How to Make Dakin’s Solution


Many have wanted instructions for making the solution developed by the British Chemist Henry Dakin and the French Surgeon Alexis Carrel. To that end, we enclose the recipe.


As background, the solution was first developed by the pair in mutual service to the war effort during WWI in response to the very high rate of morbidity and mortality during healing. Carbolic acid, popularized by Lister and then by Halstead, was highly caustic. Carrel-Dakin’s solution, given as an intermittent irrigation, was much more wound-friendly.


How to Make Dakin’s Solution
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). Be sure to purchase unscented 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
Sterile measuring cup and spoons (use a dishwasher on highest setting for hot water and heat)
Sterile jar with sterile lid (see above)

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 the clean pan.
4. Boil water for 15 minutes with the lid on the pan. Remove from heat.
5. Using a sterile measuring spoon, add 1⁄2 teaspoonful of baking soda to the boiled water.
6. Your doctor may prescribe one of several strengths. Measure bleach according to the chart and add to the water also:
7. Place the solution in a sterile jar. Close it tightly with the sterile lid. Cover the entire jar with aluminum foil to protect it from light.
8. Throw away any unused portion 48 hours after opening. Unopened jars can be stored for one month after you have prepared them.

Label the jar with the date and time you made the solution.

Sample Label:

Dakin’s Solution
Dilution __________________________

Date/Time Prepared ________________

Date to throw away _________________

Keep out of the reach of children.
If the solution is used as a mouth wash, do not swallow it.
Do not use longer than one week, unless directed by your doctor.
Do not use if you are allergic to any of the ingredients.
Stop use of the solution if your condition worsens, or a rash or any other reaction develops.

Call Your Doctor If You Have:
Pain or burning sensation
Rash or itching
Redness of skin
Swelling, hives or blisters
Signs or symptoms of wound infection

Keep the solution stored at room temperature.
Cover jar with aluminum foil to protect it from light.
Be sure the jar lid is tight for storing.


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