What is Dakin’s Solution

Dakin’s Antiseptic Solution was first used during World War I to treat infected wounds.  It is an antiseptic solution containing 0.5% sodium hypochlorite.  Simply said, it a bleach solution that has been diluted to decrease irritation.

Sodium Hypochlorite is a proven killer of most forms of bacteria and viruses.  It is use to purify our public drinking water and to clean schools, hotels and cruise ships when there is a viral outbreak like Norwalk.

Dakin’s Solution is an ideal wound antiseptic.  It doesn’t damage living cells and it doesn’t  lose its potency when it comes in contact with blood serum.

I am not a doctor. I am not giving medical advice. I am only giving you my opinion based on my personal experience and study. If you need medical advice, seek out the help of a licensed medical professional.  The basic information for this article is from the Ohio State University Medical Center and the University of Virginia Health System websites combined with information on origin and usage from other web resources.


How to Use Dakin’s Solution

For minor wounds, the Dakin treatment is daily irrigation (flooding) of the entire wound surface with Dakin’s Solution.  For heavily draining wounds, the Dakin treatment is twice daily irrigation of the entire wound surface with Dakin’s Solution.

If surrounding health skin becomes irritated, you can either use a 50%, 25%, or 12.5% Dakin’s Solution (see recipe below) or use an ointment or petroleum jelly as a skin sealant barrier when irrigating with Dakin’s Solution.

Dakin Solution is available online for about $17 a bottle.  But the great thing is that you can make it yourself for pennies.




How to Make Dakin’s Solution


1. Unscented Chlorine Bleach that contains 5.25% Sodium hypochlorite.
2. Baking Soda (Sodium bicarbonate)
3. Tap Water or Filtered Water
4. Clean Pan with Lid
5. Sterile Measuring Cup (glass or metal)
6. Sterile Measuring Spoons (metal)
7. Sterile Jar with Sterile Lid.

Sterilize Equipment

Place the equipment in a dishwasher and run them through a wash cycle with the dishwasher set on the highest hot water and heat settings.  If a dishwasher is not available, you can boil the equipment in rapidly boiling water for 5 minutes.  Make sure the equipment is totally submerged in the boiling water.  Remove the equipment with a pair of metal tongs and place on a paper towel to dry.

Making Dakin’s Solution

1. Wash your hands well with soap and water.
2. Measure 4 cups of water into a clean pan.
3. Boil the water for 15 minutes with the lid on the pan. Remove from heat.
4. Measure ½ teaspoon of baking soda into the boiled water using a sterile measuring spoon.
5. Measure bleach, based on the strength chart below, into the boiled water using a sterile cup or measuring spoon.

Full Strength – add 3 oz bleach
½ Strength – add 3 Tbsp + ½ tsp bleach
¼ Strength – add 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp bleach
1/8 Strength – add 2 ½ tsp bleach

6. Place the solution in a sterile jar. Close it tightly with the sterile lid.

Store at room temperature. Unopened jars can be stored for one month after preparation if stored in a dark place (light exposure will deteriorate the solution).    Once opened and exposed to air, the solution deteriorates.  Throw away any unused portion 48 hours after opening.


Do not use longer than one week.
Do not use if you are allergic to any of the ingredients.
Stop use of the solution if your condition worsens.
Stop use of the solution and contact your doctor if you develop:

Pain or burning sensation
Rash or itching
Redness of skin
Swelling, hives or blisters
Signs or symptoms of wound infection


Ed Rogers
Copyright “Keep It Simple” 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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