Mouthwash Can Kill Coronavirus In 30 Seconds, Lab Test Reveals

Posted by Zainab Pervez in Health and Fitness On 18th November 2020

Lab tests done by Cardiff researchers found coronavirus was destroyed in 30 seconds, after coming into contact with CPC based mouthwashes. Dentyl is the only UK mouthwash brand to take part in the study. Findings have not yet been reviewed by independent experts.


A lab study conducted by Cardiff University finds that mouthwash containing 0.07 percent cetyl pyridinium chloride (CPC) can kill coronavirus in 30 seconds. The researchers mimicked the condition of the throat, where coronavirus thrives.

The report comes ahead of a clinical trial on Covid patients at the University Hospital of Wales. It will examine whether OTC mouthwash is effective in reducing the viral load in the saliva of Covid patients. Results are expected to be published in the first quarter of 2021.

The 12-week clinical trial was led by Professor David Thomas of Cardiff University, and Dentyl was the only UK mouthwash brand to take part in it.

Dr. Claydon, a specialist periodontologist, said: "If these positive results are reflected in Cardiff University's clinical trial, CPC-based mouthwashes... could become an important addition to people's routine, together with hand washing, physical distancing and wearing masks, both now and in the future."

Credit: BBC

Jerry Randall, chief executive of Venture Life, Dentyl's parent company, showed excitement when the study was starting in August, stating: 'We are excited at the prospect that this long-standing, well-known mouthwash product could help in the fight against Covid-19.'

Prof David Thomas further added: 'Although this in-vitro study is very encouraging and is a positive step, more clinical research is now clearly needed.

'We need to understand if the effect of over-the-counter mouthwashes on the Covid-19 virus achieved in the laboratory can be reproduced in patients, and we look forward to completing our clinical trial in early 2021.'

'Whilst these mouthwashes very effectively eradicate the virus in the laboratory, we need to see if they work in patients and this is the point of our ongoing clinical study.

'It is important to point out the study won't give us any direct evidence on viral transmission between patients, that would require a different type of study on a much larger scale.

'The ongoing clinical study will, however, show us how long any effects last, following a single administration of the mouthwash in patients with Covid-19.'

Credit: Dailymail

SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that caused the pandemic and killed 1.34 million people worldwide, is enveloped in a lipid membrane. This outer membrane when exposed to low levels of ethanol found in mouthwashes, disintegrates, and kills the virus.

Similarly, iodine based mouthwashes are effective against, SARS and MERS, caused by two other coronaviruses.

Dental mouthwashes contain, chlorhexidine, cetylpyridinium chloride, hydrogen peroxide, and povidone-iodine. All these ingredients are effective in preventing infection and ‘deserve evaluation.’

This study supports another recent study.  Dr. Richard Stanton lead author of the study says, "This study adds to the emerging literature that several commonly-available mouthwashes designed to fight gum disease can also inactivate the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (and other related coronaviruses) when tested in the laboratory under conditions that are designed to mimic the oral/nasal cavity in a test tube.

"This study is not yet peer reviewed and published which means it has not yet been scrutinized by other scientists as is the usual process with academic research. It has now been submitted for publication in a journal.

Credit: Dailymail

"People should continue to follow the preventive measures issued by the UK government, including washing hands frequently and maintaining social distance."

Although the research suggests that the mouthwash can kill bacteria in the mouth, there is no evidence of its use in the treatment of coronavirus in the respiratory tract or the lungs.

Professor Jean-Yves Maillard, from Cardiff University, not a part of the study, said: 'Caution is required when interpreting the results of a preprint that has not yet been peer-reviewed as some points may change.

'Previous studies have shown that antimicrobial mouthwashes are able to decrease viral load in the oropharynx.

'Cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) and other Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QAC) have the capacity to destroy enveloped viruses including coronaviruses, although this has been observed to occur slowly and so the 30 seconds activity seen in this preprint may be surprising.

Credit: Dailymail

'Since the activity of the antimicrobial biocide in the mouthwash was not neutralised, the 30 seconds claim might not be accurate.

'Overall antimicrobial mouthwash may help in decreasing viral load in the oropharynx but this should not been viewed as using mouthwash instead of face masks, but instead as a potential combined intervention: use of mouthwash and wearing face masks.