What is Dakin’s Solution?

What is Dakin’s Solution?

What is Dakin's Solution?
Dakin’s solution

What is Dakin’s Solution?

Dakin’s solution is used to kill and prevent the growth of bacteria or germs in wounds. You can think of the infection present in your mouth like an open wound, caused by specific bacteria. If we can kill and control the germs, we hope to keep the infection under control.
This recipe for Dakin’s solution allows you to affordably mix your solution at home. The germ killing part of the solution is Sodium hypochlorite solution 5.25%.
That’s right. Bleach!  What better way can you think of to clean a germy area than bleach?  In a diluted solution, it will have the same effect on the germs causing the infection in your mouth.
We recommend the full strength solution which is about a 1:20 dilution.
The above recipe creates a sterile bath of Dakins; the sterility prolongs the effectiveness of the solution (48 hours typically but may be up to 7 days). You can make a small solution that is non-sterile (no boiling) to use right away.
Another option is to buy Dakin’s solution pre-bottled (full strength) and formulated in a way that the shelf-life is one year.
We recommend swishing Dakin’s solution (or homemade solution) 2 times a week for one full minute.  You can use Dakin’s solution to irrigate under the gums using a Waterpik (water flosser) 2 times a week as well, but the solution may corrode the unit over time.  Diligent brushing and flossing are recommended first to avoid the possibility of the solution causing staining.  If a stain does develop our hygienists can easily remove it for you at your next hygiene appointment.


  1. Blake

    Are you sure you have the solution correct, 20:1 for full strength?
    From what I see from Dakin’s solution recipe the .25% strength(1/2 strength) is 20:1.

    November 26, 2017 at 1:51 pm Reply
    1. Hello Blake, Let me reach out to Laura to verify. Thanks for stopping by.

      November 26, 2017 at 4:21 pm Reply
      1. Scott

        20:1 vs .25% or is 20:1 25%

        December 16, 2019 at 4:03 pm Reply
        1. Thank you Scott for the reminder and for stopping by. 🙂

          December 17, 2019 at 6:01 am Reply
  2. Laura RDH

    I’m here! Sorry I missed the question to start. The ideal strength is indeed 0.25% sodium hypochlorite.
    Here’s a link to a quick easy read pilot study:
    I believe you are correct in saying the .25% of HALF strength when purchasing the pre-mixed Dakin’s solution.
    At the time the blog was written, I believe Dr. Medina had consulted with a pharmacist friend who had said even using the FULL strength would be quite safe, so we opted to keep the full strength in office.
    Some people may find the full strength more irritating for the recommended at home usage, so to be safe I would stick with the .25%. We can work on updating the blog to make that more clear- thank you!

    December 17, 2019 at 8:29 am Reply
    1. Thank you Laura, you’re the best! 🙂

      December 17, 2019 at 8:34 am Reply

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