Could the answer to defeating COVID-19 be sitting on our bathroom sink?

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Before you get your hopes up, the quick answer is no, mouthwash is not the cure for COVID-19. Listerine put that rumor to bed on their FAQ section of their website in regards to asking about the antiseptic products used in the mouthwash.

No. LISTERINE® mouthwash has not been tested against any strains of coronavirus. Only some LISTERINE® mouthwash formulations contain alcohol, and if present is only around 20% alcohol. LISTERINE® mouthwash is not intended to be used, nor would it be beneficial as a hand sanitizer or surface disinfectant. LISTERINE® Antiseptic is clinically proven to kill 99.9 % of germs that cause bad breath, plaque and gingivitis.

However, there are new studies that show that the ingredients in mouthwash could damage the virus that causes COVID-19. According to Health Line, the SARS-CoV-2 has a vulnerable spot, it's fatty (lipid) membrane and "mouthwash" could be a way to attack it.

We found that there is evidence from other people’s research that enveloped viruses like influenza, herpes simplex, and other coronaviruses are sensitive to common ingredients in mouthwash, but this evidence is from test-tube experiments — not from studies on viruses in the mouth, where their response may be different, and where little work has been done. - Valerie O'Donnell, PhD, director, division of infection and immunity and co-director of the Systems Immunity Research Institute at Cardiff University

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