How to Use a Sitz Bath

What You Need and Step-By-Step Instructions

A sitz bath is often used to gently clean the area between the genitals and anus (perineum) if contact is too painful. They can also help to soothe and heal the area.

While it is not a cure for any condition, you can use a sitz bath as an effective home remedy to relieve your or your child's discomfort. Common reasons to use a sitz bath include:


Buy a Sitz Bath Kit

Yungatart Sitz Bath


Sitz baths be purchased online or at most brick-and-mortar medical supply stores for an average of $10-$30. The plastic basin rests on top of your toilet seat.

Sitz bath kits often include a plastic bag with a tube on the end that can be used to spray water into the affected area. Higher-priced kitz baths include a long hose that you can attach to a faucet for easy filling.

You can also use your bath tub if you'd prefer not to use a sitz bath kit.


Choose Helpful Sitz Bath Add-Ins

Bowl of Epsom salts, scoop of sea salt, and small bowl of olive oil on tile surface
Ruth Jenkinson / Getty Images

You can either use a sitz bath with just warm water or add certain ingredients to make the process more comfortable and reduce the risk of infection, including but not limited to:

You can also add olive oil, essential oils, herbs, and aromatherapy fragrances. Just be sure to add products that won't further irritate your skin.

What Should Not Go in a Sitz Bath?

Do not add any of the following to a sitz bath:

  • Shower gel, bubble bath, or any type of soap: These products can dry out damaged skin.
  • Any additions that are not meant to be put on the skin you are soaking: These may make your symptoms worse or dry out skin that's already chafed.

Find the Best Soaking Position

How to Take a Sitz Bath

vadimguzhva / Getty Images

Take the time to find the most comfortable position. If you're using a portable sitz bath, gently lower yourself onto the seat. The basin part of the seat has been cut out to allow any excess water to flow through and prevent overflow.

If you're using a bathtub, lower yourself in the way you would an ordinary bath, but bend your knees when you sit to take some of the pressure off the perineum. You can prop your feet on the tub's edge to make yourself more comfortable.

Adjust the water temperature to your liking, then sit back and relax.


Clean Up

When you're done with your sitz bath, it's important to clean up. Luckily, it's quick and easy to do.

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with warm soapy water.
  2. If you used a portable sitz bath, wash it in hot water with a mild detergent. Don't put it in a dishwasher.
  3. If you used your bathtub, rinse it out. Then, clean it as you usually do.


A sitz bath can help soothe conditions affecting the area between the anus and genitals.

You can use your bathtub for a sitz bath or a portable basin that sits on top of your toilet seat. You can also put soothing add-ins to the warm water, like Epsom salt, but avoid any productions (like bubble baths) that can irritate or dry out your skin.

You can soak in a sitz bath for about 15 to 20 minutes. When you're done, let the area air dry and add any medicated skincare, if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What kind of water do you use for a sitz bath?

    You can use clean water from your tap for a sitz bath.

  • What is the ideal temperature for a sitz bath?

    The temperature of a sitz bath should be warm, not hot. You don't want to burn the skin. For most people, a comfortable sitz bath temperature is between 99 degrees F and 102 degrees F.

  • Is a sitz bath the same as an Epsom salt bath?

    A sitz bath can just be warm water with nothing added to it. However, you can also add Epsom salts to a sitz bath.

  • How many sitz baths should someone take in a day?

    You can use a sitz bath either after every bowel movement or a few times per day as needed for relief. Be sure to dry the skin thoroughly after each use and cut back on sitz baths if you experience dry skin.

  • How do sitz baths promote skin healing?

    Warm water boosts blood flow to the area soaking in it. Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients that help skin repair itself.

  • Can a sitz bath cause infections?

    Sitz baths usually help prevent infections, but they can also cause them. For example, if you have open wounds, a sitz bath could give bacteria a chance to get in. This is less likely if you use a clean basin and water, wash your hands, and let the area air dry when you're done.

4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Harvard Health Publishing. Harvard Medical School. Hemorrhoids and what to do about them.

  2. University Health Network. Having a sitz bath at home.

  3. Harvard Health Publishing. Hemorrhoids and what to do about them.

  4. Banner Health. How a Simple Sitz Bath Can Relieve Your Genital or Anal Pain.

Additional Reading

By Barbara Bolen, PhD
Barbara Bolen, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and health coach. She has written multiple books focused on living with irritable bowel syndrome.