How to Draw Out Infection

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Don’t you know that you can draw out infection with the use of common household food and items, like herbal tea bags, milk, and potatoes?

Well, I have learned about these simple remedies just recently when I tried to ask my grandmother on how to draw out infection from my boils naturally. Her reply, use poultices or warm compresses.

According to Georgia Department of Human Resources, the pus should be drained to speed up the healing process of infected wounds and boils.

After searching through various methods of drawing out infections online, I finally found the most potent remedies. To learn how to drain your infection, keep reading below.How To Draw Out Infection: Simple Home Remedies That You Need To Know

What You’ll Need

For Warm Compresses


One of the most common ways people draw out an infection is by using a warm compress. In some cases, it may take nothing more than a clean cloth soaked in warm (but not too hot) water. (UPDATE: Some people use peroxide in the water as well - But one thing we know is that puncture wounds should never be taken lightly, and personally, I'd be making a trip to the medical clinic for something like that).

Herbs (Optional) 

To further enhance the healing process, you can boil some herbs to make a tea compress. Some of the best herbs that you add include ginger, usnea, and tea tree. You can use about 3 tablespoons of the herbs in every cup of boiling water.


To boil your water from scratch, you need a good kettle. If you like to add some herbs, you can boil them with the water. Alternatively, you can use a saucepan or pot.


A clean cloth will be used to soak into warm water. You can use any washcloth you have available, but if you want comfort, make sure that you use cotton. Alternatively, you can use a small towel if you have no washcloth at home.

For Poultices

Option 1: Potato Poultice

Raw Potato

You need fresh, raw potato to be used as a poultice. You can tell that it’s fresh if the exterior is free from dark spots and they feel firm to the touch. Never buy potatoes with a green tinge because it indicates the composition of toxic alkaloids. Also, avoid using a potato that has begun to sprout because it indicates old age.


To produce a mushy and soft potato poultice, you need a good grater. What I use is a box grater to shred the potato with ease. If you have no box grater, any type of grater will do.

Paper Towel

The paper towel will be used to place the shredded potato securely. You need about two small squares of paper towels to sandwich the shredded potato perfectly. Alternatively, you can use a thin cloth if you have no paper towel.

Plastic Wrap

The plastic wrap will keep the poultice securely in place to the infected area. You don’t need a lot of plastic wrap, just a little will do. Two of the best plastic wraps that you can use are brands like Saran Wrap and Glad Wrap.


After the plastic wrap, you need to finish it off with a bandage to secure the poultice well. To make sure that the bandage doesn’t fall off easily, choose a self-adhesive design, like this.

Option 2: Bread And Milk Poultice


You can use any type of bread- white, brown, or even stale. In fact, stale bread is even better because you can make use of it instead of throwing it away. Depending on the size of your infected wound, one piece of sliced bread is enough to cover a single treatment.

The milk will be used to soak the bread. There’s no specific type of milk that you can use so any kind will do. Before you soak your bread with it, make sure it’s warm.


You need a medium-sized bowl to serve as a container for your bread while soaking with warm milk. Any type of bowl will do, but a shallow one can be preferable so you can place your hands easily.


To keep the poultice secure on the infected area, you need to cover the poultice with a gauze. Chose an open-weave design to provide great cushion and superior absorbency, like this.

You may find some more poultice recipes here.

Step-By-Step Instructions

How To Draw Out Infection With A Warm Compress

1. Boil Some Water

To start from scratch, boil some clean water in a kettle. At this point, you can add some herbs to make the water infusion more potent. Let it sit for about 10 minutes or so make the temperature not scalding hot.

If you have warm water on your thermos already, you can skip this step and proceed to step 2 directly.

2. Wet The Washcloth

With a clean washcloth or small towel, wet it with warm water. The temperature of the water should be not too hot because you might end with burns on top of your infected wounds or boils.

If you’re dealing with a small infection, you can wet a small part of the washcloth, just enough to cover the infected area.

3. Apply To The Infected Area

Apply the warm compress on the infected part several times of the day. You need to let the warm compress stay on the infected area for about 10-15 minutes. This will help make the head of the boil become prominent, enough to burst naturally.

How To Draw Out Infection With Poultices

Option 1: Potato Poultice

1. Grate The Potato

To begin making the potato poultice, grate the raw potato using a box grater. You can keep the skin intact if it’s free from dark spots. Shred the potato like you’re creating hash browns. The potato shreds should be soft and mushy.

Watch how the grating is done along with the rest of the steps in this video here:

how to draw out infection
2. Apply The Poultice To The Infected Area

After shredding the right amount of potato, transfer it to a small paper towel. Spread it well and cover it with another piece of paper towel to keep the poultice together. Now, you can apply the poultice to the infected area.

3. Secure Well

Secure the poultice by wrapping it with a plastic wrap. Make sure that you don’t wrap it too tight to prevent blood flow nor too loose to let the poultice fall. Next, follow it through with a bandage.

Option 2: Bread And Milk Poultice

how to draw out infection
1. Soak The Bread In Milk

In a bowl, place one slice of bread and pour a little amount of warm milk over it - just enough to moisten the bread. Let the bread soaked for about a minute. You can break the bread as well to create a paste. Watch how this specific method is done in this video here:

2. Apply On The Infection

After your bread and milk mixture has turned to a paste, pop some of it and apply it on the infection. You can secure the bread poultice on the infected area by wrapping it with a gauze. You can ask someone to do the wrapping for you.

Additional Tips From The Experts

1. Apply The Poultice Every 3-4 hours

According to Victoria First Aid, poultices should be changed every four hours or until the infection dries out fully. As for a tea or warm compress, apply it to a boil 10-15 minutes at 3-4 times daily.

A warm compress can be effective to ripen a boil. On the other hand, poultices contain natural components to help speed the healing process.

2. Never Pop A Boil

Everyday Health strongly discourages the popping of a boil by yourself because this can result to further infection. With the help of a warm compress, wait for the boil to develop the head and burst on its own.

When the boil has finally burst, wash it with soap, and apply the infected area with an antibacterial gel.

3. Consult A Doctor If The Infection Is Not Cleared

It should go without saying that you would be wise to consult a doctor if your infection doesn’t heal within a few days, or if it seems to be getting worse. Don't play around with infections.

With the help of warm compresses and poultices, a minor infection can clear up in a matter of days, but if not, then make an appointment with your physician, especially if you’re also suffering from fever. If a boil has worsened quickly or has become extremely painful, see your doctor.

No matter what, when in doubt, seek professional guidance.

Final Thought

This was a guest post, originally published in December of 2016. Hopefully you found some of this information useful.

However, remember that this is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute medical advice. You should always seek advice from a medical professional regarding your health care.