How-To Cleanse Your Wound

The purpose of wound cleansing is to remove dirt and contaminants from the wound while avoiding damage to healthy tissue. Always use a clean technique in cleansing your wound to minimize the risk of infection. Taking these steps will help increase the healing environment in your wound. Good wound cleansing loosens and washes away cell debris, like bacteria, pus, exudate, and residue from previous dressings. Always follow your physician or nurse practitioner’s instructions on how to take care of your wound with the appropriate dressing and how often to change the dressing.

Steps in Cleansing Your Wound

  • Clean your workspace with soap and water or disinfectant, then dry the surface with a clean cloth or paper towel. 
  • Spread a clean cloth or paper towel over your work surface. This will keep your work surface clean. 
  • Wash your hands well with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
  • If using scissors, clean them with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer first. 
  • Put on medical gloves before you clean the wound, if they are available.
  • A non-cytotoxic cleanser or normal saline can be used to clean out the wound and surrounding skin to get rid of debris, and bacteria that have built up.  
  • Avoid using hydrogen peroxide or iodine on wounds. These solutions have been reported in damaged the good cells within the wound to help with healing. 
  • Gently clean the wound and the area around it with a gauze pad. Hard scrubbing may cause more damage to the tissue and make it more likely to get infected.



The views and opinions stated in this blog are exclusively those of the author and do not reflect iWound, its affiliates, or partner companies.


Future Reading and References

Basic wound cleaning step by step, Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!: September 2008 – Volume 6 – Issue 5 – p 30-31 doi: 10.1097/01.NME.0000334102.05113.04


ArabicChinese (Simplified)EnglishFrenchHindiRussianSpanish