Valve Surgery…

Posted: 28th January 2014 by in Journal

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Lately, Taylor is on a mission to figure out the best way to clean his valves.

Let me start with some background information for where the valves are used and what there purpose are.  There is a valve on each of Taylor’s sockets for his legs.  The intention for the valves is to keep suction, so the socket doesn’t fall off his legs.  Taylor always describes the valve as a whoopee cushion because if any air gets into the socket creating loss of suction then when he is standing and pushing his leg back into the socket, the unwanted air will be pushed out, regaining that tight suction.

Visuals: Here is the placement of the valve on Taylor’s socket


Here is the valve up close with the rubber covering


Here is the valve up close without the rubber covering.  THIS IS WHERE ALL THE SOLIDIFIED SWEAT GET CLOGGED! The sweat get clogged around the middle metal and inside the middle metal circle.


Well these valves also collect any pooling body fluids that collect in the socket throughout the day.  Keep in mind the sockets are made out of carbon fiber, which means Taylor is pretty much wearing a plastic suit, tight around every inch of his remaining leg.  So, yes, sweat acquires.  This built up sweat create two problems: a bond that makes the valve function poorly/ jamming up /blocking the air from exiting freely AND of course an order.

We have tried q-tips, soaking them in a cleaner over night, hitting the valves against the table to try to break up the blockage of solidified sweat… and the list goes on

Recently, Taylor has tried marinating them in boiling water on the stove and even going as far to purchase tools  that allow him to get down in the crevasses.  Some of our ideas work better than the others but we still don’t have a perfect solution. The suction from his sockets that are created with the assistance of these valves is crucial for Taylor to walk properly.  Without good suction every step the leg is slipping off a little and when he takes the next step to push the leg back in, it creates a farting noise which is embarrassing and frustrating.  Plus without good suction in your sockets, Taylor can’t do more active events such as running, biking…

So please if you have any ideas, throw them our way.  We are will to try anything (obviously)

Boiling the valves in the kitchen


Using the newly purchased tool to try to scrap out the solidified sweat that blocks the air from exiting the socket freely


Taylor in action cleaning the valves



  1. Less says:

    Ask if they can be soaked in hydrogen peroxide. It eats away gems and crude off all kinds of things. A friend of mine kid’s retainer would get saliva and plaque build up on it because he didn’t take care of it. It worked wonders. I’ve use it the eat away gunk from water bottle seal that had milk residue and things like that. Hope it helps.

  2. Henry Ziemba says:

    Try a plug in ultrasonic cleaner, like the kind used for jewelry. Put liquid in the little tub, then the valve(s), and let it run. You may want to try different liquids, so you don’t damage the plastic, yet dislodge the buildups. I’d suggest using a warm liquid to help the process.

    Good Luck!

    You guys deserve everything good that can come your way.

  3. Dale Geerdes says:

    Clean valve and apply WD40. Should work. Love you guys

  4. D Money says:

    Would you be able to us a dishwasher (on the top rack and in one of those dishwasher baskets used for baby bottles)?

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