How to Shower Using Hibiclens®

Time to Read: About 2 minutes

This information explains how to shower using chlorhexidine gluconate (Hibiclens).

Hibiclens is a skin cleanser that kills germs for up to 24 hours after you use it (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Hibiclens skin cleanser

Figure 1. Hibiclens skin cleanser

It contains a strong antiseptic (liquid used to kill germs and bacteria) called chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG). You can buy Hibiclens at your local pharmacy or online.

Showering with Hibiclens helps lower your risk of infection. You may need to use Hibiclens:

  • Every day while your central venous catheter (CVC) is in place.
  • Before your surgery or procedure.
  • After your surgery or procedure.
  • If you’re in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
  • If you’re getting a stem cell transplant.
  • If you have a blood or lymphatic system cancer (such as leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma).
  • Don’t use Hibiclens if you’re allergic to CHG or any other ingredients.
  • Don’t use Hibiclens on children who are younger than 2 months old.
  • If you have irritation or an allergic reaction when using Hibiclens, stop using it and call your doctor.

How to Use Hibiclens

  1. Use your normal shampoo to wash your hair. Rinse your head well.
  2. Use your normal soap to wash your face and genital area. Rinse your body well with warm water.
  3. Open the Hibiclens bottle. Pour some solution into your hand or a clean washcloth. Don’t dilute (mix) the Hibiclens with water before doing this.
  4. Move away from the shower stream to avoid rinsing off the Hibiclens too soon.
  5. Rub the Hibiclens gently over your body from your neck to your feet. Don’t put the Hibiclens on:
    • Your head or face (including your eyes, ears, and mouth).
    • Your genital area.
    • Wounds or scrapes that are deeper than the top layer of skin. If you have a wound and aren’t sure if you should use Hibiclens, ask your healthcare provider.
  6. Move back into the shower stream to rinse off the Hibiclens with warm water. Rinse your body well.
  7. Dry yourself off with a clean towel after your shower.

Using other products along with Hibiclens

After your shower, don’t put on any products without talking with your nurse first. Many products can keep the Hibiclens from working. For example, don’t put on lotion, cream, deodorant, makeup, powder, perfume, or cologne.

If you’re in the hospital, your nurse can give you a lotion that’s okay to use after showering with Hibiclens.

If you’re not in the hospital, only use products that say “chlorhexidine compatible” on the label. If you’re not sure, you can contact the company to ask.


What to do if you get Hibiclens in your eye

  • Don’t rub your eye.
  • Rinse your eye with lots of cold water right away. Keep your eye wide open while you’re rinsing, and make sure to rinse under your eyelids. If you’re wearing a contact lens, take it out, if you can. Keep rinsing for at 15 to 20 minutes.
  • If your eye is still irritated after 1 hour, go to an urgent care center or emergency room.

What to do if you get Hibiclens in your mouth

  • Rinse your mouth with cold water right away.
  • Drink plenty of water. But, never give an unconscious person anything to drink or eat.
  • Don’t make yourself vomit (throw up).
  • If you swallowed any Hibiclens, get medical help or contact Poison Control (800-222-1222) right away.

What to do if you get Hibiclens in your ear

  • Rinse your ear with cold water right away.

For more information, read the product label on the outside of the Hibiclens package or visit the Hibiclens website at

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Last Updated

Tuesday, January 17, 2023