Can Mouthwash, Baby Shampoo kill COVID-19?

Mouthwash (Image: Flaticon)

Amidst all the chatter about coronavirus vaccines, a piece of news has particularly caught our attention. It turns out, that COVID-19 may have found a worthy opponent in mouthwashes, baby shampoo, nasal rinses and oral antiseptics. According to a new study published in the Journal of Medical Virology, gargling your mouth with mouthwashes and other antimicrobial oral hygiene products may help in reducing the viral load, especially after a coronavirus infection.

Researchers from the Penn State College of Medicine in the US evaluated a 1% solution of baby shampoo of a globally popular brand as a nasal rinse, common over-the-counter mouthwash and saline nasal rinse. 

The researchers found out that these rinses were able to inactivate human coronavirus that is structurally similar to SARS-CoV2-2 aka coronavirus. “Surprisingly, we found that several of these common products had strong virucidal properties, inactivating from 2 log10 (or 99%) to greater than 4 log10 (or 99.99%) of infectious HCoV. Our studies indicate that these rinses could serve as a complement to other healthcare and public antiviral precautions,” said the study. Also, if you are a diabetic, drinking both green tea & coffee may help you live longer.

The efficiency of mouthwashes against coronavirus has long been debated, with scientists claiming that these rinses may break down the outer fatty layer of the virus and kill it. Interestingly, back in May, the World Health Organization delivered a statement saying that mouthwashes may be of little help against COVID-19.

The most important mode of transmission of the coronavirus, according to healthcare experts, is aerosolized droplets. That’s why the use of masks and social distancing practices can significantly reduce the spread of the virus. As we await therapies and vaccines for the coronavirus, using these readily available products from our medicine cabinet can offer us decent protection against the virus.

The study also adds that clinical trials may be needed to conclude how strong these products are against the virus. Till then, gargle away my friends!