%$##`! ARgh!
How to treat a mild burn

Being that I do a lot of cooking, I guess it makes sense that I burn myself a lot.  Plus I’m a dork.   My particular specialty is burning the inside of my wrist on the edge of a frying pan while fiddling with whatever is inside of it.

I don’t wanna sound like a suck, but OW!   They hurt those little burns.   No more!  And yours don’t have to hurt anymore because of a piece of bizarro advice given to me by a friend.  A solution so strange, it took me 5 years to even try it.  No – I’m not going to have you or anyone else pee on your burnt finger … don’t worry.

This  friend of mine, owns a breakfast diner.  A greasy spoon you might call it – if you aren’t the owner, that is.  When he bought the place years and years ago the old woman who passed him the reins gave him 2 pieces of advice:

“Don’t serve liquor … people look disgusting eating eggs when they’re drunk” and …

“If you ever burn yourself pour bleach on it.”

Bleach for your burns

You can see why it took me 5 years to give this a try, but a couple of months ago I got a mild burn from splattered oil on my fingers.  Annoyed at the pain, I bit the bottle and pulled the bleach out.  It took the pain away INSTANTLY.  I mean … in an instant.  The pain came back a half an hour later or so, but I just went back and poured a little more bleach on it.  The pain was gone AGAIN. And there weren’t any ill effects from pouring straight, undiluted bleach onto myself.  I was understandably worried silly by that possibility.

So the first shot wasn’t a fluke.   Wetting a mild (no open wounds please) burn with bleach works to get rid of the pain.

I didn’t dump the bottle on my fingers, I just put a bit of the bleach into the bleach bottle cap and drizzled it much like you’d drizzle olive oil on a pizza.  Or drool on a plate of eggs if you’re drunk.

Instructions:

1.  Burn yourself

2.  Open bottle of bleach

3.  Pour it on your mild burn

the end.


29 Comments

  1. Nicole says:

    I’d never heard of this! Pure vanilla extract works beautifully, too. (not the imitation mess, it has to be the real thing.) It works just like the bleach – after a half hour or so you have to reapply, but it”s a little more food-friendly for those who don’t want bleach around the food they’re cooking :o)

    • Karen says:

      oooooo! I can’t wait to burn myself again so I can try the vanilla. Doesn’t seem nearly as frightening as pouring bleach on yourself. Although I’m not sure I want vanilla near my dinner either. 🙂

  2. Langela says:

    I can’t wait to try this. On my children. Just kidding. I would try it on an unopened wound. I love bleach! Smells so clean.

  3. kathryn says:

    i am a frequent burner myself, in particular catching my wrists on oven shelves – but have significantly reduced incidents since installing these guards – brilliant, i’m sure you could get them in your neck of the woods.

    http://www.lakeland.co.uk/oven-shelf-guards/F/keyword/shelf/product/10913

    really enjoying you & your site Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Kathryn! We DO have these in my neck of the woods. I hope they’ll appear in my Christmas stocking every year … but they don’t. Not yet anyway!

  4. Marti says:

    Not to be impertinent, but you do realize that the reason this works is because the bleach is KILLING the cells on your skin.

    Pouring the second dose is killing another layer.

    Sometimes the pain is related to your body healing itself, because helpful cells are rushing in to replace the burned ones.

    Are you sure you want to do this?

    • Karen says:

      Yes m’am I am. It works, I’ve never had an ill effect from it, and surface skin cells die and slough off every day. If the bleach can hurry that process up to help a mild burn stop hurting, I’m O.K. with that. I also run with scissors and drink beverages loaded with aspartame. 🙂 ~ karen

  5. Lou says:

    Karen, you’re so funny, do come round my house and we’ll do dangerous stuff together – here in Rome we re-freeze chickens.

  6. Karen says:

    LOL. I’m trying to convince my bf we don’t need to. I prefer to have them on the counter. He’s a fraidey cat.

  7. Ian says:

    This is a crazy thing to do with a burn. Bleach (sodium hypochlorite) is corrosive and skin contact will produce caustic irritation or burns due to defatting and saponification of skin oils and destruction of tissue. The slippery feel of bleach on skin is due to this process. Also, it is carcinogenic.

    I burned my hand a week or so ago with almost boiling water. I ran cold tap water over it for 5 minutes at 1/3 hour intervals and after research, did NOT put aloe or butter or anything else on it. After several days I put some cortisone ointment on it and today it is looking normal.

    • Karen says:

      Yup. Agreed. Crazy indeed. That’s why it took me years to try it. Nonetheless it works. I’m not suggesting you bathe in it. Just a little splash on the wound (not open). Takes the pain away immediately. ~ k!

  8. greg says:

    Chefs tricks #1. (bleach and burns) This is an age old german trick to cauterize a burn wound. A first or second degree burn has been studied to my knowledge but not a third degree with this method. That research is in the works. *Okay a burn on the skin will produce a natural reaction of the body to increase fluid in the area of said burn. ( I may add that the AMA does not want you to have this information because their method will take 7-10 days to heal which then you spend money on products such as burn creams) (***never use a burn cream as they are petroleum jellies and cause a much longer recovery time***) So when you have been burned the area wants to heal itself so it releases fluids. These fluids end as blisters and when they burst their is a new set of problems to deal with as when any blister bursts. The bleach will dry up the area and seal the end of the wound like an immediate scab thus leaving no blisters or scares.
    How to apply: Lets say your hand was burned by scalding water. Now stop, take a second and just relax. Walk over and grab your bleach (basic bleach not splashless and does not have to be name brand) and walk over to your sink. Stay calm!!. Pour bleach all over the wound, quick splash covering the area. Pat dry with a paper towel (do not wipe off bleach just pat dry) . This is mainly so you do not spread bleach all over your clothes and stuff around you. The pain is instantly gone. Okay so pain is gone and I have bleach on my hand. Well your not done. Continue to do stuff now that pain is gone, wear a rubber glove if you are working on food. In about 15 minutes the pain will slowly come back. Put a little more bleach on, pat dry. You do not have to do that step again. After 15 minutes wash area with mild soap and cool water just to take away bleach residue as the area has already been cauterized from the bleach. The pain may still be there a little but but after a half hour you’ll forget you got burned. The worst burn I had and used this on was a grill burn where I fell on the grill and half my forearm got stuck to the grill and when I ripped my arm off there where 6-8 grill lines half inch deep in my arm. This worked perfectly again and I continued my shift pain free. -hope this helps 😀

  9. Stephen says:

    I was told about using bleach for burns by a very experienced nurse about 15 years ago. I never had a chance to try it, but I consider this lady to be trustworthy.

  10. Judy says:

    Try Apple cider Vinegar. It also works!

  11. Jeannine says:

    Soy sauce! I read in an online home-remedy site to use soy sauce on a burn- especially helpful when in the kitchen. Last week, I had occasion to try this when I stuck my thumb on a hot skillet handle fresh from a 400 degree oven. Yowza! Out with the soy sauce. I poured it on my thumb and the pain faded quickly. I then poured some into a tiny cup and held my thumb in that for a bit. No more pain. A blister formed but never got very liquidy. And the pain never came back! The burn became dead skin that just sloughed off a week later.

  12. Erica says:

    Um, I’m having my doubts here.

  13. Gen says:

    I haven’t tried it myself, but I’ve read this frequently on-line and on FB. If you get a burn from whatever, first run the burn under cold water (to stop the actual burn process). While that’s going on, mix egg whites (only) together. Put mixed whites (or the body part if small enough in the bowl) onto burn. It coats the burn and allows your body to heal itself with minimal to no scarring (and soothes the burn naturally). You’re to reapply as needed 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Gen – I’ve come across that remedy on the Internet myself! However, as is often the case with facts found on the Internet, it isn’t true, LOL. For one thing, cold water should never be run on a burn. Cool water is fine, cold is not. You can read more about the debunking of this myth here. As far as the bleach goes, I use the method myself. I never post about anything that I haven’t done, made or tried successfully myself. It’s one of the places you can come in the Internet where you won’t get any lies. 🙂 ~ karen

  14. Sean says:

    I learned this lesson the hard way when working in a pizza shop. I 14 and it was my first job. Lets put it this way. No 14 year old should have to reach into a pizza oven at anytime, but that was my job. So it goes with out saying that I got burned a few times. I remember the first time a co-worker suggest bleach. I laughed. Until I got burned and he grabbed my arm and poured bleach straight on the burn. HOLY CRAP IT WORKED!!!!! I have been using bleach on burns ever since. Funny thing is. Nobody believes me when I tell them that bleach for a mild burn works wonders. Oh well I guess they will just have to suffer the sting!!

  15. jody says:

    My Dad had a lot of old time cures that worked.
    I am a pharmacist so I was sceptical. But they work.
    Bleach stops a burn. you may have to apply a second
    Time. Turpentine was what he put on a cut and it took
    Away the soreness . he put tobacco on a bee sting.. Don’t ask
    Why. Just do it!

  16. bangi says:

    I recently tried this on a bad second degree burn. My sister is a doctor and advised me to bandage my foot in a nappy that had been soaked in bleach. My first doctor had told me to let it air and that left me in so much pain. The bleach soothed it and the skin grew back very quickly. With very little scaring. I guess its one of those things u have to try to believe but its true!

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  18. Brandi says:

    It looks like this was originally posted quite some time ago, but I still have to comment. I learned of this remedy many years ago when I was working as a waitress. A piece came off of the espresso machine and boiling water and steam shot out directly onto my arm. The woman I was working with immediately grabbed a rag out of the bleach bucket and slapped it on my burn. Our manager almost had a stroke when she saw her do that, but the pain stopped immediately. It also didn’t blister anywhere near as badly as it could have. I’m a believer now and tell people about this remedy all the time …but so far, none of them have tried it (that I know of.) I’m going to keep telling people though, because it works wonderfully!

    • Ar says:

      The soy remedy also works like a charm
      I have seen it firsthand !apply a few times or soak the burn for15 min or so…voila!
      If it’s a finger burn and work still needs doing, fill the tiger ofaglove with soy sauce and keep going.

  19. Deloise Mcclanahan says:

    My story is I was at work and a coworker just pulled cookies from the oven so I told her to gently slide them on to a cold cookie pan to cool them we use baking sheet so it wouldn’t be hard so she did, I turn went back to what I was doing, came back turned to grabbed some pans to stack them for washing the first pan I grabbed was the hot cookie pan that just came out of a 425 degree oven, Dork right. It was so hot that it felt freezing, any way I immediately stuck my hand in red vinger it was helping, but a lady that was a nurse came in and my coworkers was helping her since I had my had in vinger she saw what I was doing and told me about bleach and I ask our restroom cleaner as bleach in it, so I did spray some on pain went away immediatel, couple hours the pain came back but a little more on it pain went away, this morning my whole hand resembles a raisin, and only a few spots that hurt, thanks for the advice

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