Soap vs Sanitizer? Why Suds Reign Supreme
In the last few weeks, the coronavirus has impacted our lives in unimaginable ways. At Geologie, a company with good health and good hygiene in our DNA, we feel fortunate to be able to play a role in this time of crisis. We have the tools to fast-track the formulation and production of a hand soap and are joining the fight (sign up for updates below). But as a dermatologist I’m getting asked two questions every day: “Is soap or hand sanitizer better?” and “What’s the best way to wash your hands?”
As most of us know by now, the spread of coronavirus begins with a cough, when respiratory droplets are dispersed into the hands or onto a high-touch surface -- where they can live for a few days before being transferred by the hand to the nose or mouth. And since on average we touch our face between 15 and 25 times an hour, keeping our hands clean represents the first line of defense against the spread of the virus.
Simply put, the key to beating the coronavirus is in our hands -- literally.
Soap to The Rescue
And our primary weapon in this fight is soap and this is much more important than hand sanitizer. The CDC and about every other qualified source agrees with me: washing your hands with soap and water is the most effective way to combat the spread of germs and viruses. Why? Soap and water do a couple of things together really, really well:
- Soap molecules bind with water on one side and dirt and oil (or virus) on the other, allowing us to use the water for leverage to remove it.
- As we scrub, they pull the dirt away and they destroy the outer edge of viruses, destroying them.
- Finally, the water washes those pesky dead germs right down the drain.
Do it right and you’re good to go.
1/25 Part 1 - Why does soap work so well on the SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus and indeed most viruses? Because it is a self-assembled nanoparticle in which the weakest link is the lipid (fatty) bilayer. A two part thread about soap, viruses and supramolecular chemistry #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/OCwqPjO5Ht— Palli Thordarson (@PalliThordarson) March 8, 2020
The Keys to a Proper Scrub
First off, wash your hands thoroughly -- not just your palms, including:
- Tips of the fingers, front and back
- Thumbs, all the way around
- Between the fingers, front and back
- The side of each hand along the pinky
- The back of each hand
- The wrists, all the way around. Wrists, all the way around
Now, read that list one more time please. And then check out this fantastic video about how to wash your hands from the Head of my Department at Northwestern. (Side note: while you’re working from home, write a blog post that cites the work of your boss. Trust me, it’s a good idea).
Use Sanitizer Sparingly
So when is sanitizer the right move? Only when you can’t wash. So when you’re on the go use sanitizer. While sanitizer is not as effective at eliminating bacteria, anything is better than nothing. Just make sure you use enough so that it takes a good 20 seconds to dry. And don’t wipe it off!
How Geologie can Help
As we mentioned at the top, at Geologie we’re fast-tracking a great new hand wash now and plan to start making it available ASAP.
Are you a current customer or interested in our upcoming hand wash? Be the first to test it out. Sign up here today for updates.
Wholesale at Cost Partnership Program
Are you a hospitality business? Let’s partner together. We want to work with restaurants, hotels, bars or any hospitality businesses that have been negatively affected by mass social distancing to get you back on your feet and give your customers a great (and clean) experience when they return. We’ve worked hard to secure amazing prices from our suppliers and we want to pass that on completely to you - at cost, no markup! If you’re interest, please share some info with us and we’ll contact you shortly as we roll this out.
Let’s stick together on this and (for now) stay apart -- and wash our hands.