Antibacterial ointment applied to the urethral meatus in females with recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) has been reported to decrease the incidence of UTIs. The value of perineal washing with the antibacterial lotion, hexachlorophene, in preventing urinary tract infections was determined in 56 females with recurrent UTIs. Of three groups of females one group used hexachlorophene perineal washings morning and night, another group used hexachlorophene perineal washings and an oral antibacterial daily (nitrofurantoin or trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole), and the third group used the oral antibacterials daily alone. The infections per patient were 3.4 with hexachlorophene washings, 0.5 with hexachlorophene washing and oral antibacterials daily, and 0.9 with oral antibacterials alone. These results suggest that hexachlorophene perineal washing was not effective in preventing UTI in females.