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How to Disinfect a Wound

How to Disinfect a Wound
Kevin Cleary

Key Takeaways:

  • A wound (cut, abrasion, laceration, or burn) should be cleaned as soon as possible, even at home.
  • Disinfecting a wound can help prevent infection.
  • Thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting a wound helps wounds heal faster.
  • There are a few important steps to take before you apply any Band-Aid or bandage to your wound to maximize healing.
  • Follow a few steps to disinfect your wound properly, and HPFY has everything you may need.


Any time you experience a wound (any wounds), it is critically important that you meticulously clean and disinfect your injury. This can be a simple cut, abrasion, or mild burn but in order to avoid potential issues down the road following the proper steps to clean the wound is crucial. Allow me to give you a few simple steps on how to disinfect a wound at home and avoid an infected wound.

4 Stages of Wound Healing

If you experience a wound, helping your wound heal as fast as possible can require identifying where you are in the healing process. The goals for wound healing are preventing blood loss, defending/cleaning the area, and repairing or healing the wound and the surrounding skin. The stages of wound healing include:

  • Stop the bleeding
  • Clotting/scabbing
  • Rebuilding
  • Maturation

During the wound healing process, you may ask “how long does a wound take to heal?” This depends on the type of wound and severity. Open wounds generally take longer than closed wounds, but healing can take a couple of years to heal completely. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, in three months most wounds are repaired and the skin is 80% as strong as before.

Steps to Disinfect Your Wound

In order to thoroughly clean and disinfect your wound, you should follow some simple, easy steps to ensure that your wound heals properly and quickly. These steps are:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly: Be sure to wash her hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer and, if possible, don gloves. This can help minimize the risk of contamination and an infected wound.
  • Apply gentle pressure: This is if the wound is still bleeding. Ideally use a sterile gauze or a clean cloth and apply gentle pressure on the wound until bleeding stops. Try to elevate the affected area and use a clean gauze on top of any existing gauze if bleeding seeps through.
  • Rinse with water: It is not necessary to clean your wound with hydrogen peroxide or iodine to clean your wound thoroughly. Simply rinse your wound with clear water to loosen and remove any dirt or debris in the wound. Use a soft washcloth and some soap to clean the area around the wound while trying to avoid getting soap directly into the wound. If you’re treating a burn, run the wound under cool, not cold, water for 10-15 minutes.
  • Apply antibiotic cream/ointment: Try using over-the-counter ointment such as Neosporin to keep the area moist and protect it from infection. Topical antiseptics are antimicrobial agents that kill, inhibit, or reduce microorganisms and germs. A thin layer can help your body’s natural healing process and reduce scarring. Sometimes, the best antiseptic for open wounds can include bacitracin. Also, it is often recommended that you apply antibiotic cream if your burn blisters and breaks open.
  • Apply bandage: Believe it or not, every wound does not require a bandage. Minor scrapes and cuts typically only require a good cleaning and can be left alone. If a bandage is needed, apply a clean, sterile, and nonstick bandage to your wound after you disinfect it properly.

Products That Can Help


When to Seek Medical Attention

Most minor wounds can be treated at home if proper steps are taken. Ask your physician what he/she feels is the best antiseptic for open wounds. You should seek medical attention if:

  • Bleeding won’t stop with gentle pressure
  • The wound is deep, gaping, or across a joint and has jagged edges
  • You suspect germ contamination
  • A bite from an animal or even a human



Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.

HPFY Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.

In 2006, ...

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