>Bedpan washer hands-free opening in action

Bedpan Washers: The Backbone of Hygiene in Social Care

Why a bedpan washer disinfector?

Medical pulp macerators may be the sluice machines of choice for hospitals but care homes tend to rely heavily instead on bedpan washer disinfectors.

Care homes often favour bedpan washers because:

  • the bedpans, commode pots and urine bottles are reusable – there is none of the added cost or storage requirement associated with single-use medical pulp
  • bedpan washers are simpler and require less maintenance than macerators.


Exploring Essential Sluice Room Equipment Types


Key features to look for in a bedpan washer disinfector

Bedpan washer design has evolved over the years to make the machines ever more effective at safeguarding users and the vulnerable people they look after.

Advanced technical features and other benefits include:

  • extremely thorough washing/thermal disinfection performance that eliminates 99.99% of known bacteria
  • hands-free open, close and start functionality to reduce the risk of cross contamination and infection outbreaks
  • anti-microbial surfaces that kill microorganisms, reducing the risk of infection
  • low operating costs – sluice machine software can be configured to your requirements, reducing the amount of energy and water needed
  • larger capacity machines reduce the number of trips to the sluice room – and lower the ‘cost per item’ of washing and disinfection
  • automatic thermal disinfection according to NHS periodic testing guidelines
  • high-quality stainless steel construction to ensure machine reliability and longevity
  • automated scale management system – because 1 mm of limescale can increase energy consumption by 11%
  • multi-utensil racking system that accommodates all standard bedpans and is quick and easy to load/unload
  • rotating wash nozzles ad jet heads for superior cleaning
  • simple, intuitive controls (and optional programmable audio) that reduce the need for staff training and ensure machines are used correctly.

Other important considerations

Well-maintained bedpan washer disinfectors will last at least 10 years. Skimping on servicing is a false economy because it could reduce the lifespan of your machines by several years.

So it’s useful to have full reporting on the condition of all your machines, as well as the frequency and type of maintenance callouts. This will enable you to:

  • plan your sluice room asset requirements
  • manage your capital expenditure budget better and more easily.

DDC Dolphin’s secure online portal will give you all the information you need – 24/7, from any location with broadband or a mobile phone signal.

Staff training is also essential. Users must know how to use the machine(s) correctly and adhere to proper infection-control procedures.


CQC inspection
Checklist: key questions you should ask when buying a bedpan washer disinfector

Performance and efficiency

  • How efficient is the bedpan washer disinfection process?
  • What is the cycle time for washing and disinfecting a bedpan?
  • Can the machine handle a high volume of bedpans in a short amount of time?

Compliance and standards

  • Does the bedpan washer meet the relevant industry standards and regulations?
  • What certifications does the equipment have?
  • How do you ensure compliance with infection-control guidelines?

Ease of use

  • Is the bedpan washer simple to operate and user-friendly?
  • What kind of training is required for staff to use the equipment?
  • Are there any automated features to simplify the disinfection process?

Maintenance and service

  • What is the recommended maintenance schedule for the bedpan washer?
  • How easy is it to clean and service the machine?
  • What kind of technical support or service agreements are available?

Water and energy efficiency

  • How much water and energy does the equipment consume per cycle?
  • What eco-friendly features does the machine have?


  • Is the machine compatible with various types of bedpans, commode pots and urine bottles?
  • Can it accommodate different materials and sizes?

Safety features 

  • What safety features are integrated into the design to protect users and patients?
  • How does the equipment handle infectious waste without risking contamination?

Installation requirements

  • What are the space and utility requirements for installing the bedpan washer disinfector?
  • Is any special plumbing or electrical work needed?

Cost and return on investment

  • What is the overall cost of purchasing and installing the equipment?
  • What are the operating, servicing and maintenance costs?
  • Are there potential cost savings or efficiencies that can be gained over time?

Configuration options

  • Can the bedpan washer be configured to meet your facility’s specific needs?
  • Are there optional features or accessories available?

Fully equipping your sluice room

Good, reliable bedpan washer disinfectors (or medical pulp macerators) are at the heart of your sluice room(s).

But well-equipped sluice rooms also need stainless steel furniture, UVC water trap disinfectors, and the correct healthcare-grade flooring and wall cladding.






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