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Mineral Oil vs Saline Enema: Which one to choose?

Mineral Oil vs Saline Enema: Which one to choose?
Kevin Cleary

Introduction     |     Types of Enemas     |     Best-Selling Enemas     |     Customizable Enema Options

Reviewed by Christine Kijek, Registered Colorectal Nurse on, May 14, 2022

An enema is used for many reasons. Just as there are many reasons, there are different types of enemas, each of which contains different ingredients and works differently in the body. While some may choose an enema to soften stool or for routine colon cleansing, the reason for using an enema may have more of a medical necessity. Enemas have been used as part of alternative health therapy for some time, but no matter the reason they all have basically one thing in common: cleansing.

What is Enema?

Enemas are not exactly a household word. While everyone may know generally what they are, there may be misunderstandings about their benefits and how they work. An enema is a fluid injected into the lower intestines and colon via the rectum. The most common use for an enema is to relieve constipation or impacted stool. Those with bowel dysfunction may use an enema to deal with fecal incontinence as well as constipation. While many people use oral laxatives or suppositories, sometimes the direct use of an enema can also help.

Different types of Enemas

While the endgame (no pun intended) of all enema options is similar, the different types of enemas work differently within the body. There are some enemas that are designed for specific medical procedures (such as a barium enema) or more importantly, the relief from constipation or impacted stool.

  • Mineral Oil Enemas - A mineral oil-based enema is used for constipation to lubricate and soften the stool while helping it slide through the colon easily. It is available in a prefilled squirt bottle that is easy to use and is disposable.
  • Sodium Phosphate Enemas - Sodium phosphate enema works in a different way from one that is mineral oil based. As opposed to just lubricating and softening, this type of enema draws water from the body into the colon, therefore loosening impacted stool and expelling it from the body through the rectum.
  • Saline Solution Enemas - Sometimes just a water or saline solution enema can be enough to get relief from minor constipation. It is very important to make sure that you use the appropriate amount of fluid or an injury can occur.

Below is a chart from atitesting.com giving examples of fluid amounts:

  Fluid amounts for large volume enemas  
Infant 50 to 150 ml
Toddler 250 to 350 ml
Child 300 to 500 ml
Adolescent 500 to 750 ml
Adult 750 to 1000 ml

Many people have sought out enemas as an alternative therapy. The use of a colonic to cleanse the colon has become quite popular for the removal of feces and nonspecific toxins from the colon and intestinal tract according to enemabasics.com. These enemas can have side effects, such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea not to mention electrolyte imbalance, so make sure to discuss these with your doctor or nurse before deciding to buy enema.

How to use an Enema on your own?

To begin with, anybody can administer an enema for themselves. All you really need is the right information and a little concentration. To administer or use an enema on your own you need -

  • A quiet place, preferably a bathroom where you can lie down
  • Some fresh towels
  • A timer to watch time
  • An enema
  • Some hot water and soap

Instructions -

  1. Wash your hands with soap and hot water. Dry them well
  2. Remove your lower body clothes.
  3. Spread a towel on the bathroom floor and lie on either side of your body. If you're right-handed, lie on the left side, if you're left-handed, lie on your right side for the sake of easy movement.
  4. Put your foremost foot forward and place a towel underneath your knee. Doing this will help your body to stay in one position and not hurt any of your body parts.
  5. Remove the cap present on the beak of the enema.
  6. With gentle hands insert the tip of the enema inside your anus. 
  7. Continue inserting with the least exertion of force for 3-4 inches.
  8. Slowly squeeze the liquid until the container is fully emptied.
  9. Now remove the beak of the enema and let it do its job. Hold the content of the enema for about 10 minutes if possible. Then sit on the toilet to release or expel the contents
  10. Please go through the instructions of the kit thoroughly before starting the process.  

How to relieve Constipation?

In the fight against constipation or colon irrigation, there are many enema options available.

1. Fleet Saline Laxative Enema

The Fleet Saline Laxative Enema provides a soft stool mass and increased bowel action that leads to a bowel movement within 1-5 minutes. It is perfect for bowel cleansing before a rectal exam. Its disposable squeeze bottle is pre-lubricated and should not be refilled with any other liquid. This product is fairly easy to use and is completely latex-free. Its protective shield protects the enema from contamination. Also, the product has a flexible comfort tip that is pre-lubricated for easy and painless insertion. The one-way safety valve regulates the flow and helps in the avoidance of reflux. Other than this, this pediatric enema is suitable for kids aged 2-11 years. This is widely used as an instant relief remedy for occasional constipation.

The instructions for how to use an enema are mentioned above, however, there are certain precautions you must take while administering it yourself. Some things to keep in mind are -

  • Do not use more than one dosage of enema a day unless prescribed by the doctor
  • Do not use this if you are using another sodium phosphate product already
  • Keep it out of reach of children
  • Dosage: 1 bottle for adults and children above 12 years of age; Use a pediatric enema for children ages 2-11 years
  • If you're pregnant, please consult your doctor before taking any dosage of this product
  • If after the administration, you experience symptoms such as rectal bleeding, no bowel movement within 30 minutes after use, or signs of dehydration (nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or frequent urination, etc.), Call your doctor. It might be an indication of some serious health concern.
Deals on Fleet Saline Laxative Enema
Fleet Saline Laxative Enema

2. Fleet Mineral Oil Enema

Another option for constipation treatment that utilizes mineral oil is the Fleet Mineral Oil Enema. It lubricates and coats the fecal contents to prevent water from being absorbed out of the stool. It generally produces a bowel movement within 15 minutes and is ideal for those who need to avoid straining after surgery or have given birth. It is a one-time-use disposable enema that delivers the liquid into the rectum. It is ideal for constipation relief as it is an effective laxative. One of the major reasons for people to choose mineral oil enema is that it helps in lubricating and softening the stool. Additionally, it is sodium-free which is an added benefit of using a mineral oil enema. 

Things to keep in mind while using an enema -

  • You can use fleet mineral oil enema for three consecutive days, however, if no stool output occurs, discuss with your doctor. Do not use it more than once a day.
  • Abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting after using the laxative can be an indication of a serious problem. Call your doctor immediately..
  • Do not force the enema tip into the rectum, it may cause serious harm to your body..
  • Breastfeeding or pregnant women should seek professional help before using the product.


Shop Fleet Mineral Oil Enema
Fleet Mineral Oil Enema


3. Fleet Bisacodyl Enema

Another type of constipation remedy is bisacodyl enema. This kind of enema uses the laxative bisacodyl to stimulate bowel movements. According to drugs.com, this type of enema should not be used for more than one week unless otherwise directed by your healthcare provider. The Fleet Bisacodyl Enema directly stimulates the intestines to increase peristalsis, the rhythmic action that pushes stool through the colon and rectum, producing a bowel movement within 20 minutes typically. The fleet bisacodyl enema is -

  • Sodium phosphate
  • Used for bowel cleansing before rectal examinations
  • Has a protective shield that prevents contamination
  • Has flexible and comfortable tip for easy insertion

After using fleet bisacodyl enema, you may experience mild cramps, faintness, rectal burning, and abdominal discomfort. In such a case consult your doctor and take necessary precautions.

Buy Fleet Bisacodyl Enema
Fleet Bisacodyl Enema

4. Enemeez Plus Mini Enema

For patients who experience autonomic dysreflexia or pain from hemorrhoids, Enemeez Plus Mini Enema includes benzocaine to create a numbing sensation, eliminate pain and irritation, and offset the symptoms experienced with autonomic dysreflexia. This is ideal for patients with spinal cord injuries or those suffering from cerebral vascular injuries. It has several features such as:

  • Easy to use
  • Assists with incontinence effectively
  • No afterburn effects
  • No mucosal discharge
  • Non-irritating formula

The Enemeez Plus Mini Enema can assist in the improvement of patient care and FIM scores associated with bowel care. It can help in reducing time spent with the patient for dressing/redressing due to episodes of incontinence or fecal discharge. The product virtually eliminates episodes of incontinence. Additionally, it also aids in reducing complications of wound contamination associated with perianal pressure ulcers. This enema helps maintain healthy skin integrity. The Benzocaine present in it assists in the anesthetization of the rectum and lower bowel. It's easy rectal usage for patients with reflex issues or nausea can assist in reducing time missed in therapy/rehabilitation due to episodes of incontinence, prolonged bowel care, or fatigue. Subsequently, it can be cost efficient in a facility by providing savings on pads, laundry, gowns, sheets, etc. due to incontinence or fecal discharge

Buy Enemeez Plus Mini Enema
Enemeez Plus Mini Enema

5. Enemeez Mini Enema

For those who do not require benzocaine, Enemeez Mini Enema comes in a single-use tube that contains docusate sodium and a medicinal soft soap base of polyethylene glycol and glycerin. It helps establish a more predictable bowel routine. It results in less nursing interventions for in-patient bowel care while providing the patient a sense of freedom. It also saves time and energy. Moreover, it also leads to savings on labor costs in facilities.

In case you miss a dose, please take it as soon as you remember. If the timings of the missed dosage and the next one clash, do not take it twice. Skip the earlier dosage and go for the next one. Only use the Enemeez Mini Enema in the manner prescribed by your doctor.

Enemeez Mini Enema
Enemeez Mini Enema

Customizable Enema Options

Not all enemas need to be in a prefilled, ready-to-use bottle. Some are customizable according to user preferences. The set allows users to use any type of liquid they want to use.  

  • The Marlen Colonic Enema Set allows users to use any type of liquid they want to use. It is often used for safe, effective evacuation for those experiencing loss of sphincter control.
  • One option that allows patients flexibility is the Medline Disposable Enema Bucket Set. It comes in a wrapped polypropylene bag that includes a bucket, tube with clamp, sterile lubricating jelly, and Castile soap packet. It is a great one-stop shop for your enema usage.
  • Another option is the Bard Radiopaque Rubber Colon Tube with Funnel End. This 30-inch-long tube is designed for the administration of enemas (as well as certain medications) and features an open distal tip and one side-eye. It does contain latex and is non-sterile while being designed for single use.
  • The Bard Rubber Rectal Catheter uses an inflatable balloon to maintain proper catheter position and is perfect for one-time enema use and other medications. This catheter is made of latex and is non-sterile.

Whether you choose to use any enema kits for relieving constipation or as alternative medicine, there are plenty of options for just about everyone.


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary

Hi there, my name is Kevin Cleary. I was born in Westchester County in 1966 on December 3. I lived there until 1973 when my family moved. I graduated from high school in 1984 and then attended college in New ...

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