Don’t Consume or Inject Household Cleaners to Treat COVID-19

Disclaimer: At UPMC HealthBeat, we strive to provide the most up-to-date facts in our stories when we publish them. We also make updates to our content as information changes. However, education about COVID-19 can shift quickly based on new data, emerging variants, or other factors. The information in this story was accurate as of its publish date. We also encourage you to visit other reliable websites for updated information, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and your state and local governments. 

Updated March 1, 2021

The disease COVID-19 caused by novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has caused hundreds of millions of illnesses and millions of deaths worldwide.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized multiple COVID-19 treatments, including multiple vaccines.

You should not ingest or inject household cleaners as a treatment for COVID-19. They are toxic and can cause serious harm or death if consumed.

Never Miss a Beat!

Sign up for COVID-19 Alerts from UPMC

Message and data rates may apply. Text the word STOP to opt out and HELP for help. Click here to view the privacy and terms.

What to Do to Keep Household Cleaners From Causing Harm

Products like bleach, sanitizer, or multi-purpose cleaners do have an important role in preventing the spread of the coronavirus. They can disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, tables, counters, and more to kill the virus.

However, these products are poisonous if swallowed, injected, or otherwise consumed. To prevent yourself from harm, follow these steps:

  • Read the product label to learn how it should be used and the dangers it can have if used incorrectly.
  • Keep cleaning products and other potentially poisonous materials away from children and pets, either locked away or stored high and out of reach.
  • Always keep cleaning products in their original container.
  • Use child-resistant packaging.

What Should I Do if I Accidentally Consume Something Poisonous?

If you, or someone you know, accidentally ingest a poisonous product, call 1-800-222-1222 to reach the Pittsburgh Poison Center. A professional from the Pittsburgh Poison Center or the Poison Center closest to you will help. However, if the person who ingested the poisonous product is not breathing or is otherwise unresponsive, call 911.

The Poison Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at no charge.

For more information and poison prevention tips, visit the Pittsburgh Poison Center online.

About UPMC

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, UPMC is a world-renowned health care provider and insurer. We operate 40 hospitals and 700 doctors’ offices and outpatient centers, with locations throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, and internationally. We employ 4,900 physicians, and we are leaders in clinical care, groundbreaking research, and treatment breakthroughs. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside as one of the nation’s best hospitals in many specialties and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. We are dedicated to providing Life Changing Medicine to our communities.