7 Best Mouthwashes for COVID-19 according to Evidence (2024)

The COVID-19 Omicron variants replicate to achieve high viral loads in the throat. Therefore, appropriate mouthwashes will likely reduce the viral load in the throat and thereby reducing the risk of severe disease due to the viral load in the lungs.

mouthwash for COVID-19
Credit: covid19criticalcare.com

One of the key approaches to minimize the risk of severe COVID-19 and also transmission would be to reduce the viral load of COVID-19 virus in the saliva and throat. 

Mouthwash is part of the FLCCC I-PREVENT Protocol

Best Mouthwashes for COVID-19 according to evidence

There are lots of great mouthwashes out there, and this list is by no means complete. We’ve included therapeutic mouthwashes with proven anti-COVID-19 ingredient, you can buy over the counter.

1. Betadine (Povidone Iodine) Gargle - Mouthwash with 1% povidone iodine



Customer Reviews: 4.4 out of 5 (more than 4,000 ratings)

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: Number 10 in Cough Syrups category.

The antiseptic povidone-iodine has immediate virucidal effects against COVID-19 virus. There are more than 20 published studies on povidone-iodine for COVID-19 (c19pvpi.com).

Instruction: Gargle twice a day or after having been out for prevention, and three times a day for early treatment of COVID-19.
  • CONTAINS one 8 oz bottle (24 uses) of Betadine Antiseptic Sore Throat Gargle for the temporary relief of occasional sore throat
  • TREAT AND RELIEVE SORE THROAT SYMPTOMS the moment you feel a sore throat coming on
  • FAST ACTING GARGLE From Betadine, the brand that has been trusted by healthcare professionals for over 50 years.
  • 0.5% POVIDONE-IODINE ANTISEPTIC GARGLE
  • MINT FLAVOR, ALCOHOL FREE FORMULATION
“Iodine is essential to not only fighting off an infection it is necessary for proper immune system functioning. There is no bacteria, virus, parasite or fungus that is known to be resistant to iodine.”
- Dr. David Brownstein

Betadine mouthwash side effects (Drugs.com) - Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Redness.
  • Very bad irritation where this drug is used.

2. Crest Pro Health Intense Mouthwash with CPC (Cetylpyridinium Chloride)

crest mouthwash

Customer Reviews: 4.7 out of 5 (1500 ratings)

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25 in Mouthwashes

Price: $19 ($0.28 / Fl Oz)

A study, published in Nature (Takeda 2022) concluded that CPC (CetylPyridinium Chloride) may inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection even at lower concentrations.

Another team of international scientists has also demonstrated the usefulness of cetylpyridinium chloride-containing mouthwashes in inhibiting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and reducing the risk of viral transmission. The study is published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology (2022).

A scientific review, published in the Journal of Formosan Medical Association (2022) also concluded that mouthwash containing CPC shows potential for reducing the viral load of COVID-19 virus in the throat.

Instruction: twice a day or after having been out for prevention, and three times a day for early treatment of COVID-19.
  • Active Ingredient: Cetylpyridinium Chloride 0.05%. 
  • Inactive Ingredients Water, Alcohol (15 Wt%), Propylene Glycol, Flavor, Poloxamer 407, Sucralose, Benzoic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Blue 1, Yellow 6
  • 99% Germ Kill with no medicinal taste
  • Cooling sensation
  • Keeps teeth clean longer
  • Freshens breath
  • Fights plaque & gingivitis

3. Colgate Peroxyl (Hydrogen Peroxide Mouthwash)


Customer Reviews: 4.7 out of 5 (more than 18,000 ratings)

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5 in Mouthwashes

Price: $9 ($0.53 / Fl Oz)

Chinese health authorities recommended the use of povidone–iodine (PI) and hydrogen peroxide-based mouth-rinses as a pre-procedural preventive measure, while the American Dental Association has advocated the use of 1% hydrogen peroxide mouth-rinse before dental examination.


Since SARS-CoV-2 may be vulnerable to oxidation, use 1.5% hydrogen peroxide (commercially available in the US) or 0.2% povidone iodine as a pre-procedural mouth-rinse (Int J Oral Sci. 2020). 

Instruction: Gargle twice a day or after having been out for prevention, and three times a day for early treatment of COVID-19.
  • Active ingredient: Hydrogen peroxide 1.5%.
  • #6 best seller in Amazon Best Seller Mouthwash category. Review rating 4.7 out of 5 with more than 17,000 reviews.
  • Mouth rinses cleanses and promotes healing of minor oral wounds
  • Helps promote healing of: oral sores, irritations, mouth burns
  • Oxygenating action removes oral debris to facilitate healing
  • Soothes minor gum inflammation from dental procedures, dentures and orthodontic appliances
  • Antiseptic mouthwash, alcohol free formula

4. Scope Mouthwash

Scope mouthwash

Customer Reviews: 4.7 out of 5 (more than 800 ratings)

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160 in Mouthwashes

Price: from $9

A study, published in Nature (Takeda 2022) concluded that CPC (CetylPyridinium Chloride) may inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection even at lower concentrations.

Another team of international scientists has also demonstrated the usefulness of cetylpyridinium chloride-containing mouthwashes in inhibiting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and reducing the risk of viral transmission. The study is published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology (2022).

A scientific review, published in the Journal of Formosan Medical Association (2022) also concluded that mouthwash containing CPC shows potential for reducing the viral load of COVID-19 virus in the throat.

Instruction: twice a day or after having been out for prevention, and three times a day for early treatment of COVID-19.
  • Ingredients: Cetylpyridinium Chloride (CPC), Water, Alcohol (15 Wt%), Glycerin, Flavor, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Saccharin, Sodium Benzoate, Benzoic Acid, Blue 1, Yellow 5
  • Kills 99% of bad breath germs in lab tests
  • Crest clean meets Scope freshness
  • Cosmetic mouthwash
  • Made in the USA with U.S. and imported ingredients
  • Original Mint Flavor

5. Colgate Zero with CPC


Customer Reviews: 4.7 out of 5 (more than 250 ratings)

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #730 in Mouthwashes

Price: Check Price on Amazon

The biggest red flag on an ingredient list for mouthwash is alcohol, according to board-certified dentist Michaela Tozzi, DMD, since it can irritate the gums and oral tissue. Plus, it temporarily depletes saliva flow, which acts as the mouth's immune system. Colgate Zero is alcohol free and contains the anti-viral CPC.

Instruction: Gargle twice a day or after having been out for prevention, and three times a day for early treatment of COVID-19.
  • Active Ingredient: Cetylpyridinium Chloride
  • Kills 99% of plaque germs
  • 0% alcohol
  • 0% dyes
  • 0% artificial flavors
  • 0% artificial sweeteners

6. TheraBreath Healthy Gums - Periodontist Formulated 24-Hour Oral Rinse with CPC


A gluten-free, alcohol-free CPC mouthwash option.

TheraBreath Healthy Gums Oral Rinse contains cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) 0.05%, an ingredient approved by the FDA and clinically proven to kill germs linked to gum disease and other periodontal problems, and adds a sweetener, xylitol (but NO saccharin), to neutralize the decay process.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: 
#1 in Anesthetic & Antiseptic Oral Rinses
#4 in Mouthwashes

It has over 23,000 customer reviews, most of them 5-stars.

7. Iotech ioRinse Mouthwash


Customer Reviews: 4.6 out of 5 (more than 300 ratings)

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: NA

Price: $40

There is a new generation of patented iodine-based antiseptics that overcome the negative side effects of PVP-1. A new aqueous formulation with 100 times more I2 than contained in PVP-1 is now available, and the non-biocidal content has been reduced from 31,600 ppm to a few hundred ppm. This new formulation increases its effectiveness, safety, and shelf life, while also reducing staining, toxicity, bad taste, and potential irritancy. It is now available in mouth-rinses, concentrates, nasal sprays, and hand sanitizers offered by IoTech International (IoTech International).

Key Takeaways

With so many options, you might wish to choose the one which is the most easily available to you. You might even wish to use the alternating strategy where you alternate between two different mouthwashes with different active ingredients in order to optimise the effectiveness.

That said, mouthwash alone cannot be used as a stand-alone strategy to prevent or treat COVID-19. You must still adhere to your local guidelines such as face mask, hand sanitisation, quarantine, social distancing and etc.

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