for making wearing one easier.
Some tips for wearing a wrist brace include following your medical professional’s instructions, moving your wrist regularly, and wearing it according to the instructions. Using your phone’s speech-to-text feature can also help.
I’ll discuss these tips in more detail below:
Wear Your Wrist Brace According to Your Doctor’s Instructions
Most people need to wear a wrist brace for between four and six weeks, but they’d prefer to
wear one for as short a time as possible. If you wear your wrist brace according to your doctor or physical therapist’s instructions, you can avoid having to wear it for longer than intended.
If your doctor has advised that you must wear your wrist brace all the time and the area often feels itchy, blowing some cool air from a fan or hairdryer can help relieve it.
Checking your skin condition underneath the wrist brace is also a good idea, and you should let your doctor know if it gets sore or red.
Move the Affected Fingers and Wrist Regularly
Carpal tunnel wrist braces limit your wrist’s movements and gently compress the nerve. However, regularly moving your fingers and arm as much as the wrist brace allows can help keep the wrist strong. The activity also encourages blood flow to the area and prevents muscle wastage.
Use Your Phone’s Speech-to-Text Feature
Using your cell phone or tablet can be challenging when wearing a wrist brace, especially if you wear it on your dominant hand. Thankfully, you can make life easier by using your phone’s speech-to-text feature instead of laboriously typing out emails and messages. Using this feature will lessen the repetitive strain on your wrist and help you heal more quickly.
How Do I Choose the Right Carpal Tunnel Wrist Brace?
Choosing the best carpal tunnel wrist brace can be confusing, especially if you’re not au fait with medical equipment. So, how do you choose the right wrist brace?
You can choose the right carpal tunnel wrist brace by finding one with soft, breathable fabric and one offering the correct support level. Buy one from a reputable supplier, and consider an adjustable model.
I’ll discuss in more detail how to choose the right carpal tunnel wrist brace for your needs below:
Choose a Brace Made of Soft, Breathable Fabric
Choosing a carpal tunnel wrist brace made of soft and breathable fabric makes it more comfortable. The breathable fabric also promotes airflow between the wrist brace and your skin, helping to keep it cool and prevent bacterial growth.
Our gray Wrist Brace for Carpal Tunnel and Arthritis is lightweight and made from soft fabric to feel comfortable against your skin.
Select the Correct Level of Support
Wearing a carpal tunnel wrist brace offering the correct level of support is vital as it addresses your wrist’s needs more effectively.
Wrist braces typically come in three support levels:
- Mild. Wrist braces offering mild support are ideal if your carpal tunnel syndrome is not severe or you are in the last stages of recovery.
- Moderate. Your doctor or physical therapist might prescribe a moderate support wrist brace if your carpal tunnel syndrome is advanced but not severe.
- Maximum. If you’re suffering from severe or advanced carpal tunnel syndrome, a wrist brace offering full support is usually the best option.
Buy a Wrist Brace From a Reputable Supplier
Countless suppliers are selling carpal tunnel wrist braces at rock bottom prices, but these products can sometimes do more harm or not offer much effectiveness in treating your carpal tunnel syndrome.
Buying a wrist brace from a reputable supplier specializing in medical supplies is an excellent decision as you will likely receive a superior quality product.
Consider an Adjustable Wrist Brace
When shopping around for a carpal tunnel wrist brace, you’ll notice that they come in all shapes, sizes, and varieties.
An adjustable wrist brace is an excellent idea as you’re assured that it will fit correctly. Our Universal Wrist Brace is a perfect example of a high-quality wrist brace that you can adjust according to size.
Regularly cleaning your carpal tunnel wrist brace is essential for its maintenance and helping to prevent infections. By following these steps, your wrist brace should continue looking as good as new:
- Clean it with a wipe daily
- Spot treat stains immediately
- Clean it by hand with soap and water every few days, or put it in the washing machine
- Disinfect it
- Allow it to air dry completely
- Mayo Clinic: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- EPA United States Environmental Protection Agency: About List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Medical News Today: What to know about antiviral drugs and products
- It Still Works: What Is Voice Texting on a Cell Phone?
- Melbourne Hand Rehab Hand Therapy Clinics: The do’s and don’ts of taking care of your splint
- Cleveland Clinic: How to Clean Your Medical or Sports Brace — and Why It Matters