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Methylated Spirit Vs Chlorhexidine Gel for Newborn Umbilical Cord Care, Which is Better?

Methylated Spirit and Chlorhexidine Gel for Newborn Umbilical Cord Care, Which is Better?

Note that this essay is not meant to condem one product over another. Rather, it will try to answer the question on  Methylated Spirit and Chlorhexidine Gel for Newborn Umbilical Cord Care, Which is Better? See the Natural Ways to Cure Anovulation (Lack of Ovulation).

Before the delivery date of every pregnant mother, the hospital where she registered for Antenatal will provide her a list that contains the items needed for child delivery and after the delivery. One of the things in the list is care of baby umbilical cord. You will either be recommended Methylated Spirit or Chlorhexidine Gel. We are going to examine in this post and compare these two items for newborn umbilical cord care, which is the best and most preffered. Methylated Spirit Vs Chlorhexidine Gel for Newborn Umbilical Cord Care, Which is Better?

You know the moment a baby is born, the first thing the nurse or the doctor does is cutting and clipping the newborn umbilical cord with a peg. Umbilical cord is a delicate part of a newborn body that requires adequate care. If it is not properly taken care of, the baby may become infected and it poses great danger, in the most cases, life threatnening. I remembered rushing back to the hospital with my first child, 24 hours after we were discharged. At home, I noticed, my newborn was restless and I decided to undress him to examine every part of his body.

Lo! He was bleeding from the umbilical cord. The peg was loosely holding the stump of the cord; it wasn’t well clipped. I won’t state the drama that transpired when I got back to the hospital. But my baby was fine afterward. Read: Can I use Mupirocin Ointment to treat an Open wound?

Methylated Spirit and Chlorhexidine Gel for Newborn Umbilical Cord Care

Methylated Spirit (Moko)

Methylated spirits is a liquid made from alcohol and other chemicals. It is a disinfectant, Anti-bacterial and Anti-viral Cleaner. I will talk about Moko Methylated Spirit as a brand which I am used to. Moko methylated spirit contains 95% v/v isopropyl alcohol b. P as an active ingredient (a.I), it is used for skin disinfection prior to injection or minor surgery. Moko methylated spirit contains 95% v/v isopropyl alcohol b

Initially, It used to be methylated Spirit for newborn umbilical cord care (I will be adding Moko, that is the brand that works perfectly for my family). My mother used Methylated Spirit on my umbilical cord. I used it on my 4 kids, except the last one I had in 2022.

During my normal antenatal visit to the hospital, I was given a list for baby delivery items. I went for baby shopping with the list. Confusion began when I couldn’t find Chlorhexidine Gel at the shopping Mall. Funnily, I could not pronounce it too. I didn’t know what it is or what it was used for. So, I googled it immediately and was like ‘wow, is that the latest trend?’ I was later told to check in the Pharmacy. You may read; How long should I Drink Fermented Cabbage Juice for Stomach Ulcers?

I noticed too that Methylated Spirit was no longer in the list. They have replaced it with Chlorhexidine Gel. But I asked them to add Moko Methylated Spirit in my shopping list.

About Chlorhexidine Gel

Chlorhexidine digluconate gel is a broad spectrum antiseptic that has been available for over 40 years for variety of health-related applications. However, the use for Umbilical Cord Care on newborn was approved in the year 2013 after 3 clinical trials.

It’s known for preventing the stump of the umbilical cord from getting infected. So, it is applied on the stump the moment the umbilical cord is cut and clipped.

How to Use Chlorhexidine Gel

One application of 3 g of gel to the umbilical cord stump immediately after cutting the cord or during the first post-natal visit within the first 7 days of life if the neonate was born at home.  In settings where traditional unhygienic practices are common: one application daily for the first 7 days of life.

Methylated Spirit and Chlorhexidine Gel for c Care, Which is Better?

Both products are good for the care of the newborn umbilical cord. I am not here to compare their content and medicinal properties rather, I want to state reviews on the 2 products. How I and other mothers used them and the results we obtained. I am here to categorically state the efficacy of both products when used on newborn umbilical cords.

Methylated Spirit and Chlorhexidine Gel for Newborn Umbilical Cord Care, Which is Better?
How Newborn fallen Umbilical Cord look like

Personally, I use Moko methylated Spirit. When it comes for newborn umbilical cord care, Methylated Spirit has no replacement. I have used it on my 4 kids and later on the last baby. Their umbilical cords always fell off within 4 days.

However, when I had the 5th baby, Chlorhexidine Gel was introduced and recommended by the hospital and I gave it a trial. On using Chlorhexidine Gel, I observed the following:

  • There was no sign of infected
  • The umbilical cord stump was always wet, instead of dry.
  • The surface was moisturized
  • The umbilical cord sticked and no sign of falling for 6 days.
  • In 2 days, I have began to perceive unpleasant smells from the site.

At this point, I resorted to Methylated Spirit and within 24 hours of consistent cleaning with cotton wool, the stump dried up and shrank.


How to Use Methylated Spirit to give perfect Result

Do you know you can use methylated Spirit and still get poor result and expose your newborn umbilical cord to infection? Yes. Because you are not making use of it efficiently and effectively. If you want your newborn umbilical cord to fall within 3 to 4 days and still be in the perfect shape, do the following:

  • Make sure you buy the original Methylated Spirit. That is why I recommend Moko methylated Spirit.
  • Buy the one in a Pack written “Methylated Spirit”.
  • Clean the umbilical cord with cotton wool every 2 or 3 hours interval. That’s, from the time the baby was born, start cleaning it.
  • Clean around the umbilical cord, the stump, peg and the clipped sides.
  • If you follow all of these recommendations, you will notice the umbilical cord drying up and shrinking within 24hours of birth.

Can I combine Chlorhexidine Gel and Methylated Spirit for Newborn Umbilical cord Care?

Yes. You can. Since it is said that Chlorhexidine Gel prevents the umbilical cord from getting infected, you can apply it just once a day and clean consistently with methylated Spirit (especially, when it has fallen).

Chlorhexidine Gel and Methylated Spirit which is Better?

Methylated Spirit is better and preferably when you have to choose between the 2 products. After all, Methylated Spirit has been doing the job for ages before Chlorhexidine Gel was introduced. Mothers who gave birth in the hospital the same time with me resorted to Methylated Spirit when they didn’t see the expected result from Chlorhexidine Gel on their newborn umbilical cord. For me, that was the first time my baby’s umbilical cord exceeded 4 days before falling.

Methylated Spirit is preferable. Chlorhexidine digluconate gel will prevent infection. Methylated Spirit will dry the umbilical cord, cause it to fall and also helps to heal the site. It also ensures the site doesn’t smell.


If you are using Chlorhexidine Gel on your newborn umbilical cord and it’s not giving you the desired results, try Moko methylated Spirit. Follow the tricks which I listed here, you will see the difference within 24 hours. It gives perfect and quick healing on the umbilical cord site. Personally, I recommend Methylated Spirit for newborn umbilical cord care.


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