Fact Check-Detox baths with borax can be harmful, experts say

Online advice encouraging social media users to bathe in a concoction of Epsom salt, Borax, and sea salt to rid themselves of ‘nanotechnology’ apparently present in the COVID-19 vaccines is pointless and potentially harmful according to medical experts. Baths do not have the ability to reverse the effects of a vaccine.

A Facebook post sharing the instructions for an ‘ANTI NANO BATH’ is visible here .

The post, which says the baths would “render the nano inert and draw it out of your body,” led to comments like, “Have these come out of someone that had covid vax or just general vax since youth?” and “That’s not going to work because you need to Disengage the operating system of the nano bots , also you need a pulsating magnetic field.”

Reuters has debunked claims that COVID-19 vaccines contain small robots (or nanobots), here or live parasitic agents, here .

Similar versions of the claim on Twitter are visible here (responding to a tweet about vaccines) and here .

A version from Instagram is viewable here , and includes the hashtag #vaxdetox.

The posts appear to stem from claims ( made by Dr Carrie Madej that detox baths with baking soda, Epsom salt, and borax have the power to “remove yeast, radiation, and other toxins” from the body.

False claims by Madej about the COVID-19 vaccines have previously been debunked by Reuters and are viewable here and here .

Reporting on the movement to reverse COVID-19 vaccines can be seen here , here , and here .

Medical experts say that detox baths, however, cannot “undo” vaccines.

Professor of Preventative Health at Tennessee’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Dr William Shaffner (here) said in a Nov. 12, 2021 article in Men’s Health (here) that "You may get an external skin cleansing, but it won't have any effect on your immune system, which has already responded to the vaccine."

He goes on to say that “the vaccine stimulates the immune system to respond to COVID solely internally. External bathing or treatment will not enter the body.”

WebMD (here) says the chemical compound, Borax, which is most recognized as a household cleanser “can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea if you ingest it by itself, and large amounts can lead to shock and kidney failure.” It says the compound is banned in U.S. food products.

A bath with borax can be harmful. According to the National Library of Medicine (here) contact with Borax comes with a variety of risks including skin, eye, and respiratory irritation, shock, digestive problems, infertility, kidney failure and death.

A National Library of Medicine report on bath salt intoxication involving the mixing of Epsom salts, table salt, baking soda, sodium metaphosphate, and borax is observable here .

Dr Richard Clark (here ) Director of Toxicology at UC San Diego Health shared a similar perspective. The physician told Reuters via phone that from his perspective, “the science does not suggest that Borax or Epsom salt, whether you consume it or bathe in it (which he does not recommend) will do anything that is positive in removing things your bloodstream or your body.” He also said that there is no science that he is aware of that supports a bath removing toxins from the body.

In response to questions regarding the dangers of Epsom salt, he said the product available on drug store shelves was “relatively safe” but cautioned against individuals with skin wounds or rashes bathing in the compound for long periods because it could be absorbed. According to Clark, people should be aware that drinking or consuming mixtures of borax and Epsom salt could be extremely harmful. Ultimately, he said, “it can lead to some more damage and potentially death. If you consumed enough of it.”

Clark cautioned that anyone with questions about “certain therapies” should research beyond social media.

“I would recommend, first of all, their primary health care provider,” said Clark. He continued, “and if they couldn’t reach their primary healthcare provider, pretty much every state in the United States has access to a poison control center now.” He highly recommended calling, “if somebody is thinking about an alternative therapy and isn’t sure about it.”


False. Experts say borax baths cannot “detox“ the body from nanobots. Vaccines do not include small robots. Borax baths may irritate the skin or hurt people.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .