Cleaning smell of human waste from home

Hi, I do appreciate the work carers do especially unpaid ones like yourselves. I am a caree and have paid carers from an agency funded by social services however I am looking for advice.

A bit of background, I am in my early 40s and have a very fluctuating condition which can leave me totally bedbound and paralysed or able to mobilise around the house.

Carers don’t like me using the commode (got this from their manager) but there isn’t room to physically assist me to the actual toilet when needed so they suggest I just use a pad. The manager has said carers feel I use the commode to spite them (I know my output can smell vile and not of roses).

The reality is I use it because it’s the nearest thing to me when my body starts releasing its output as best I can as I don’t like lying or sitting in my own waste. (unsurprisingly), I often don’t have the mobility to get as far as the toilet and if I can get one metre to commode it’s better to go there.

The care providers are only ones in the area and after kicking up with the manager and SW last year about the way they were treating me, I know the SW is over a barrel at this point in time as if this agency pulls out there is absolutely no one to replace.

No one in my local area (which is the back end of nowhere) will work on the books for direct payments, the package was put out via brokerage over 200 times before it was picked up and is 2 carers x 4 visits a day so quite a full package.

Now in light of all that, my bedroom absolutely stinks and the smell of ++++ and ++++ meets you as soon as you come thru the front door,

I am going to be moving over the coming months to a new house and am looking for advice on how to get the house cleaned before handing the keys back to kill down the stink of commode being sat for ages (the longest I left it to see when they would empty it as no doubt could smell it as was strong, it sat for 12 days)

Dealing with agency and SW and all that will be reviewed when I move and hopefully things can be put right or a different arrangement sorted out but for now when I am handing this house back to the housing stock, I would like to not have it stink as I wouldn’t have liked to receive it like that.

The reason for the background is it’s not as simple as carers just emptying commode as even when I do ask, I get “why not just use a pad”

I have a cat and they blame a lot of the smells on her, except her litter tray is kept clean and scooped on a twice a day basis and if mine was I wouldn’t be needing this advice.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to get this house clean and less stinky? Thanks in advance

Hello Maria and welcome to the forum.

If your care plan involves your care assistants regularly emptying your commode (and I’m sure it must) then they have no right to 'penalise; you for using it ! Yes, it’s an unpleasant task but no more so than having to clean you up if you’ve used a pad. My mum had dementia and didn’t always make it to the toilet or to her commode so I got used to just ‘ignoring’ the smell as best I could and getting on with the cleaning - it was just one of those tasks that had to be done daily regardless.

I also contribute to a pet forum and on there we recommend using a biological cleaner like Biotex (or any other biological detergent) to get rid of the odour from cat pee and poop. The same should also work well for the odour from human waste. Would it be possible for you to employ a cleaning company to come in and give the place a thorough deep clean just before or just after you move out ?

Hi Maria

Welcome, firstly I think your carers are out of order. Clients should only be in pads if incontinent and unable to get to commode. Have you heard of commode lliners? They are like bin liners that fit the commode pad usually with absorbent pad at teh bottom to soak up contents. They are used once, tied up and disposed of with clinical waste. I think most councils deal with them same way as nappies. Check if your council want to give you separate bin for clinical waste.
Regarding the smell, there are some odour neutralisers available , also worth looking in pet stores for sprays that mask pet odours…
Are your carers provided by Council, you need to complain about their attitude if you are mobile.

Sorry post crossed with Suzie- yes biological has worked well for me.

I’m dismayed at your predicament. My mother used a caravan “Porta Potti” - these are standard caravan equipment which my family used every summer weekend. They have a normal style toilet seat, and surrounding this is a water container with a pump.

At the bottom there is a container for the wee and poo. Before use, you put some pleasant smelling concentrated liquid in the bottom. After use, you flush the toilet pan with the pump. The waste doesn’t smell, thanks to the liquid, and then as the container fills up, you take the “seat” off, and empty the container.

This is far, far nicer than using a commode! Any member of care staff who refuses to empty any waste should be reported, disciplined, and sacked!

This feels good letting this out and I know you will understand why Im at my wits end re the whole carry on.

Re pad, even when Im down to one hand only they often just put the bottoms / pants / pad and baby wipes in reach and leave me the kylie pad to roll a new one under me. My skin is sore but have used various creams etc and managed to prevent it breaking so far.

Im under urology and gastro for bladder and bowel and also seen by neurology for the condition which is causing the majority of this so its not something that is “being done to spite” anyone as otherwise why would consultants be involved and Im not that sort of person anyhow.

As Im a large person and as no room for hoist etc and not safe to roll me despite some having done it in the past, it apparently hurt their backs maybe because they didnt raise the bed to assist heightwise so when changing it can take me an hour plus to change and a bin is left beside me for putting the pad and wipes in,

Yes commode liners, at this point I dont think will make any difference re smell, its very stained and despite regular scrubs with toilet brush, neat bleach when I can move around it doesnt impact on it at all.

The other thing would be disposal, carers done do “cleaning / housework” so even pads are put by me into nappy bags and into the bedroom bin which is left beside me, when the bin is full, they pile it till its toppling as its not up to them to empty it as thats cleaning, the outside bin is about 5 steps outside the back door so if I manage to change the bag in the bin and sit the full bag ready to go out even with asking it can be walked past many times so friends call twice a week and take stuff out to outside bins. They also tidy up the mess from the carers.

Ive given the carers vicks to put under noses and face masks for commode but they only want to come in and do bare minimum (meds and heat packs, fill in book) when Im fully bedbound which is often, its a nightmare. They are usually here less than 5 mins,

I have to ask for food / drink and trying to remember whats in the fridge can be a nightmare as some wont look in front of them and if they cant see it easily or its not something can be handed to me directly then can do without.

I do have great friends who call in and leave me meals and make sure I have something to eat. Put the washing on and generally clear up the mess from the carers when they do give me somethng to eat as packets are left open, butter uncovered on bench, bread open. I know I sound like Im very ungrateful but I wish I didnt have to get people to clear up after carers.

They dont do cooking so will only heat something up but if I cant explain exactly where it is and when explaining often walks off anyhow my meals often consist of chocolate, crisps, ready pack sandwiches and when do get something heated I end up having to ask them to heat fully as often 2-3 mins does not heat a meal.

My diet is terrible, fruit goes to waste as I keep the basket in kitchen as little room in bedroom and apparently it will make me *** more, if I ask for a piece of fruit, I am often told its gone off and its sat aside for bins, friends often discover its actually fine and perfectly ok to eat but it makes me *** more so thats why I think not getting it.

Washing / drying clothes is another battle as its not “one of their jobs” although the care plan says it needs to happen to keep a supply of clean dry clothes. When the dryer goes on, I have a notice on the door of it asking to clean the lint filter but its mostly ignored. Ive found dry clothes in the top of a basket with wet washed ones underneath, Some will put on a wash, some wont. Thats anothr battle.

Any dishes are just left in the sink often till they harden or run out, cutlery can only be used once when/if making something so if bread is sliced thats one knife, buttered thats another knife and yet another knife to cut into smaller pieces (3 knives where one will do, all chucked into sink)

The manager pointed out I was being pinickity and petty but I dont like finding my things ruined all the time or things that have been broken chucked in kitchen bin where I cant see it and nobody knows nothing about it or even told me about it. So the bread bin, toaster, stick blender, george foreman, mugs, a cassorole dish all jumped into the bin off their own accord. I dont believe that but what do I know. Steak knives and other knives are chucked in the sink and can be there for days in dirty water which destroys them but thats petty.

The care plan does cover the commode but it covers other things too that dont/wont do as well. Preparing meals / personal care / ensuring clean tidy environment LOL thats an absolute joke.

I cant manage without them according to SW but she knows how bad things are and that I am at my wits end. SW is fully aware of all this and as no alternative except the nursing home which means if I was there again I would possibly lose out on the move to somewhere adapted. Im very frustrated and biting my tongue daily.

After the last meeting things improved for about 10 days and then went back to their normal. When I am fully bedbound which is approx 10/12 days out of 14 so majority of the time, I end up in this **** literally and figuratively.

As an ex carer, I am appalled with this whole situation but trapped in this nightmare.

Thank you for telling me about the biological powders, I didnt know that hence my post. The cats tray is kept under my bed so that majority of the time I can scoop it twice a day and when I absolutley cant, friends come in and do it and do the house bits as well as actually feeding me when needed. Apparently there isnt time for that with hot food as I have been given too hot before and spat it out and I still need it heated thru but no time to let it cool down.

They are never here anywhere near the full time of the call and while I appreciate that they need travelling time taking 20+ mins off the call is plenty as one has said all their round is within a 5 mile radius, a couple of times a day and I know from discussions they are planning their morning walk after cafe breakfast so while I know they are busy, Im losing the guts of an hour+ a day. The sw is aware of this too and the records show time in time out but sw is afraid of it all falling apart completely.

My friends are only able to help me out ad hoc, its different ones for an hour or 2 twice a week which means that my social time for chatting with them is impacted which leaves me more isolated.

Carers are provided by a care package which is funded by social services the sw is the comissioner of the care package but as I say, she is over a barrel as she is aware of how things are

She has actually seen the commode situation herself, she arrived for a impromtu visit as was in the area, the commode stank to high heaven, i was in bed, carers arrived for call and gave meds and did heat packs and went to leave, she said are you not going to offer food / drinks / do commode - carer said no as they had already run to their alloted time which sw pointed out they were in the door less than 5 mins, they werent aware she was the sw and told her would sort it later and walked out the door as she was speaking to them cutting her off.

The manager denied to her that the carers would do that but SW cant pull them out althoughter and is afraid will quit as no other options and I would be in a nursing home which I dont want in any shape or form as I was offered a place in the cheaper one that SS uses and absolutely hated it.

I was in a different one next time as cheaper one was full and it was far better however I couldnt make up the difference longer term and dont want a nursing home place. I was in this one for almost 5 months at one point while tried to sort care package.

In the cheaper NH I was in a room often unused and they forgot to wake me for meals twice in 3 weeks and I was taken for a shower with a sheet around me despite me not wanting a shower - so I had a shower. I dread to think what would be like longer term

Have you ever heard of NHS Continuing Healthcare? It sounds like you have major HEALTH needs which Social Services are not meeting, and that is one of the criteria for CHC.
Definitely ask for an assessment, your GP can do this, but unfortunately it’s a real postcode lottery as to whether or not you will get it.

NHS Continuing Healthcare is mainly England isnt it? Or does it include the other countries.

I have a list of diagnosis a mile long, I had my PIP assessment yesterday and assessor went thru all 4 pages with the list of conditions and sub conditions. Im very complex, currently waiting on a bed for some rehab which is funded for 3 months its hoped it will improve things slightly but not a major difference and waiting on scans at this point as suspected tumour as well.

NHS Continuing Healthcare ?

Scotland :

Hospital Based Complex Clinical Care | Care Information Scotland

Wales :

Health in Wales | Continuing NHS Healthcare

Northern Ireland :

England … our main thread :

I think the care company also need reporting to CQC, they sound diabolical and need closing down.

but if they are the only company in the area what will happen to all those who rely on them for support ? :frowning:

I’m baffled if carers can’t cope with human excrement. To my mind, it’s the doctor who determines you need pads and then you can get urinary/excrement pads via NHS. My mother’s carers disposed of the pads in the bin outside. I treated the occasional urine leakage on carpet with enzymatic pet cleaner. There are electric ionic air cleaners that can clean the air.

Have you weighed up the pros and cons of living in an appropriate nursing home when you are especially ill?
Where you could have nursing staff available 24/7? Then not only someone to clean you up, but someone to talk to as well?
Is that not better than your current situation?

Thanks for the info Chris re CHC, Im going to look into it

Yes, the pads are prescribed via the continence service who work in conjunction with urology and gastro and district nursing.

Rosemary, putting them in the bin outside constitutes cleaning/housework when they cover personal care only.

Part of what has brought me to this post apart from how to clean the house when I am moving house to get the smell out, is a couple of friends are travelling next week to come and visit and to be completely honest Im embarrassed about the smell of the house as soon as the front door is opened.

I’ve done the airing it out by getting the windows opened to the point that Im freezing (I find it difficult to keep warm at best of times, even last summer while generally people roasted, I had an electric radiator on in the bedroom as was freezing),

Air fresheners only do so much and when commode is emptied down the loo I often end up asking them to actually flush the toilet afterwards and put on the extractor fan in the bathroom, half filling the commode bucket with water and throwing it down the toilet doesnt flush it away so even when in the loo, it can stink

Sorry I disappeared for ages, my laptop crashed and needed to cool down before switching on again, it’s my lifeline

Bowlingbun, yes I have looked into what’s available in my area and it would mean giving up any chance of living independently, my fiance is ill too, we both became ill about 2 years into the relationship but the conditions were starting to show themselves when we got together.

Longer term we are hoping to be able to live together and get married, and if I go into a nursing home, that’s over (hopefully not the relationship but spending nights together)

From previous experience of nursing home, I am mentally compus mentus and with it, I was treated like a complete imbecile cos I was a respite patient, I didn’t get a place at a table in the dining room as I wasnt a resident so had to eat alone in my room,

My pharmacist rang me to ask why doubles of drugs was being ordered as this was unusual and when I enquired from a nurse who had been ordering my meds, it wasnt anything to concern myself with and that I shouldn’t be talking to the pharmacist about this, it was the pharmacist rang my mobile.

My cat would have to be rehomed and she is my baby. I want to keep any semblance of life and independence and avoid nursing home, the second one I stayed in for respite was nicer than the first but still, I wouldn’t want to be there permanently

The first NH the one I was offered a place in, nearly had a fit when I said my friend was going to take me in my chair down to the local shop (about 200m away), the manager wouldn’t let me leave until she got permission from SW as I wasnt going out with a member of my family. I would have been back in less than 30 mins, The SW gave go ahead if I wanted to go out.

The 2nd one, I was allowed to come and go as I wanted and go out (shock) alone, to use to NH office wifi as long as the code wasnt passed on, they set it up on the laptop for me so I didn’t even have the code. I don’t have the money to do the top up to it if SS was to fund it,

In a way, Im hoping that with rehab, a possible operation for tumour over, house move to accessible place an electric wheelchair in due course that things will get better and that I might be able to get a team of carers together via direct payments but in the meantime, I need to get rid of the stink in the house here and hopefully get moved to new home.

I don’t want to go to a nursing home unless there are absolutely no other options as I would be quite a distance from my family and my friends who are currently local to me bar the ones who are coming to visit next week.

Sorry to hear the carers consider putting the pads in the outside bin to be housework, not personal care. Mum had personal care visits four times daily for over a year from four different care agencies. For the vast majority of the visits the carers took out the pads in small kitchen bin bags and dropped the bag in the dustbin on their way out.

Febreze air heavy duty. Spray generously and frequently and preferably don’t stay in the room for a while as it smells pretty strong itself but it does do the job when needed. It sounds like the services in your area are appalling. You need to read up on your rights eg mental capacity, the right to make “unwise” decisions, deprivation of liberty, equality rights, human rights and if necessary assertiveness training to get those rights.

Good luck with the wedding. I hope you have a happy marriage.

Thank you all.

Its horrible at this stage and Im biting my tongue constantly but trying to focus on the longer term, I want to get a semblence of life back.

I dont want to smell my own waste all the time, its an ongoing situation and thank you all for the advice.

I have someone working on it with me now but until I have the rehab (waiting on a bed) but will be this year, the tumour operation over, house move and all that done, I then need to try and see where things are at re trying to hire re direct payments. My brother has now agreed to run the package long distance as the SW doesnt think I can.

I can literally hand the house back as it is once I have stripped my stuff out of it, however, I wouldn’t like to get a house back that smelled and as a council tenant I wouldn’t like to be the next tenant coming into a stinking house.

Thank you nhshater, the wedding won’t be for a couple of years yet no particular year in mind. No big day for us, our plan is going to registry office with immediate family and get married then for a meal afterwards in a local pub. Back home in a couple of hours. It’s not about the day for us (I know it is for some), its about the marriage and long term commitment. We are now together 14 years and have been thru hell and back together (things that would have broken many couples up), the secret so far is not living together as it means we both have space and he visits often.

Hi there, I had this problem with my mum as she wouldn’t wear her pads and so did what ever she needed anywhere. The carers cleaned to a point but once social services became involved they arranged (at cost to my mum) a deep clean of the house which has got rid of the smells. The carers are now supplied by the council ( partly self funded still) and the care plan includes three hours cleaning a week to keep the house nice. Maybe ask your social worker if she knows any deep cleaning company that could help you. For a three bed house the cost was approx £400. Hope this helps and good luck with your move.x