Is it true that urine can be used as an antiseptic?

In Marine Basic they tell us that urine can be used as an antiseptic to clean wounds. Is this true? If it is, why so?

i don’t think it’s an antiseptic rather, i think it’s because it’s sterile.

you can kill germs. you just won’t add anymore.

i meant…you CAN’T kill germs

Sigh This is at least the fifth time I’ve posted this.

Urine is not sterile when it comes out of the body in the normal fashion. Barring bladder infection, it is sterile in the bladder. However, there are bacteria living in the last inch or so of the urethra, and when the urine passes through, it picks up those bacteria. If you want sterile urine, for lab purposes or whatever, there are two methods recommended. First, collect urine from midstream. It still won’t be sterile, but most of the bacteria will have been washed out, so there will be less contamination. Second, stick a needle through the pelvis into the bladder and suck it out that way. My textbook claims this procedure is “well-tolerated”. My professor says it hurts like hell. Guess which one I believe?

As for why the military says that? Well, I can think of several theories, the most charitable of which is that they’re assuming that it will be more sterile than anything else lying around a battlefield.

The thought behind the idea of urine being used as an antiseptic is that normally a persons urine has a high hydrogen ion concentration (low pH). I still wouldn’t do it.

Depends (no pun intended). If you’re in a swamp or a muddy shell hole and you have nothing but bacteria filled swampy water on hand, then yes. The only other option would be to think of the most heart rending movie you’ve ever seen and use your tears. You can also use your saliva, that’s if you want to lick out an open wound with pus and dirt in it. Ergo, your only choice, Marine-pee.

If you’re were at the hospital and your Marine sargeant says “Here doc, save the H2O2 and use my pee instead, I’m full”, then run like heck.

Like the other posters said, pee is filtered from your blood via your kidneys, therefore it’s pretty sterile, i.e. has no bacteria in it. On the other hand it is not antiseptic, which means it has germ killing properties.

Welcome meepins, in the future, search first, search for URINE its been extensively written about.

I have an old (WWII) british-issue survival manual that says that the ammonia and uric acid in urine can be used as a last-resort topical antiseptic. Thats about as in-depth as it goes though.

So? who says you have to lick your wound? Can’t you just spit in your hand?

Smeg’s description is pretty accurate–he should know, being one of them college brainiacs! Urine isn’t the greatest sterile compound you could use as previously mentioned by the other posters–but it’s been used before.

Urine also decays pretty quickly, though. So it’s not a dressing that should be used for long periods of time on an open wound.

My sig has a link to the previous thread where Smeghead discussed this topic. As you can also see–I tasted my own urine because the original topic had to do with drinking it for health benefits.

It’s bitter and salty. The aftertaste is a little bit like buttered popcorn. The biggest obstacle is stifling the gag reflex even though it’s really not that terrible.

Has anyone ever seen the Friends episode where Monica gets stung by a jellyfish and Chandler pees on her to make it stop hurting? How come that works??

I think it’s because that’s television.
How come I never see any vampires when I’m roaming through the cemetery, like in Buffy the Vampire Slayer??

“My sig has a link to the previous thread where Smeghead discussed this topic. As you can also see–I tasted my
own urine because the original topic had to do with drinking it for health benefits.”

You fell for that & drank some? Chuckle.

On a related note, it is general knowedge among the surfers in Hawaii that if you step on a sea urchin you can pee on your foot and it will dissolve the urchin’s quill (with the explanation that you are fairly safe if you use you OWN pee).

Your tongue is more sterile than your hand.

She was laughing so hard that she forgot to hurt.

Where have you been putting your hand?

The skin on your hand contains just a few types of bugs (strept and staph mostly) but your mouth is as filthy as your asshole (bacteriologically speaking).

As an example, human bites frequently, almost invariably, get infected. But a similarly sized lesion made by, finger nails say, rather than teeth, would seldom get infected.

You never know 'till you try. :slight_smile:
Have you ever tasted -your- urine?

Oh how I do love all this potty talk!

I heard somewhere that Madonna, of all people, recommends peeing on your athlete’s foot while in the shower for a quick, home-made cure.


OK, I doubt they would just pull that out of their ass…
anyway there must be at least some truth to it, judging from MK’s post–
besides, I’ve heard it somewhere else too.