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How to Take A Tub Bath

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 6, 2022.

How do I prepare for a tub bath?

  • Keep the room warm: The room should be warm and free of drafts. Close the door and windows and turn off fans to prevent drafts.
  • Gather your supplies: Make sure you have everything you need within easy reach. This includes bath towels, washcloths, shampoo, soap, lotion, a chair, and clean clothing.
  • Fill the tub with water: Test the water temperature before you bathe. Drip some water onto your wrist or inner arm. The water should feel warm, not hot, on your skin. If you have a bath thermometer, the water temperature should be less than 105°F (40.5°C). Do not turn on the hot water while you are in the tub. The hot water can burn your skin.

What are some safety tips?

  • Put grab bars on the walls of the tub. Grab bars are strong bars that are fixed firmly to the walls around the tub. These will help you get in and out of the tub.
  • Put a rubber mat or nonskid treads on the bottom of the tub to prevent falls.
  • Put a bath mat on the floor beside the bathtub. Put your towel or light blanket over the closed toilet or on the chair. Do not put a towel on the floor. A towel is slippery and can cause you to fall.
  • Keep a small bell near the tub to ring if you need help.
  • Keep the door unlocked to make it easier for someone to offer help if needed.
  • Clean the bathtub and the area around the tub after the bath. Make sure the floor around the tub is dry to prevent a fall. Put away items used to take the bath.

How do I take a tub bath?

Remove your clothes and carefully get into the bathtub. If you are weak, ask someone to stay close by while you bathe. Ask this person to wash and rinse your back if you cannot reach it yourself. Use soap to wash your body and rinse with water. Let the water out of the bathtub and carefully get out. Sit down and use the towel to dry off after the bath.

How do I help another person take a tub bath?

  • Wear gloves to protect yourself from any drainage or body fluids.
  • Help the person undress and step into the bathtub. Put your hands under his arms or around his waist to help him get into the tub.
  • Use soap and a washcloth to wash his body. Rinse off all the soap. Do not leave the person alone in the tub. Do not turn on the hot water while he is in the tub. The hot water can burn his skin.
  • Drain the water from the tub and help the person get out. Help him sit down to dry off. Cover him with the bath blanket if he gets cold. Gently pat his skin dry and apply lotion. Help him get dressed.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.