BETADINE® Mouthwash / Gargle rapidly kills the germs that cause most sore throats.(1,2) A 30-second gargle helps stop the germs from multiplying and spreading, so it can prevent a small problem from becoming big. The active ingredient in BETADINE® Mouthwash is called povidone-iodine. It’s a potent anti-viral and anti-bacterial agent, but it’s safe to have in your mouth and throat.(3) It’s been trusted for over 50 years to prevent and treat all sorts of infections.