Reports of a new trend by anti-vaxxers of sharing a way to “undo” the COVID-19 vaccine by having a bath in a cocktail of household cleaning chemicals are currently doing the rounds. This claim is totally false — once you have received a vaccine there is no way to “undo” its effect. Furthermore, even the original video about the "detox bath" appears to have been taken out of context by misleading TikTokkers.
In a now-deleted video, which is still circulating on other platforms, Tiktokkers have been using a short snippet of a speech given by Dr Carrie Madej about so-called “detox baths.” In the recorded speech, Madej says "one or two cups of baking soda, one or two codes of Epsom salts — that already is a wonderful radiation detox!"
"You add a bit of bentonite clay… You add one cup of borax — you know, that laundry detergent — that'll take nanotechnology out of you," she added.
"You scrub down, scrub down for 20 minutes. As hot as you can tolerate it, right?"
First things first, nothing is going to detox you from radiation poisoning, nanotechnology (Madej appears to believe vaccines include "liquified computing systems", a type of technology that doesn't currently exist), yeast, pesticides, heavy metals, or any of Madej's claims, least of all having a bath in a cleaning agent that kills cockroaches. Toxins can indeed be absorbed through the skin, but not removed through it.
But what does this have to do with COVID-19 vaccines?
The snippet of the video being shared does not appear to refer to COVID-19 vaccines. Writing on Instagram, Madej herself has said the video is not talking about current vaccines, saying: “For the record, I have never told anyone that we have a detox for the current jabs. MSM lies again.”
However, the video — which was not posted, shared, or endorsed by Madej — is titled “Detoxing the Vax” and is clearly catered to people who reluctantly received the vaccine under mandates and other public health rules.
It's equally worth noting that Madej has a substantial track record of spreading misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, including false claims that the mRNA vaccines will change recipients' DNA. She has also claimed that she examined the contents of a Moderna vaccine vial using a microscope and saw a tiny moving creature with tentacles that appeared to be “self-aware,” which if true would be much bigger news.
The idea of using "detox" remedies for vaccines (or wellness, while we're here) is not new, despite no evidence for, and a lot of evidence against proclaimed results. Long before COVID-19, a range of home detox remedies and "snake oil" products for sale have been offered up by anti-vaxxers purportedly to "rid the body" of supposed toxins, including "childhood immunization detox homeopathic drops" and "vaccines detox oral sprays."
But back to the borax baths. Aside from being harsh on the skin, an irritant to the eyes, and deemed a health hazard by the National Library of Medicine, this certainly won’t have any impact on the effect of a vaccine — and nor should you want it to either.
“Once you’re injected, the lifesaving vaccination process has already begun. You can’t unring a bell. It’s just not physically possible,” Angela Rasmussen, a virologist and adjunct professor at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, told NBC News.