Bleach bath instructions

Bleach bath instructions

Antiseptic baths twice a week can help prevent infection and improve eczema. See the instructions for how much to use.

Dilute bleach (sodium hypochlorite) baths can improve eczema and prevent skin infection.

Use dilute bleach baths twice a week for everyone when there is skin infection in a household.

Choose the right bleach

  • the bleach should be plain, without added fragrance or detergent
  • the best option is Budget Household Bleach Regular (2.2 percent)
  • bleach gets weaker with time so you may need to get a fresh bottle
  • make sure you store the bleach where children cannot reach it

Fill your bath or tub with warm water

  • a full-sized bath filled 10cm deep holds about 80 litres of water
  • a baby's bath holds around 15 litres of water
  • you can work out how much water is in your bath by filling it to a mark using a bucket or large bottle

Add bleach and mix well

This information was correct at time of writing, but commercial bleach products may change. Please see your doctor if you have any concerns.

  • add 2 ml of 2.2 percent Budget Bleach for every 1 litre of water (this will make a 0.005 percent solution)
  • other brands of bleach may be a different strength – check the bottle
  • a 10cm deep full-sized bath will need half a cup (150ml) of 2.2 percent Budget Bleach

Soak in the bath for 10 – 15 minutes

Rinse off with tap water

  • pat skin dry with a towel - do not share towels
  • apply steroid and moisturiser creams

Use dilute bleach baths 2 times a week

  • see your doctor or nurse if skin is irritated by the bath, or if infection occurs

You might like to print out the handout below - bleach bath instructions (PDF, 952KB)

Reproduced from the Eczema Clinical Network of the Paediatric Society of New Zealand's pamphlet Caring for your child’s eczema

This page last reviewed 12 January 2016.
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