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Does witch hazel kill the coronavirus?

CLAIM: Witch hazel can destroy the novel coronavirus on skin or surfaces.

FALSE. There is no evidence that witch hazel destroys germs, including the novel coronavirus. Other cleaning methods are much more effective for disinfecting surfaces and cleaning skin.


There is no solid evidence that witch hazel kills germs.

Witch hazel is an extract of the witch hazel tree. It is a common ingredient in skin care products and anti-itch remedies.

Witch hazel has not been proven to destroy viruses or other microbes. There is no evidence that witch hazel is effective at breaking apart the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.


Remove coronavirus from skin with soap and water.

Soap and water dissolves the novel coronavirus. Scrubbing with soap for 20 seconds and rinsing well is the best way to get the virus off your skin. Washing your hands often is one of many important things you can do to stop the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases.

Use hand sanitizer if you are not near a sink. Hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol works best. Look for labels with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol. Some hand sanitizers contain witch hazel. This is fine as long as the sanitizer still contains at least 60% alcohol.


Published on: June 23, 2020