Mouthwashes, oral rinsing may kill 99.9% of human coronaviruses: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on October 20, 2020

Earlier studies also indicated that nasal and oral cavities are major points of entry and transmission for human coronaviruses.

Past studies show nasal, oral cavities are major points of entry, transmission for human coronaviruses

According to a new study carried out by the Penn State College of Medicine, several oral antiseptics and mouthwashes have the ability to destroy the human coronaviruses.

The findings, published in the Journal of Medical Virology, of the study suggested that some of these products might be useful for reducing the viral load, or amount of virus, present in the mouth after Covid-19 infection. This may also help in containing the spread of the coronavirus.

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Earlier studies also indicated that nasal and oral cavities are major points of entry and transmission for human coronaviruses.


Craig Meyers, a professor of microbiology and immunology and obstetrics and gynaecology, led a group of physicians who tested several oral and nasopharyngeal rinses in a laboratory setting. The researchers tested the mouthwashes’ ability to inactivate human coronaviruses, which are similar in structure to SARS-CoV-2.

The products evaluated include a 1 per cent solution of baby shampoo, a neti pot, peroxide sore-mouth cleansers, and mouthwashes.

Meyers and the team used a test to replicate the interaction of the virus in the nasal and oral cavities with the rinses and mouthwashes.

They allowed the solutions to interact with the virus for 30 seconds, one minute, and two minutes, before diluting the solutions to destroy the virus.

To measure the inactivation of the virus, the researchers placed the diluted solutions in contact with cultured human cells.

They eventually counted how many cells remained alive after a few days of exposure to the viral solution.


The researchers found that several nasal and oral rinse solutions had a strong ability to neutralise human coronaviruses.

The 1 per cent of baby shampoo solution, which is often used by head and neck doctors to rinse the sinuses, inactivated greater than 99.9 per cent of human coronaviruses after a two-minute contact time.

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Several other types of mouthwashes demonstrated the same or better efficacy as some killed 99.9 per cent of the virus after only 30 seconds of contact time and some inactivated 99.99 per cent of the virus after 30 seconds.

Meyers said in a statement: “While we wait for a vaccine to be developed, methods to reduce transmission are needed. The products we tested are readily available and often already part of people’s daily routines.”

According to Meyers, the findings of the team suggested that mouthwashes are promising and certain types of oral rinses could inactivate SARS-CoV-2 in similar experimental conditions.

Published on October 20, 2020

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