Effective in vitro inactivation of SARS-CoV- 2 by commercially available mouthwashes

Katherine Davies, Hubert Buczkowski, Stephen R. Welch, Nicole Green, Damian Mawer, Neil Woodford, Allen Roberts, Peter J. Nixon, David W. Seymour, Marian Killip

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Infectious SARS-CoV- 2 can be recovered from the oral cavities and saliva of COVID-19 patients with potential implications for disease transmission. Reducing viral load in patient saliva using antiviral mouthwashes may therefore have a role as a control measure in limiting virus spread, particularly in dental settings. Here, the efficacy of SARS-CoV- 2 inactivation by seven commercially available mouthwashes with a range of active ingredients were evaluated in vitro. We demonstrate ≥4.1 to ≥5.5 log10 reduction in SARS-CoV- 2 titre following a 1 min treatment with commercially available mouthwashes containing 0.01-0.02 % stabilised hypochlorous acid or 0.58 % povidone iodine, and non-specialist mouthwashes with both alcohol-based and alcohol-free formulations designed for home use. In contrast, products containing 1.5 % hydrogen peroxide or 0.2 % chlorhexidine gluconate were ineffective against SARS-CoV- 2 in these tests. This study contributes to the growing body of evidence surrounding virucidal efficacy of mouthwashes/oral rinses against SARS-CoV- 2, and has important applications in reducing risk associated with aerosol generating procedures in dentistry and potentially for infection control more widely.

Original languageEnglish
Article number001578
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Public Health England.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Microbiology Society. All rights reserved.


  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • Inactivation
  • Mouthwash
  • Oral rinse
  • SARS-CoV-2


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