How to Clean a Wound

Admin First Aid

If your wound isn’t rinsed well, it may end up becoming infected and need professional treatment. Finding out how to clean an injury and see when you should seek your doctor’s help can be worthwhile. The good thing is, this isn’t too difficult if you follow these instructions.

Here are four simple steps to properly cleaning and caring for your wound.

1. Stop the Blood Loss

Apply gentle pressure to your wound by using a wad of fabric or gauze, with extra fabric bandaged around the injured area. Lift the injured area over the heart, if it is possible.

  • Lifting the wounded area will reduce the flow of blood towards the wound and decrease blood loss.
  • If bleeding does not stop within 10-15 minutes, seek medical attention.

2. Get Rid Of Tiny Harmful Objects

In case there is any object in your wound that you can take out (like a small piece of metal, splinter, or even fishhook), then properly remove them.

  • Use disinfected forceps for small objects if you have them at hand.
  • Don’t take out bulky objects from your wound. It can cause it to open up even more and increase blood loss.
  • If your wound is pretty large and it has some debris (e.g. a “road rash”), get medical help. Taking out the particles may require agonizing scrubbing, and pain relievers may be a wise decision.

3. Rinse the Wound

Rinse the wound, when the blood loss has stopped, the next thing is to thoroughly wash the wound with clean water. This can be likely an essential phase for encouraging fast recovery as it will remove as much dirt, debris, and bacteria as possible. There are many effective ways to do that:

  • Hold the wound under clean, running tap water from a faucet.
  • Pour drinking water over the wound. If you have a plastic water bottle, you may poke a hole in the cap and then squeeze it to increase the pressure of the water flowing out.
  • Try a bulb syringe filled up with warm plain tap water or normal saline (use a bottle of saline formula).
  • Pour water over your wound. Do it again with a quantity of about 2 liters. The more the better. You don’t have to irrigate as much if you have wound on your face or head.
  • You may use a mild soap, such as Ivory dish washing soap, but be careful if the wound is near your eyes.

4. Bandage Your Wound

Once you wash your wound completely, then wrap it with a bandage. Bandaging restricts mobility so that wound edges can come together and heal. A bandage will help your wound heal fast because it prevents the mobility of the edges of the wound.

  • Use the correct type of bandage according to the size and location of your wound.
  • Keep the area clean and have patience!