It’s been a rough few weeks for CNN anchor Chris Cuomo and his family. After he revealed a positive COVID-19 diagnosis on March 31, the family later shared that his wife, Crisitina Cuomo, had also contracted the disease and just Wednesday, revealed their 14-year-old son, Mario, had as well.
Luckily for Cristina, however, she appears to be making a swift recovery, even if one of the ways she claims to have done so is a bit troubling.
In a post on her Goop-like wellness blog Purist, Cuomo shared a laundry list of holistic methods she is using to tackle the coronavirus, including a “body charger” borrowed from a friend that sends electrical frequencies through the body, a vitamin drip done by a doctor who makes house calls to the Hamptons and what appears to be billions of milligrams of vitamins.
Yet one method rang decidedly unnatural: bathing in Clorox.
“Both days, I added 1/2 cup of Clorox to my bathwater to combat the radiation and metals in my system and oxygenate it,” she wrote of her routine.
If you’re thinking, “Um, come again?” you’re not alone. Bleach doesn’t seem like something we should be bathing in, pandemic or otherwise ― right? Right??
She is, it appears, not the only one curious about or engaging in the practice. The Clorox website is clear about where it stands on the matter: No, it is not recommended to bathe in bleach. It details a scenario in which bleach is added to drinking water as treatment ― but that’s 1/8 of a teaspoon ― and to be used only in an emergency. “Using a bleach and water solution for bathing is not approved by the EPA and should not be done,” it states.
A doctor of infectious diseases in New York state who asked not to be named for this story said he didn’t even really know what to say about what he called “not mainstream or evidence-based medicine,” but explained that while bleach is an effective tool for decontaminating surfaces like, say, a bathtub, it is not advised to bathe with, and in fact could cause more harm than good.
“In high concentrations, bleach can be noxious and irritant to your skin,” he said. “If you’ve ever touched concentrated bleach, you know it can be a skin irritant.”
He recommends the same soap and water we’ve heard time and time again for combating the coronavirus. And while there are a few studies surrounding the impact bleach may have on sun damage or radiotherapy (like this one from 2013), we’re going to stick with guidance from doctors and the brand itself and skip the bleach baths.
Or, as gynecologist Jennifer Gunter put it: