Universal ICU Decolonization: An Enhanced Protocol

Appendix E. Training and Educational Materials (continued)

Universal ICU Decolonization Protocol for CHG Bathing


Poster for Universal ICU Decolonization Protocol for CHG Bathing. Drawings depict the front and back of a person, with numbers that correspond to use of chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) cloths below the jawline only. Text is below the image.

  • Chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) replaces routing bathing for entire ICU stay. 
  • Do NOT use soap below the jawline. Certain soaps and lotions can inactive CHG.
  • Only use CHG-compatible lotions and/or barrier products.
  • Dispose of all cloths in the trash. Do NOT flush.

Bathe with CHG using firm massage to remove bacteria.


  • Clean with chux and water, NOT soap.
  • Then bathe with CHG clothes, air dry.
  • Use as many CHG cloths as needed.
  • Apply CHG compatible barrier.
  • Repeat throughout the day, as needed.

Lines and Tubes:

  • CHG is safe on lines, tubes, and devices.
  • Bathe with CHG right up to dressing.
  • Okay to bathe over occlusive dressings.
  • After bathing skin, clean 6 inches of tubes/Foley nearest patient.

Only use CHG cloths below the jawline.

  1. Neck, shoulders, and chest.
  2. Both arms and hands.
  3. Abdomen then groin and perineum.
  4. Right leg and foot.
  5. Left leg and foot.
  6. Back of neck, back and then buttocks.

Skin may feel sticky for a few minutes. Do NOT wipe off. Allow to air dry.

Page last reviewed September 2013
Page originally created September 2013
Internet Citation: Appendix E. Training and Educational Materials (continued). Content last reviewed September 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/systems/hospital/universal_icu_decolonization/universal-icu-ape3.html