The adsorption and oxidation of carbon monoxide over a Pt/Al2O3 catalyst layer deposited on a ZnSe internal reflection element was investigated both in gas phase and water using attenuated total reflection infrared spectroscopy. A preparation method is described that results in a strongly attached layer that is stable for many days in a water flow. Both adsorption and oxidation of CO are largely affected by the presence of liquid water. It influences the metal particle potential as well as the CO molecule directly, which is reflected in large red shifts (45 cm−1) and a fourfold higher intensity when the experiments are carried out in water. Furthermore, the rate of CO oxidation changes significantly when carried out in water compared with gas phase. Finally, with increasing pH, CO stretching frequencies shift to lower wavenumbers, accompanied by a large increase in CO oxidation rate.