Dakin’s Solution, an Antiseptic You Can Make at Home

First, understand that I am not a doctor and can’t give medical advice.  I am providing the formula for Dakin’s Solution for information only.

Dakin’s solution is an antiseptic solution containing sodium hypochlorite and was developed to treat infected wounds during the First World War.  At that time the stronger germicidal solutions that were available, such as phenol or iodine, either damaged living cells or lost their potency in the presence of blood serum.  Dakin’s solution avoids both problems and its solvent action on dead cells hastens the separation of dead from living tissue.

Dakin’s solution is easy to make and use.

The first thing that you need to understand about Dakin’s solution is that it is unstable and can only be kept for a few days.  The second thing is that it is easy to make from ingredients that every good prepper should have on hand.

Here is a recipe from the University of Virginia

Dakin’s solution is used to kill germs and prevent germ growth in wounds.  This recipe for Dakin’s solution may save you money and allow you to fix only the amount you need.  Another name for this is diluted sodium hypochlorite solution 0.5%.


  • Sodium hypochlorite solution 5.25% (Clorox or similar household bleach). We do not recommend using ultra bleach products that are more concentrated and thicker.
  • Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
  • Clean tap water
  • Clean pan with lid
  • Measuring cup and spoons
  • Jar and lid

Making the solution:

  1. Wash your hands well with soap and water.
  2. Gather your supplies.
  3. Measure out 32 ounces (4 cups) of tap water. Pour into clean pan.
  4. Boil water for 15 minutes with the lid on the pan. Remove from heat.
  5. Using a measuring spoon, add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the boiled water.
  6. Your doctor may prescribe one of several strengths. Measure bleach according to the char and add to the water also:
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 Full strength1/2 strength1/4 strength1/8 strength
Clorox3 ox. or 95 mL3 Tbsp + 1/2 Tsp or 48 mL1 Tbsp + 2 Tsp or 24 mL2 1/2 Tsp or 12-14 mL
Water32 oz32 oz32 oz32 oz

How to use Dakin’s Solution

Apply Dakin’s Solution onto the injured area by pouring or spraying.  When used on wounds, Dakin’s solution can be poured onto the affected area as an irrigation or cleanser.  It can also be used to wet certain types of wound dressings (e.g., wet to moist dressing).

This solution should only be used once a day for minor wounds and twice a day for heavily draining or contaminated wounds.  Protect the surrounding healthy skin with petroleum jelly to prevent irritation.

Tightly sealed jars of the solution may be stored at room temperature for up to one month in a dark jar, but once opened; any unused solution should be discarded within 48 hours.

If for any reason you choose to use the information to treat someone, get good medical advice from a trained professional prior to use. I am not a doctor and have not had any special medical training.

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7 thoughts on “Dakin’s Solution, an Antiseptic You Can Make at Home”

  1. Additional information on proper application of Dakin’s Solution:
    Source: https://ceufast.com/course/wound-series-part-2-approaches-to-treating-chronic-wounds

    Many clinicians are badly informed concerning Dakins solution, when to use and not to use, storage, documentation and strengths. Here are some things every clinician should know about Dakins:

    Full strength Dakins solution is a 0.5% sodium chlorite (hypochlorous acid) solution. Most are buffered with sodium bicarbonate to bring the PH up to one more easily tolerated by human tissues. Why is 0.50% Dakins solution called “Full Strength”? The term “Full Strength” refers to the highest concentration tolerable to the skin, which is Sodium Hypochlorite 0.50%. “Full strength” has been the standard industry term since its inception (Century Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 2011, pg. 1).
    At Full Strength, half strength, quarter strength (0.125% sodium hypochlorite), and even one-eighth strength (0.0625% sodium hypochlorite), Dakins solution is cytotoxic to fibroblasts and keratinocytes. Full strength Dakins solution would need to be diluted 50 times (one-fiftieth dilution) in order to reach a 0.01% sodium hypochlorite solution (non-cytotoxic).

    Clinicians should be extremely careful to know:

    A) What strength was ordered?
    B) Is this strength appropriate?
    C)Short term use may be appropriate to address a high localized bioburden

    Documentation of the use of any sodium hypochlorite solution should always be done by recording the exact strength that was used. Many times all strengths are just recorded as Dakins solution but this is in effect the same as documenting that insulin was given without recording the exact strength.

    Dakins solution is a 0.5% sodium hypochlorite solution and is often diluted because of its high cytotoxic properties. RECORD the correct strength!!!The following is a chart which describes the different dilutions of sodium hypochlorite solution.

    Sodium Hypochlorite Strengths
    (Century Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 2011, pg. 1)
    (A Reference Guide)
    Industry Term Percent of Sodium Hypochlorite Active: Total NaOCl Parts per Million Dilution of Bleach
    Bleach 5.00% 1:20 50,000 ppm None
    Dakin’s Full Strength * 0.500% 1:200 5,000 ppm 1/10th
    Dakin’s Half Strength * 0.250% 1:400 2,500 ppm 1/20th
    Dakin’s Quarter Strength * 0.125% 1:800 1,250 ppm 1/40th
    Diluted Sodium Hypochlorite 0.0250% 1:4000 250 ppm 1/200th
    Di-Dak-Sol * 0.0125% 1:8000 125 ppm 1/400th

    Ohio State University Medical Center (OSUMC) Department of Inpatient Nursing (2002) published a nice patient education pamphlet, How to Make Dakins Solution. This pamphlet describes diluting 3 ounces of common (unscented) household bleach (5.25% sodium hypochlorite solution) with 32 ounces of clean, boiled water (buffered with teaspoon baking soda/sodium bicarbonate) to make a full strength Dakins solution (0.5% sodium Hypochlorite solution).

    To make strength Dakins solution (0.25% sodium hypochlorite), use only 3 tablespoons (48ml) bleach mixed with the same amount of water (32 ounces) and baking soda (1/2 tsp.). OSUMC reports tightly sealed jars of these solutions may be stored at room temperature up to one month (in a dark jar), but once opened, any unused solution should be discarded within 48 hours. University of Virginia Health System also created a similar document.

  2. This was great information !!! Thank you. I go to a wound center 3 times a week so they can tend this infection on my foot. I am also changing wraps myself on all the days i dont go. Supplies are so expensive . Im thinking this would help lower my costs’.

  3. Commercial Dakin’s Solution say nothing about storing for only a month and discarding after opening the bottle,
    Yet you say, “solutions may be stored at room temperature up to one month (in a dark jar), but once opened, any unused solution should be discarded within 48 hours.”
    Why such a discrepancy?

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