Unlike prescription medication, TENS units provide safe and non-invasive relief from pain. And unlike prescription or over-the-counter drugs, these units can be used again and again without needing refills. The only thing that generally needs to be replaced on a TENS unit is the electrode pads, which are responsible for transferring the gentle electrical impulses through the skin and to the nerve endings. When they’re in tip-top shape, electrode pads are clean and sticky and will stay put easily on the skin. However, if they’re not cared for properly, electrode pads will lose some of their adhesion and be less effective. When this happens, people want to know how to make TENS unit pads sticky again.
When TENS Unit Pads Become Dirty
It’s natural for TENS unit pads to become less sticky after multiple uses. One of the most common reason that a set of electrode pads will lose their adhesiveness is because of debris, dirt, and oils. Naturally, these things adhere to the electrode pads just as they would adhere to a piece of tape. When they’re taking up the sticky surface area, there’s less of the adhesion to adhere to your skin. To make TENS unit pads sticky again after they’ve become dirty, you can simply clean them with a damp washcloth. Be sure to only use cloth, not a paper substitute, as this will just leave behind more debris.
Cleaning Off Debris & Oil
When you’re wiping the debris and oil from your TENS unit pads, do not over saturate them. Just a gentle swipe with the damp cloth will do. After your pads are clean, you can take an additional step towards making your TENS unit pads sticky again and brush them lightly with a toothbrush. This step helps to expose more sticky surface area so that the electrode pads will adhere more efficiently.
Lack of Care
If your TENS unit pads are losing their adhesion regularly, it’s probably due to lack of care. Not only do you need to keep your electrode pads clean, but you also need to clean your skin before you use them. Applying the electrode pads to an unclean surface will cause them to lose their stickiness. To learn more about caring for your electrode pads so that they’ll last as long as possible, read our post on 8 Ways to Care for Your Electrode Pads or watch our Youtube video.
Electrode Gels & Electrolyte Sprays
If you’ve cleaned and cared for your TENS unit pads and they’re still not sticky again, there’s one more thing you can try to extend the life of these electrode pads: electrode gels and electrolyte sprays. These products can be applied to a set of electrode pads to both help them adhere to the skin and to make them more efficient in conducting the electrical pulses.
You can’t make a set of electrode pads last forever, but you can certainly care for them in a way that makes them last for up to 20-30 uses. Check out this Make Your Electrode Pad Sticky again video. And, when it comes to getting your electrode pads replaced, there’s always the iReliev Dollar Electrode Pad Club to help you save money. What have you done to make TENS unit pads sticky again? Leave a comment to let us know what has worked for you in the past.