Getting Your Skin Ready for Surgery with Hibiclens®,
Chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) Soap-Adult
This handout explains how to clean your skin before surgery to help lower your risk for
Please review the step by step instructions below. It is important that you give yourself enough
time to follow the steps carefully. Call your clinic if you have questions. If you did not get
Hibiclens® at your clinic visit, you can buy it at your local drug store.
3 days before surgery - Do not shave or wax near the area where you will have your surgery.
The Night before Surgery (after 6:00pm)
ξ Hibiclens® CHG soap and a clean washcloth or new body sponge.
ξ Clean towels, bedsheets, pillowcase and pajamas
1. Shower or bathe using your usual soap and shampoo
and rinse off completely. Do not shave.
2. Turn off or step out of the stream of water.
3. Wet the clean washcloth and open the CHG soap.
a. Do not apply the soap directly to your face,
head or genital area.
b. Apply CHG soap to the washcloth and wash your
skin from neck to toe, covering all skin areas one
c. Reapply the CHG soap as needed to the
washcloth and apply to your skin until your skin
4. Repeat step 3. You should use half of the volume in
5. Leave CHG soap on skin for 1 minute (sing happy
birthday two times slowly) so it can absorb into your
6. Rinse your skin with warm water. Do not scrub.
Minimal contact to the genital area during rinsing
7. Blot your skin dry with a clean towel.
8. Do not use lotions, creams, powder, perfume or
makeup after the shower or bath.
9. Wear clean pajamas and sleep on clean sheets.
The Morning of Surgery (2 hours prior to arrival for surgery)
ξ Hibiclens® CHG soap and a clean washcloth, or new body sponge.
ξ Clean towels, underwear and clothing
1. Repeat steps 1 through 8 above.
2. Avoid anything that could make you sweat before surgery to keep your skin clean and ready
1. Do not use if you are allergic to chlorhexidine gluconate or any other ingredient in this soap.
2. If you notice a rash, redness or itching after using the Hibiclens® CHG soap, rinse off and do
not use it again. When you arrive for surgery, be sure to tell a member of your health care
team about your reaction.
3. If you have an ostomy, do not use Hibiclens® soap on the skin under your pouching system.
The Spanish version of this Health Facts for You is #7939
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 11/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7938