Cleaning Brands Urge Against Injecting Disinfectants Following President Trump’s Comments

Reckitt Benckiser and Clorox issued statements this morning

President Donald Trump suggested injections of disinfectant as a potential coronavirus treatment. Photo Illustration: Trent Joaquin
Headshot of Kathryn Lundstrom

Disinfectant makers are reminding consumers not to inject their products, following comments by President Donald Trump suggesting that doing so could treat the coronavirus. Medical experts quickly contradicted this assertion, citing potentially fatal results and no benefit against Covid-19.

In a White House news conference Thursday evening, Trump discussed potential new treatments for Covid-19. After suggesting using ultraviolet rays to kill the virus through the skin, the president said that disinfectant “knocks it out in a minute.”

“Is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning,” said Trump. “Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that. So, that, you’re going to have to use medical doctors with. But it sounds—it sounds interesting to me.”

In response, Lysol and Dettol maker Reckitt Benckiser published a statement on its website today outlining correct usage of its disinfectant products: “As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route).”

The statement directs readers to Covid-19facts.com for more information on the disease, including facts and myth-busting.

The American Cleaning Institute also released a statement this morning, pleading with consumers to use hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting products as directed. “Disinfectants are meant to kill germs or viruses on hard surfaces. Under no circumstances should they ever be used on one’s skin, ingested or injected internally,” they said.

The Clorox Company warned today that “bleach and other disinfectants are not suitable for consumption or injection under any circumstances.”

Urging consumers to follow the instructions on product labels, Clorox said that “Disinfecting surfaces with bleach and other disinfecting products is one of the ways to help stop the spread of Covid-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control [and Prevention]. Our products are safe when used properly. It’s critical that everyone understands the facts in order to keep themselves safe and healthy, which is why we continue to educate people about the how to use disinfectants safely and effectively against Covid-19.”

Purell also issued a statement directing consumers to use products only as directed on the packaging: “Under no circumstances should Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer or Purell Surface Disinfectant Spray be ingested or injected into the body.”

Lysol, Tide Pods, bleach and disinfectants have all been trending topics on Twitter today, as medical experts and brands continue to respond to Trump’s comments.

Disinfectant products have been in short supply in recent weeks as consumers scramble to get their hands on the items that might curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has caused an unprecedented pandemic and killed more than 180,000 people worldwide.

Brands in unrelated industries have also redirected production and supply chains to address the shortage of items such as hand sanitizers and personal protective equipment, often donating those products to front-line medical workers.


@klundster kathryn.lundstrom@adweek.com Kathryn Lundstrom is Adweek's breaking news reporter based in Austin.
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