A method of computing the concentration field of dissolved material inside an etch-hole is presented. With a given velocity field, approximate convection–diffusion equations are formulated using a number of assumptions, and analytical descriptions for the concentration in different parts of the domain are obtained. By coupling these descriptions the concentration field can be computed. The assumptions and the results are validated by comparison with solutions based on a finite-volume method. Results of the boundary-layer method are given for two characteristic etch-hole geometries. The described boundary-layer method is efficient in terms of computational time and memory, because it does not require the construction of a computational grid in the interior of the domain. This advantage will be exploited in a future paper where the method will be used to simulate wet-chemical etching.