Bleach is a strong and effective disinfectant. Its active ingredient is sodium hypochlorite. For over 200 years, bleach has been the go-to chemical for erasing germs. Sodium hypochlorite is an oxidizing agent which both kills germs and in a broader application, makes it a great stain remover. Although bleach is often used directly on countertops or other hard surfaces, it is not recommended that bleach be used directly on the skin.

Chlorine, the active ingredient in most bleach products, is a strong antiseptic that kills most forms of bacteria and viruses. Before using a solution such as Dakin’s Solution, the solution needs to be buffered. If you get undiluted bleach on your skin, you need to cleanse the area immediately. It is possible to develop bleach burns, or painful red welts, on the skin if it has been in contact with undiluted bleach. It is important to visit your doctor to have your possible bleach burn examined. 

Once diluted, the active ingredient, sodium hypochlorite, denatures protein in micro-organisms. This is what makes the solution so effective in killing bacteria. When a solution of a protein is boiled, the protein frequently becomes insoluble, or denatured. Proteins are denatured by treatment with acid, oxidizing or reducing agents, and certain organic solvents.

Sodium hypochlorite reacts with the proteins in microbes, or bacteria, and denatures them. Once denatured, these microbes change their shape. A protein is made of one or more chains of amino acids, and each chain is twisted and folded into a specific shape. If the shape changes, the protein can no longer do its job. 

When sodium hypochlorite reacts with water, it produces hypochlorous acid. This is responsible for bleach’s ability to remove color from objects and for its ability to disinfect surface. The hypochlorous acid that forms when sodium hypochlorite reacts with water causes microbe proteins to denature and then clump together. This forms a non-functional mass with then kills the microbes.

Despite boasting the highest available strength, Dakin’s Solution Full Strength is gentle on skin and is tough on bacteria and infections. Unlike other alcohol-base products or hydrogen peroxide, Century Pharmaceuticals’ Full Strength solution won’t sting skin. If you are interested in learning more about Dakin’s Solution, feel free to contact us