SOAP KILLS COVID-19 VIRUSES
SOAP KILLS COVID-19 VIRUSES!
It is important to use ordinary soap in hard or liquid form to vigorously wash your hands as soon as possible after touching anything which may have been contaminated with COVID-19 virus.
I had a friend ask the day before this was posted if dish soap was as good as soap bars to kill the COVID-19 virus. I had to look it up. I reported back to her that dish soap would destroy the COVID-19 virus as effectively as bar soap.
HOW DOES SOAP KILL THE VIRUS?
Ordinary soap does not kill every type of virus. It will totally destroy a COVID-19 virus. It is due to the interaction of the soap molecule with the surface of the virus.
Soap is made up of sodium or potassium salts of “fatty acids.” They are created from the hydrolysis of natural oils or fats in a chemical reaction called "saponification." Hydrolysis is a chemical reaction in which a compound reacts with water. The hydrolysis reaction causes the compound to decompose into two or more other compounds.
A fat is solid at room temperature and found in animal tissue, nuts, seeds and other food groups. Examples of fats you consume every day include butter, sunflower oil, or in frying/cooking mediums. A chemical reaction is a process that changes how atoms are arranged in a substance.
THE SOAP MOLECULE
The construction of the soap molecule is critical to it’s ability to destroy a COVID-19 virus.
Having taken many chemistry classes in college and taught high school chemistry, I understand the apprehension people may have about understanding the difference between atoms, molecules and other particles. The diagram to the left makes some easy comparisons about the soap molecule. All the drawings represent the soap molecule. They all show the larger head region and the connecting long tail.
The tail of the soap molecule consists of a long hydrocarbon chain (made of hydrogen and carbon) at one end and a larger carboxylic acid section at the other end where the carbon atom is bonded to two oxygen atoms and a metal such as sodium or potassium.
Children can understand the first shape in the diagram by comparing it to a candy sucker. The candy handle represents the molecule tail and the head represents the round candy end.
The tail is made up of hydrogen and carbon atoms arranged as illustrated.
C = CARBON
H = HYDROGEN
O = OXYGEN
The hydrocarbon chain of carbon atoms connected together make up the main part of the tail. Each carbon atom has two hydrogen atoms connected to it except for the first and last ones. The last carbon atom in the tail is bonded or connected to three hydrogen atoms. These three hydrogen atoms are easily represented in the lower two diagrams.
The first carbon atom which is central to the head has a metal atom and two oxygen atoms.
The molecule can be illustrated several ways in varying complexity as shown.
The soap molecule is “polar” in that the head of the molecule has a positive electrical charge and the tail has a negative one.
The head of the soap molecule easily bonds to water. The tail repels water but will bond with oils and fats. When soap molecules stick together in water, they often form a ball called a micelles. The tails orient themselves toward the inside of the ball and the heads towards the outside.
As pictured to the left, the COVID-19 virus has an outer membrane with proteins sticking out of it. In the illustration, the membrane is colored grey, the proteins red.
When you wash your hands, you first mix water and soap. The free floating soap molecules in water surround the viruses stuck to your skin. The soap tails, which are repelled by the water, tuck themselves in between the proteins sticking out of the virus membrane.
During this action, the proteins are ripped off the membrane and spill out into the soapy water. As you vigorously rub your hands, you allow for more movement by the soap molecules. As more soap tails break off more proteins, additional viruses are broken apart and destroyed. The agitation of vigorously rubbing the skin with soapy water breaks any bonds the now damaged viruses had with the skin. Viruses are forced off the skin. Pieces of destroyed viruses now float freely in the soapy water. They are washed away when you rinse your hands.
Will a hand sanitizer do the same thing? NO. They can’t wash viruses away. The viruses remain on your skin.
Some bacteria which cause colds, diarrhea and pneumonia are not affected by hand sanitizers. They are not destroyed and they stay on the skin with hand sanitizers. You just move them around. Washing with common soap and water will move bacteria off the skin and down the drain.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hand sanitizer is not as effective at killing germs as washing your hands with soap and water. The CDC says that washing your hands is a better tactic for removing certain viruses and bacteria, such as Cryptosporidium (causes diarrhea) and norovirus (stomach bugs).
They report that part of the reason that hand sanitizer isn't as effective as washing your hands is that people often wipe their hands before the hand sanitizer dries completely. Also, if your hands are dirty or greasy, hand sanitizers may not work because they can't penetrate dirt and grease like soap can.
Hand sanitizer: the convenient, on-the-go method of cleaning your hands. The only problem is, hand sanitizer may not be as effective as washing your
hands, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Learn how and when to properly use hand sanitizer, when you should just wash your hands with soap instead and how to protect yourself from viruses (including coronavirus) and bacteria. https://www.cnet.com/health/hand-sanitizer-how-it-can-protect-you-from-getting-sick-and-when-to-use-it.
What might be something you touch that is contaminated?
Car doors, windows, seats…
Face masks, used
Faucet-sink, bathtub, shower, hose
Food prepared outside of your home
Shopping cart handle
Store-shelf items/produce/counters etc.
Water dispenser buttons, surface
At home, ensure that those arriving back home have quick access to a sink with lots of soap and water. Have them vigorously scrub hands and wrists for 20-seconds or more before rinsing.
World Health Organization reports symptoms among 56,000 cases of COVID-19 were:
FEVER ………………………………….. 88%
DRY COUGH ………………………… 68%
FATIGUE ……………………………… 38%
PHLEGM ……………………………… 33%
SHORTNESS OF BREATH ……… 19%
MUSCLE OR JOINT PAIN ……… 15%
HEADACHE ………………………….. 14%
SORE THROAT …………………….. 14%
CHILLS ……………………………….. 11%
STUFFY NOSE ……………………… 5%
VOMITING ………………………….. 5%
DIARRHEA ………………………….. 4%
The latest numbers on the COVID-19 outbreak/live: https://covid19.who.int/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwzZj2BRDVARIsABs3l9L-mey7JQYoK806BzHe5GiI6tMsoDD90lOaKqR5kGTGe2s9NDYdPjkaAlN1EALw_wcB
Health & Human Services Updates: https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/news/index.html
Center for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/library/researchguides/2019novelcoronavirus/datastatistics.html