How To Take a Bleach Bath

Eczema Basics

A three year old girl in the bath tub.
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Dilute bleach baths have long been recommended to help children with recurrent skin infections, especially those with hard to control eczema and/or MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infections.

Since some children can't even tolerate dilute bleach baths, be sure to talk to your pediatrician or pediatric dermatologist before trying a bleach bath.

Here's How:

  1. Mix one-half cup of regular Clorox bleach into your bathtub that is one-quarter filled with lukewarm water.
  1. Give your child a bath in this diluted bleach water for about five minutes.
  2. Put a moisturizer on your child's skin within three minutes of his getting out of the bath, especially if he has eczema.
  3. Repeat the dilute bleach baths about twice a week.


  1. Washing with chlorhexidine (Phisohex or Hibiclens) is sometimes recommended as an alternative to taking diluted bleach baths.
  2. If the dilute bleach baths irritate your child's skin, ask your pediatrician about alternative ways to treat your child. Diluting the bath even further will likely not be helpful because while it may not irritate your child's skin anymore, it probably won't be strong enough to kill the bacteria on his skin.
  3. Keep the undiluted bleach out of your child's reach, since household cleaning products are among the top household poisons.
  4. Even though the bleach in this bath is diluted, it can still be irritating, so be careful to keep it out of your child's eyes and out of his mouth.

    What You Need:

    • Regular Clorox bleach (sodium hypochlorite)
    • A bath tub
    • Lukewarm water


    Elston DM. How to handle a CA-MRSA outbreak. Dermatol Clin. 01-JAN-2009; 27(1): 43-8.

    Fisher RG. Hypochlorite killing of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 01-OCT-2008; 27(10): 934-5.

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