COVID-19 Coronavirus Gargling Hoax Debunked!

People are sharing a viral post claiming that the COVID-19 coronavirus can be eliminated by simply drinking water or gargling with water or vinegar.

The post is completely FALSE, and is yet another Internet hoax targeting the COVID-19 coronavirus. Here are the facts!


COVID-19 Coronavirus Gargling Hoax : What Is It?

The viral fake advice on drinking water or gargling with water / vinegar to prevent the COVID-19 coronavirus goes like this :

Corona virus before it reaches the lungs it remains in the throat for four days and that this time the person begins to cough and have throat pains.

If he drinks water a lot and gargling with warm water & salt or vinegar eliminates the virus.

Spread this information because you can save someone with this information.

The post and its information are COMPLETELY FALSE. Let’s take a look at the facts…


COVID-19 Coronavirus Gargling Hoax Debunked!

The COVID-19 coronavirus infects you when you breathe in the viral particles, but your throat is NOT a filter for your respiratory system.

These viral particles or virion will NOT stop by the throat for a 4-day sojourn before heading to your lungs. So trying to “flush it down” with water, or “flush it out by gargling” is NOT going to work.

Drinking very hot water (as some have suggested) isn’t going to help, because scalding your throat won’t eliminate the virus from your upper respiratory system.

An October 2021 study by Tiong et. al in Malaysia actually looked at the effectiveness of salt water gargle in directly destroying SARS-CoV-2.

The study found that salt water “did not show any reduction in viral load“, compared to commercial mouthwashes.

Gargle Log10 Reduction In Viral Titres
Clean Condition Dirty Condition
Colgate Plax 5.0 5.0
Bactidol 5.0 5.0
Oradex 4.0 4.0
Thymol Mouthwash 0.5 0.5
Salt Water 0.0 0.0

Salt water is also only slightly alkaline, with a pH of around 8.1. Gargling with salt water can temporarily make your throat and oral cavity slightly alkaline, but this only lasts until you swallow some saliva or drink water.

Try gargling with salt water and see how long you can maintain (live with) the salty taste. Didn’t take long for you to swallow, did it?

Turning your throat alkaline is also pointless because the SARS-CoV-2 virus generally does not infect you through the throat. It mainly infects you through your nose, mouth and eyes. So focusing on the throat is like watering the garden plants while your house is on fire…

More importantly, why focus on complicated methods like drinking hot water and gargling with salt water or vinegar, when there are MUCH EASIER and PROVEN methods?


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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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