Sodium Hypochlorite

What is Sodium Hypochlorite

Sodium hypochlorite (household bleach, 5.25%) can be diluted and used as a topical, irrigant antiseptic for cleansing and disinfecting of wounds. It is applied topically, usually by irrigation, soaks, or wet compresses.

Dakin’s solution is a 0.5% (full strength), 0.25% (half strength), or 0.125% (quarter strength) dilution of sodium hypochlorite in water, usually with the addition of boric acid or sodium bicarbonate as buffers to neutralize the pH. Original formulations of Dakin’s solution were first described by Dr. Henry D.

Dakin during World War I, in collaboration with a surgeon, Dr. Alexis Carrel.

Sodium hypochlorite solutions were primarily compounded by pharmacists prior to commercial availability. The irrigant solutions are considered non-prescription (OTC) products in the US.

Brand Name

  • Dakins Solution
  • Di-Dak-Sol
  • H-Chlor
  • HySept

Indications & Dosage

  • skin abrasion
  • wound management

For adjunctive wound management of skin abrasion, cuts, and skin ulcers to prevent and treat infections of the skin and tissue, including pre- and post- surgically

Side Effects

  • edema
  • erythema
  • skin irritation

Never use sodium hypochlorite (bleach) directly on the skin. Before use, ensure sodium hypochlorite is diluted to a specified concentration (full strength 0.5%, half strength 0.25%, quarter strength 0.125%). Failure to dilute sodium hypochlorite may result in severe adverse events.

Due to the strong oxidizing property of sodium hypochlorite, skin irritation, erythema, edema, and pain may occur following topical administration. Instruct patients to discontinue therapy and seek medical advice if the above symptoms develop.

Monitoring Parameters

  • laboratory monitoring not necessary


  • accidental exposure
  • breast-feeding
  • children
  • infants
  • neonates
  • ocular exposure
  • pregnancy


There are no drug interactions associated with Sodium Hypochlorite products.


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