News, Culture & Society

Mum-of-four reveals how she made Australia’s first TGA approved Covid-killing disinfectant

A mum-of-four has revealed how she and her husband came up with Australia’s first TGA approved ‘Covid-killing’ disinfectant in just two months.

Sophie Westlake, 45, was terrified for her family, and in particular her immuno-compromised husband Steve, 53, when Covid-19 swept across the globe in 2020.

Steve has Myasthenia Gravis a condition similar to MS, and had several lymph nodes in his chest removed as a young man which left him with a compromised immune system for life.

Sophie Westlake, 45, created Virosol within just two months – and took it to the TGA for approval

Steve has Myasthenia Gravis a condition similar to MS, and had to have several lymph nodes in his chest removed as a young man which left him with a compromised immune system for life

Steve has Myasthenia Gravis a condition similar to MS, and had to have several lymph nodes in his chest removed as a young man which left him with a compromised immune system for life

Sophie wanted to keep the people she loved safe but couldn’t find a disinfectant which was proven to kill the virus on surfaces.

And when she phoned large cleaning-product manufacturers she was disheartened by their lack of enthusiasm to make a Covid-killing disinfected.

So, with the help of her husband who has a medical background and their four children, Sophie created Virosol – and took it to the TGA for approval.

‘This all came about at the start of the first lockdown, when we had no idea what we were dealing with, there was just no information about Covid so everyone was scared,’ she told FEMAIL. 

‘We didn’t have much else to do apart from baking and craft activities, being in lockdown, so we just spent heaps of time researching.

‘As a family we are very proud to have been the first cab off the rank for TGA approval.’

Once the first products hit the shelves, Sophie received calls from the large companies asking how she managed to get her disinfectant over the line so quickly.

‘The big companies all wanted to know how we got TGA approval in two months when it can sometimes take years,’ she said.

A mum-of-four has revealed how she and her husband came up with Australia's first TGA approved 'Covid-killing' disinfectant in just two months

A mum-of-four has revealed how she and her husband came up with Australia’s first TGA approved ‘Covid-killing’ disinfectant in just two months

Steve has Myasthenia Gravis a condition similar to MS, and had to have several lymph nodes in his chest removed as a young man which left him with a compromised immune system for life

Steve has Myasthenia Gravis a condition similar to MS, and had to have several lymph nodes in his chest removed as a young man which left him with a compromised immune system for life

‘I don’t really know how to answer that but I guess it’s because I was just being really annoying and calling them every second day to get it pushed through,’ she said.  

Sophie, who lives on a seven-acre property in the NSW Southern Highlands, knows her family are not high risk when it comes to catching the disease.

But knowing her home is being protected by the disinfectant helps her feel ‘a little less helpless’ as the pandemic continues to stretch on.

‘At the moment we are in lockdown so we only leave the house for essential shopping and vaccination so there is little risk of bringing something in,’ she said.

‘But now we know more about the disease we know there is no one thing we can do to keep safe. We can get vaccinated, social distance, use masks and use a disinfectant which kills the virus on surfaces.’ 

The mum sprays her high-touch areas with the disinfectant every day.

She also keeps some in her car so she can wipe down her steering wheel after she has been out and about.

Sophie Westlake was terrified for her family, and in particular her immuno-compromised husband Steve, 53, when Covid-19 swept across the globe in 2020

Sophie Westlake was terrified for her family, and in particular her immuno-compromised husband Steve, 53, when Covid-19 swept across the globe in 2020

Sophie revealed most of her customers are ‘mums and dads’ wanting to keep their homes safe but she also sells to cleaners and pharmacies.

The disinfectant works on the spike protein, which means it will be effective even as the virus mutates and new strains arrive.

When developing the product Sophie asked her husband what it would take him, as a typical man, to use it regularly.

‘He told me he would be more likely to make something you could just spray on and walk away from,’ she said.

‘So that’s what we made, Virosol is popular because it is easy and doesn’t need to be wiped away.’  

The Westlakes have had their own businesses, including a pest control business, for years which helped them with their brand development.

‘The hardest part was coming up with a name, the kids helped with that, we needed something catchy but it also had to be something that hadn’t already been trademarked which proved difficult.

‘We came up with Virosol 30 minutes before our TGA application was set to expire, after the initial name was rejected at the last minute,’ Sophie said.

'At the moment we are in lockdown so we only leave the house for essential shopping and vaccination so there is little risk of bringing something in,' she said.

‘At the moment we are in lockdown so we only leave the house for essential shopping and vaccination so there is little risk of bringing something in,’ she said.

Virosol sold more than 8,000 bottles when it first launched online.  Virosol is available online and at some retailers in the Southern Highlands and costs $9.99 for a 750ml bottle because the family wanted it to be affordable.

‘We want everyone to be able to use it, some products which are similar, came onto the market at almost $100 a bottle,’ she said.  

The family are also proud of the fact the product is Australian made – with everything sourced from within 50km of their home.

Other companies have been slammed after making false claims about the effectiveness of their products against Covid-19.  

All goods must go through the TGA before they can advertise effectiveness.

And when she phoned large cleaning-product manufacturers she was disheartened by their lack of enthusiasm to make a Covid-killing disinfected

And when she phoned large cleaning-product manufacturers she was disheartened by their lack of enthusiasm to make a Covid-killing disinfected

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk