Don't drink bleach to treat COVID-19!

Bleach refers to a large category of chemicals that are commonly used as a whitener and as a disinfectant.  Bleach is very good at doing those things.  However, the same properties that make bleach effective at killing germs makes it toxic when it comes into contact with your body.

Do not put bleach or other disinfectants on your skin. Do not gargle, swallow, or inhale these chemicals.  When they come in contact with your body, particularly the delicate tissues of the mouth, throat, lungs, or eyes, these cleaning products can cause serious burns.  Also, they will not kill the coronavirus in your body.  The virus is not found on the surface of cells. It is found inside where bleach cannot kill it.

If you or someone you know has been exposed to bleach, call Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222. Flush the exposed area with lots and lots of water.  If the person drank bleach, do not induce vomiting, as this will worsen the burns.  Instead, have them drink a lot of water to dilute the bleach.

 

Last Updated: 4/23/2020
Science Review: HY, ERS