Eye flushing: How is it done safely?

Eye flushing is required if foreign objects enter the eye. If not done, small-sized objects, particles and liquids are left inside. Flushing is also necessary if the eyes feel dry or irritated which is typically caused by allergies or pollution.

Depending on the reason, it is vital that you are familiar on how to properly perform eye flushing.

Steps in performing eye flushing

The process in which eye flushing is done is based on the substance within. In case of liquids such as household cleaners, check the label of the product for the safety instructions. In most cases, the eye is flushed using warm water. If the label is not available, you should flush the eye using water for 15 minutes and seek immediate medical attention.


The initial step is to ensure that your hands are clean by washing with warm water and soap.

In case dirt, sand or other miniature particle is present in the eyelashes or lower lid, it can be removed without flushing by utilizing a clean tissue. Make sure that your hands are clean and do not attempt to remove if the particle is in the eye.

Standard steps

The initial step is to ensure that your hands are clean by washing with warm water and soap. If contact lenses are worn, they should be removed.

Flush the eye for up to 15 minutes using warm water, stopping for a few minutes to check if it has been flushed out thoroughly which can be done in various ways:

  • Stand in a shower and allow warm water to flow in low-pressure setting onto the forehead and into the eye. Keep the eyes open while performing the eye flushing.
  • Bend over a sink and turn the faucet on. Position the affected eye under running water while the head is tilted to the side to allow warm water to flow into the eye.
  • With a glass of warm water, pour into the eye slowly with the head tilted on one side. This is done while bending over a sink.
  • A pan filled with water can be used and dip the face into the water while blinking.
  • If assisting a child when performing eye flushing, carefully hold the eyelid open as water is flushed out. Try to remain calm so that the child stays calm.

What is the outlook?

Various irritants that enter the eye can be removed by the natural tears of the body or with eye flushing. Remember though that you should not take any chances with vision.

In case flushing is not effective or if you believe it has not worked, seek immediate medical attention.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on eye flushing is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to properly perform flushing, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.


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