‘Do Not Drink Bleach’ Also Means ‘Do Not Gargle With Bleach’

In April, we put out a PSA reminding everyone that drinking bleach does not, I repeat, does not cure COVID-19. That PSA still stands now, in June; it will stand in July, and in August and for the rest of time, because bleach and other household cleaning products are not meant for human consumption.

And yet, it seems we have to re-up the PSA again, based on a recent survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found some Americans are gargling with bleach to prevent themselves from contracting COVID-19. This, to be clear, does not work, and it is not a recommended practice. Sure, gargling bleach isn’t the same as drinking bleach, but, in general, skin contact or ingestion of bleach can make you seriously ill. Gargling bleach will not do anything to prevent coronavirus, but it could land you in a hospital, or worse. It is, generally, a stupid thing to do.

If you disregarded our first PSA and put bleach in your mouth anyway, call the Poison Control Center at 212-POISONS, even if you are feeling well. And if you stumble upon someone who seems to have swallowed, or gargled, bleach, call 911. 

photo: iStock