Why is hand washing with soap important?

Apr 06 , 2020

Why is hand washing with soap important?

by Dr. Suzanne Gokel

Hand washing.

Using soap and water is the best way to clean our hands of germs, bacteria and viruses. Soap really makes a difference because it has something called surfactants in it that break down and lift out soil and micrcrobes from the skin. Also when people use soap they tend to wash their hands more thoroughly. Soap works particularly well on corona virus because the phospholipids in the soap break down the lipid layer of the virus. Lathering and scrubbing creates friction which also helps remove the dirt and grease from our skin. It is important to also clean under the nails where microbes can concentrate. To adequately remove germs, one should wash and scrub their hands for at least 20 seconds which is the equivalent of singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. Also after washing, air drying if possible allows for maximum removal of microbes.


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