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Daily life is different right now with COVID-19 exposure. And whether you are alone as your normal daily routine, employing social distancing for protecting yourself, or you’re completely self-quarantining and isolating, it is equally important in all instances to wash hands (way more often that what seems like enough) and to make sure commonly touched items and surfaces are clean.
But our cleaning is only as effective as the cleaning solutions and soaps that we use, right?
To minimize the risk of getting sick and spreading illness, it might seem like you need the strongest antibacterial sand soap you can find–but that’s not actually the case. You don’t need antibacterial or antiseptic soap to remove COVID-19 from your skin.
Regular soap is great. So why don’t you need to go shopping for antibacterial soap?
Well, first off, because COVID-19 is a virus, not a bacteria. But the scientific answer as to why soap works to protect us against COVID-19 is a technical one. Soap–whether it’s all natural, hand made, liquid, bar, or foamy–has a particularly molecular makeup, made up of what are actually called soap molecules. Soap molecules possess both hydrophobic (water-averse) and hydrophilic (water-attracting) properties. When introduced to water, the water-attracting parts of the tiny soap molecule point outward and, in turn, are able to dissolve fatty substances and lipids. This is a particularly special quality in a time where the culprit of COVID-19 is a coronavirus–which is a virus that is encased inside of a lipid (aka fatty) envelope. Soap is able to dissolve the protective coating around the virus–making it less capable of surviving–while rinsing your hands off with water after breaking down the virus’s coat removes it from your skin completely. Basically, soap inactivates viruses to some degree when it breaks down the protective lipid layer on these viruses. By washing your hands with soap and water, you’re removing the virus and the mucous associated with the virus from your skin. And if it’s not on your skin, and also you follow the guidelines you minimize the possibility of transfering the virus or get infected.
It is especially important we all take seriously the advice of public health experts for maximizing our own health and the health of others:
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