An antiseptic, usually used in hospitals, is a substance that helps reduce and alleviate the growth of microorganisms. They help reduce the risk of infection through their different types, like hand rubs, hand washes, and skin preparations. Some of them are also available over the counter for home use.
You have probably stockpiled antiseptics in your storage room, but you can run out of them easily especially with the pandemic going on. So can you make antiseptics at home? You absolutely can! Read on to find out the different ways you can make your own antiseptic.
What is an Antiseptic?
As mentioned, an antiseptic is a substance that reduces and eradicates the growth of microorganisms. Many people get confused between antiseptics and disinfectants. Both are being used interchangeably, but antiseptics are specifically skin disinfectants.
An antiseptic is applied to the body, while disinfectants are applied to nonliving surfaces, such as countertops and handrails. In a surgical setting, for example, a doctor will apply an antiseptic to the surgical site on a person’s body and use a disinfectant to sterilize the operating table. An antiseptic contains biocides lower than disinfectants.
Antiseptics are used for the following:
- Disinfecting mucous membranes
- Cleaning skin before the operation
- Treating skin infection
- Treating throat and mouth infections
Being able to self-medicate and heal your wounds is a priceless skill during this pandemic. One of the most frequent topics regarding the coronavirus is the use of antiseptics since they work well on bacteria. Fortunately, you can make your own antiseptic at home.
Dakin’s solution was a common antiseptic that is used to treat infected wounds during World War I. It lost popularity in 1943 when penicillin became an established antibiotic. But it continues to be used because it can fight aerobic and anaerobic organisms like fungi and antibiotic-resistant organisms.
To make your own, you will need a sterile jar with a sterile lid, a clean pan with a lid, and measuring spoons and cups. As for the ingredients, prepare water, baking soda, and bleach.
Measure 4 cups of water and pour it into a clean pan. Then, boil it for 15 minutes with the lid on the pan. Add ½ sp of baking soda to the boiled water then add 3 tbsp of bleach.
Then, place the mixture in a sterile jar and close it tightly.
Remember that it is important to sterilise all equipment and contact surfaces before making your own Dakin’s solution. Also, once you open the jar, use the antiseptic as needed because once 48 hours have passed, you’ll have to throw it away.
Natural antiseptics also exist. They are better for the skin and are environmentally friendly because they are biodegradable. They can come in handy while camping or during natural disasters when you cannot get to a pharmacy. Here are some choices you may want to consider:
- Grapefruit seed extract. This is a powerful all-around antimicrobial product and excellent disinfectant. For antiseptic use, make a solution of 4-40 drops in four ounces of water and apply to the affected areas with a cotton ball 2-3 times a day or spray on larger areas.
- Witch hazel. Witch hazel is cheap and mild. It also has toning properties that make it a soothing astringent for the face.
- Honey. Applied full strength or diluted with water as much as 10:1, this sweet nectar has been found to stop the growth of all major wound-infecting species of bacteria. In some cases, researchers found honey superior to antibiotics in treating drug-resistant strains of bacteria. Use for bites, stings, cuts, or any topical infection.