Why you need water AND soap to get rid of COVID-19

Why you need water AND soap to kill COVID-19. Washing with a Teal mobile hand wash station

Chemical and mechanical intervention needed to remove germs

A recent article on the Unesco website details “How 20 seconds of washing yours hands with soap will save lives, the chemistry explained”, and why both soap and water, plus a little manual help (so to speak) are so vital – and effective – when it comes to keeping COVID-19 and other illnesses at bay.

Firstly, washing with soap and water for the right amount of time, and using the correct techniques, is by far and way the most efficient way of dealing with viruses and bacteria. Indeed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states in its guidance When and How to Wash Your Hands

“Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations.”

The aforementioned Unesco article goes a step further – by explaining exactly why the dynamic duo of soap and water work so well in tandem.

Dirt can be washed off by running water, says the report. But bacteria and viruses, being so small, need “chemical and mechanical intervention to get their sticky nanoparticles out of the crevices that make up our unique fingerprints”.

Why soap is “so important”

Thorough scrubbing with soap for at least twenty seconds, will penetrate the bugs’ protective oily lipid defensive membrane – with dramatic results, says the article.

“Like a nail popping a tire, the water-repelling end of the soap molecule, a hydrophobic tail that can bond with oil and fats, stabs COVID-19 and leaves the virus a deflated and broken sack of RNA cells.”

Whereas this same result can be achieved with alcohol, the soap and water option wins hands down on the grounds that “washing with soap has the added benefit of physically removing even tougher to break viruses and bacteria from the skin.” Soap molecules have a dual nature it is explained, enabling the soapy lather to lock away invading particles, which are then simply washed down the drain.

The inherent risk of alcohol gels

Antibacterial products that do not contain at lease 60% alcohol are described as “useless …because the antibacterial products do not affect viruses at all” and the alcohol based products come with an additional risk, says the report.

Any bacteria that survive the gels “can evolve to become resistant to the antibacterial products in the future.”

Or, as the article so succinctly puts it,

“Why take the chance of making bacteria stronger when all you need is a little soap and water?”

How Soap Kills COVID-19 on Hands »

Teal portable hand wash units – place them wherever they’re needed!

There are vehicle mounted, wall mounted, mains powered and free standing hand wash stations as well as mobile sinks for use with pre-heated hot water.

The Teal range of mobile sinks includes the MediWashHygienius and Hygienius ProWashBigSynkSuper StalletteTEALwashHandeman XtraCompact Classic and WashStand and the newest range, the HandSpa.