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A woman in workout gear drinks from a water bottle. Hydration is vital to bladder health as well as odor control.

Straight talk about smelling good

Are you worrying about whether or not you are smelling clean and fresh?

When it comes to living with bladder incontinence, we can get used to wearing protective pads, scheduling our bathroom breaks and modifying what we drink—especially when we see how these changes help us more easily live with leaking. What we might worry about, however, is whether or not we are smelling clean and fresh. 

Taking precautions

Dealing with bladder leaks is bound to dial up the fear that we might give off an odor. Preventing that possibility is key. So here are some smart tips:

A woman walking outside opens a water bottle. Limiting fluids often leads to irritation and stronger odor with leaks.

If prevention isn’t enough

Accidents do happen, even with the best precautions. The faster you address any leaks, the less likely there will be an odor issue. 

A woman with a large purse, perfect for holding a spare outfit and UI products, talks on the phone and drinks coffee.

Always have an extra outfit or two tucked away in your bag—something that won’t wrinkle, takes up little space and is quick and easy to change into, like leggings and a tunic. Remove wet clothes as soon as possible. Not only will they start to smell after a bit, but wearing soggy bottoms is uncomfortable. If you’re not home, store them in an airtight zip-top bag (also something easy to keep handy in your purse) until you can get to a washing machine. 

Thoroughly clean yourself off after an accident (and really anytime you’re changing your liners, pads or underwear). Using cleansing wipes that are designed specifically for incontinence is a good choice. Typically, they are more moisturizing and less irritating than soap and water. Plus, a pack fits easily in a bag or carryon for easy cleanup anywhere.

Then, launder soiled items as soon as possible. Pro tip: when it’s time to wash, use baking soda as a laundry detergent booster. It’s very effective for getting odor out of fabrics, too.

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