How to Remove a Splinter with Baking Soda

Two Parts:Inspection of the woundBaking soda removal

Children (and many adults) often regard the removal of a splinter with absolute terror. It's not just the pain of the splinter itself, but the thought of digging under your skin with a needle and tweezers! Here is an easy, fairly pain-free way to remove a splinter. This baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) method will even work to remove a deeply embedded glass shard.

Part 1
Inspection of the wound

  1. Image titled Remove a Splinter with Baking Soda Step 1
    Don't squeeze it! As you are inspecting the splinter for the first time, don't squeeze it to try to get it out. If it's sharp, you could be embedding it further into your skin; if it's brittle, you might break it into smaller pieces.
  2. Image titled Remove a Splinter with Baking Soda Step 2
    Clean and dry the spot with soap and water. Be gentle—patting the area dry with a paper towel will soak up the water without any unnecessary (and potentially painful) rubbing. You don't want the skin (or the splinter, if it's wood) to get soggy.
  3. Image titled Remove a Splinter with Baking Soda Step 3
    Inspect the splinter with a magnifying glass. The size of the splinter and how it's angled in your skin will help you know what's the best way to take it out.

Part 2
Baking soda removal

  1. Image titled Remove a Splinter with Baking Soda Step 4
    See How to Remove a Splinter for a description of other methods you may want to try first. The baking soda method described here is best for tiny, invisible splinters, or deeply-embedded ones. The baking soda paste will cause the skin to swell and push the splinter out. It's best used after other methods, since it will make the other methods (tape, tweezer, needle) more difficult because your skin will be slightly swollen.
  2. Image titled Remove a Splinter with Baking Soda Step 5
    Make a baking soda paste. Add water to about 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to make a thick paste.
  3. Image titled Remove a Splinter with Baking Soda Step 6
    Apply the paste to the splinter. Spread the baking soda paste onto a bandage, then apply the bandage to the affected area.
  4. Image titled Remove a Splinter with Baking Soda Step 7
    After 24 hours, remove the bandage. The splinter may be sticking out of the skin. If it's visible, pick it off with tweezers, and rinse the skin gently. If the splinter is sticking out but not visible, this may wash it away without further complications.
    • Repeat the method with new paste and another bandage every 24 hours until the splinter is gone.
  5. Image titled Remove a Splinter with Baking Soda Step 8
    Use a topical anesthetic. If the splinter is extremely painful, you might rub a bit of Baby Orajel around the affected area and wait a few minutes before trying to remove the splinter. The Baby Orajel will numb the area. Once you wait a few minutes, wash the affected area .


  • Alternate treatment: Lightly apply white glue in a thin layer to the affected area. Allow to dry. Peel the glue off for the hopeful easy removal of the small splinters. Glue conforms and gets into nooks better than tape.
  • Don't let dirt get into it as it may swell and get infected.
  • Duct tape can help remove a splinter that has a raised portion still above the skin.
  • Wear shoes to avoid getting another splinter.
  • Make sure to wash the affected area, so that the dirt on your foot doesn't get into the wound.
  • Don't let any bacteria get in it or it may become infected.
  • Don't use your fingers to get the splinter out, otherwise the splinter will go deeper into your skin.
  • Do not push on the splinter, as that can drive it down deeper, making it harder and more painful to remove.
  • Don't try to suck the splinter out. You might get a cramp.


  • Signs of infection around the splinter may include:
    • Angry redness, red streaks, swelling, skin hot to the touch, thick liquid or pus seeping out of the area.
  • If there is any sign of infection, seek medical advice.
  • Use of a topical anesthetic on the damaged skin is not recommended. The active ingredient in preparations such as Orajel, benzocaine, can be dangerous when applied to broken skin.[1]

Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Soap
  • Bandage
  • Gauze

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