Following a strict hygiene standard is critical in order to combat the CCP coronavirus. This includes thoroughly washing hands with soap whenever you come into contact with a person or an object that has been touched by others. But given the wide range of soaps on the market, some people might be confused as to which one to use or what protocols to follow regarding washing hands.
Soap, washing hands, and coronavirus
As consumers, we can choose from regular bars of soaps, fragrant soaps, moisturizing soaps, liquid soaps, and so on. If you are confused about which type works best against COVID-19, you don’t need to fret too much about it since all soaps will basically have the same effect on the virus.
Some people hype up antibacterial soap as being the best solution against the CCP coronavirus. But this is not necessarily true. Whether a soap is antibacterial or not, its effect on the CCP virus will be almost the same. The reason why any type of soap is effective against COVID-19 has to do with how the soap works on a molecular level.
“This particular virus is coated with a lipid coat… Also in that lipid envelope are membrane proteins — the spike proteins that recognize your proteins inside your lungs to infect you. Those proteins need to have that lipid membrane to work. What soap is doing is actually dissolving and washing away those lipids,” Erin Sheets, an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Minnesota Duluth, said to Wirecutter.
All types of soap can easily accomplish this. What you need to stay away from are “soap-free skin cleaners.” These products are less likely to dissolve the lipid coating on the virus to the same extent as soaps.
When compared to hand sanitizer, soap is the better option. Though sanitizers with 60 percent alcohol can defeat viruses and destabilize lipid membranes, they are incapable of completely removing microbes from the skin. However, if there is no soap nearby and you desperately want to clean your hands, a sanitizer is a good alternative.
Just because you have the virus on your hands does not mean that you have become infected with COVID-19. Nope. For this to happen, the virus has to come into contact with some cells inside the body. This can only happen when the virus travels through your nose, mouth, or eyes. As long as the hands do not touch these parts of the body, you are considered quite safe. This is why medical experts recommend that people wash their hands after touching anything foreign. So how do you properly wash the hands?
You need to lather the hands with soap and keep scrubbing for around 20 seconds under clean water. Make sure that you properly lather areas around the nails, backs of the hands, between the fingers, and the fingertips. Dry your hands with tissue paper or a single-use towel. Avoid using a towel that others have used.
As to the temperature of the water, you can use either lukewarm or cold water. As long as you use soap, the virus will be killed off irrespective of the water temperature. Using hot water might end up drying your hands, thereby causing cracking or making them susceptible to cuts. As such, hot water is best avoided when washing your hands.