Mouthwash can kill COVID-19 within 30 seconds of exposure, a U.K. study revealed on Tuesday.

Cardiff University conducted the experiment and found that over-the-counter mouthwashes containing at least .07% cetylpyridinium chloride showed “promising signs” of being able to destroy the virus when exposed in a lab setting.

Scientists conducting the study mimicked the conditions of a person’s nasal and oral passages in a test tube and used common mouthwash brands including Dentyl and Listerine.

While the results show that mouthwash may help kill the virus in saliva, no evidence indicates it is an effective treatment for COVID-19, as it does not reach the respiratory tract or the lungs, BBC News reported.

“If these positive results are reflected in Cardiff University’s clinical trial, CPC-based mouthwashes … could become an important addition to people’s routine, together with hand washing, physical distancing and wearing masks, both now and in the future,” Dr. Nick Claydon told the BBC.

The new research supports the findings of another recent study, lead author Dr. Richard Stanton told the BBC.

“This study adds to the emerging literature that several commonly available mouthwashes designed to fight gum disease can also inactivate the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus when tested in the laboratory under conditions that are designed to mimic the nasal cavity in a test tube,” he said.

The University Hospital of Wales is currently conducting a clinical trial that will determine whether mouthwash will have the same effect in the saliva of COVID-19 patients.

That trial will not provide any leads on how to prevent patient-to-patient transmission, but it could help develop the results of the preliminary research, Professor David Thomas of Cardiff University told the BBC.

“Whilst these mouthwashes very effectively eradicate the virus in the laboratory, we need to see if they work in patients and this is the point of our ongoing clinical study,” he said.

“The ongoing clinical study will, however, show us how long any effects last, following a single administration of the mouthwash in patients with COVID-19. We need to understand if the effect of over-the-counter mouthwashes on the COVID-19 virus achieved in the laboratory can be reproduced in patients.”

mouthwash Commercially available mouthwashes could help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Photo: kreatikar, Pixabay