The common cold can be cured with salt water because the body uses it to produce anti-viral bleach, scientists say. Nose drops and gargling salt water were shown to reduce the average length of the virus by up to 2 days in a study. Participants who used the method were less likely to need OTC (over-the-counter) medications and less likely to pass their cold on to family members. Cells in the body use the chloride in salt to produce an acid (HOCI) which is the active ingredient in bleach. The researchers at The University of Edinburgh, have been aiming to find a low-cost option to treat the incurable common cold. Now they are researching to find out if the home remedy can be used to treat the virus in children.