Good old soap and water does the job perfectly, says report
It’s easy to think that hand washing will be more effective during the course of the current pandemic if expensive antibacterial soaps and gels are deployed. In fact, the most effective method of infection control can be achieved with good old soap and running water, according to a recent report on the Which? website.
An exploration of whether antibacterial cleaners can dispose of COVID-19 (as well as other germs), compared with “normal” versions of similar products has revealed that the comparatively expensive solution is simply not necessary, argues author Aaron West.
Washing your hands properly
The key, says West, is to wash effectively and for the right amount of time. He cites NHS guidance How to wash your hands, which of course advocates that the activity should be suitably thorough, as per the video. If those techniques are used, then soap and water will do the job just as well.
“But, providing you follow the NHS advice on washing your hands for about 20 seconds (the equivalent of singing Happy birthday twice), then you don’t need to use antibacterial soap to help prevent COVID-19.”
The reason is simple, says the article. Coronavirus is an “enveloped virus” – the RNA is coated in a “lipid (fatty) layer”, which ordinary soap is able to dissolve, causing it to simply fall apart.
“Regular bar or liquid soap works fine.”
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