What to do if Antifreeze Splashed in Your Mouth [3 Steps to Follow]

You just accidentally splashed antifreeze in your mouth while adding it to your car. It is okay to get nervous and panic. By following a few steps you can get over it.

So, what to do if antifreeze splashed in your mouth right away?

Well, first, you have to spit it out and rinse your mouth with clean water. Then you have to neutralize it by drinking an alcoholic drink or eating chocolates. Next, contact the nearby poison control or call 1-800-222-1222 for expert advice. But it is better to call 911 and get admitted to the hospital right away.

Now, there is more to the story. By reading the whole article, you’ll be able to know more about it.

Keep reading!

Is Antifreeze Lethal for Humans?

Before knowing if antifreeze is lethal or not, we need to know what it is.

Antifreeze manages the temperature of the engine when added and keeps it operational. It contains a few chemicals that are nontoxic. But our body metabolizes them into toxic byproducts.

Consuming 80-100 ml of antifreeze orally is lethal for an adult human being. As the nontoxic chemicals of it would react with the acids inside the liver. Because this way it creates a few toxic byproducts. 

These byproducts cause a lot of serious health issues in the short run. And this eventually leads to death.

Therefore, we should be careful around it. And after using it, we should put it right away.

What to Do Right After Antifreeze Splashed in Your Mouth

Do Right After Antifreeze Splashed in Mouth

Antifreeze would taste sweet due to containing ethylene glycol. But it doesn’t make it any less lethal. A small drop of it in your mouth can still cause a lot of health problems if not treated properly. So, just follow the following steps as soon as possible-

Step 1: Rinsing Your Mouth

Spit all the substance out of your mouth right away. Don’t swallow it. You should rinse your mouth properly with clean water. This will ensure that no drop of substance is present in it.  

Step 2: Neutralizing the Antifreeze

You should try drinking some alcoholic drinks. The higher the alcohol amount the better it can neutralize the antifreeze. You can also consume chocolates to neutralize the effects temporarily. 

Step 3: Calling Poison Control or 911

If you’re not sure about the symptoms, then you should contact your nearby poison control. They would give you expert advice regarding what to do. You can even call the American Association of Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 for expert advice.

Sometimes it takes a little bit of time before showing any type of symptoms. So, it is better to call 911 and get admitted into an emergency room right away. It would decrease the chance of the toxicity from spreading further to cause more harm.

Now, following these steps would only decrease the chance of causing serious harm. But they would not eliminate the risk. 

These steps are just the pre-stage of treatment or if the exposure is not that much. The symptoms will start showing after this stage or if too much antifreeze has been splashed.

Symptoms of Severe Antifreeze Exposure

The symptoms would take a little time before appearing after a person gets in touch with it. Because the body needs time to react and metabolize those chemicals. Then they become really toxic for both our internal and external body parts.

The severity of the symptoms depends on the amount and type of antifreeze they ingest. The poisoning of antifreeze occurs in 3 stages.

First Stage

After a person ingests it, the poisoning starts between 30 minutes to 12 hours

First, it affects the central nervous system of your body. The symptoms of this stage are somewhat similar to alcohol intoxication.

The symptoms include-

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Lossing coordination
  • Euphoria
  • Fatigue
  • Jumbled or slurred speech
  • Seizures
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Coma

Second Stage

This stage usually starts between 12 to 24 hours after being ingested. 

The chemicals in the antifreeze keep on getting metabolized into toxic acid by the body. These toxic acids cause the body to lower the pH level of your blood. This leads to metabolic acidosis.

Antifreeze then starts to attack and causes harm to the rest of your organs. Such as the brain, lungs, kidneys, and livers.

People during this stage also face a few symptoms-

  • Shallow breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Dehydration
  • Frequent blood pressure changing
  • Confusion
  • Not being able to urinate

Third Stage

The final stage would occur between 24 to 72 hours after one gets ingested by it.

Now, the person might not have been treated properly within the first 24 hours. If yes, chemicals of antifreeze would build up calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals would cause kidney failure and lower the calcium in the blood.

As soon as you see any of the symptoms, go to a hospital immediately for treatment.

Treatment for Severe Antifreeze Exposure

The sooner you diagnose, the lesser the chance of causing any long-term damage. So, contact a doctor right after you start seeing the symptoms.

The poison affects different organs of your body. Therefore, doctors have to monitor the condition of your body closely. 

They might perform different tests to check your organs for any level of that poison. These tests include- urine tests, blood tests, CT scans, and X-rays.

First, they’ll inject an antidote into your body. It will reverse the poisonous effect and stop it from damaging your organs any further. Antidotes include- ethanol and fomepizole.

You might be in the second stage when you get diagnosed. If so, due to not being able to urinate, your kidney will be damaged. Then the doctors have to do dialysis based on the level of damage. 

You can face problems in breathing due to the severity of the poison. In this case, the doctors might use oxygen cylinders or put tubes in your mouth. You can also try this portable oxygen support.


What Does Antifreeze Do?

Antifreeze mixed with water helps cool down the temperature of the engine. In hot weather, it helps keep the engine at an operating level.

What Does Antifreeze Look Like?

Antifreeze smells sweet and is usually green or even red in color. Their consistency is thicker than water but thinner than oil. 

How Often Should Antifreeze be Changed?

It is better to change the antifreeze every 30,000 miles of driving. It will keep your vehicle’s engine from overheating to even bursting. 


Hope now you know what to do if antifreeze splashed in your mouth.

You should be cautious when changing the antifreeze. As you already know, even a small drop of it can cause a lot of health risks. You should keep it labeled and out of reach from children.

We wish you a good day!

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