Chemical splash in the eye: First aid

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If a chemical splashes into your eye, take these steps immediately.

  1. Flush your eye with water. Use clean, lukewarm tap water for at least 20 minutes. Use whichever of these approaches is quickest:
    • Get into the shower and aim a gentle stream of water on your forehead over your affected eye. Or direct the stream on the bridge of your nose if both eyes are affected. Hold the lids of your affected eye or eyes open.
    • Put your head down and turn it to the side. Then hold the lids of your affected eye open under a gently running faucet. If you have access to a work site eye-rinse station, use it.
    • Young children may do best if they lie down in the bathtub or lean back over a sink. Pour a gentle stream of water on the forehead over the affected eye or on the bridge of the nose to flush both eyes.
  2. Wash your hands with soap and water. Thoroughly rinse your hands to be sure no chemical or soap is left on them.
  3. Remove contact lenses. If they don't come out during the flush, then take them out.
Feb. 08, 2012