Soap Washes Away Viruses

If you ever needed convincing that washing with soap and water was good for you, then please watch this video.  It's an absolutely brilliant demonstration of how soap gets rid of germs from your skin.

If you're in a hurry, here's a series of screen shots with my annotations that tells the story.  These all belong to the nice folks at Vox, by the way.

 Teaching Everyone to Wash Properly

Teaching everyone how to wash properly begins from the earliest age.  But some of us tend to forget, or perhaps think we can take shortcuts.  Here's some proof as to why you should take your time to wash your hands properly with soap and water.

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 Water and Soap Washing Kills Viruses

 There's only one way to properly eliminate viruses and bacteria from your hands, COMPLETELY.

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 drawing of a virus

This is what a coronavirus looks like if it was really very large.  The spikes on the surface (crowns) are like hands, looking for projections on our cells that act like doorknobs.  The stuff inside are nucleic acids that hijack our cell's factories.  And the orange coating is an oily layer that protects everything inside.

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 Soap and Soap Molecule

Every bar of soap is composed of many things, but the most potent part of soap is a molecule that has two sticky ends.  One end sticks to water, and the other sticks to oils.  This is VERY important.

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 drawing of a soap molecule

Here's the soap molecule very close up.  The molecule is strong so that the two ends can't break apart.

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 Drawing of oil in water

 This drawing shows what happens when you try to mix oil into water.  The oil can form little droplets that are surrounded by the water.  In salad dressing, the oils can float to the surface and rejoin into a solid layer.  that's why we have to keep shaking the salad dressing.  The virus uses its oily coating to keep the water away from its precious cargo.  And they don't stick to each other.

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 Virus being attacked by soap

 Here's the important part.  The virus particle is has a lot of the soap molecules attached to it now.  You can see them between the "crowns" on the outer coating.  The soap molecules are strong enough that they can tear the virus coat apart.  Soap.  Strong Stuff.

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 coating hands with "virus" cream

 These hands (courtesy of Vox personnel) have been coated with a cream that simulates the oily nature of virus particles.  The cream also glows in black light, so we can see it.  Otherwise it's invisible, like a real virus.

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 washing hands normally

Here are the model's hands after washing with soap and water.  Five seconds, even ten seconds.  And guess what we see when we look under black light?

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 hands after washing only 10 seconds

In both of these pictures, the black light reveals that some of the "virus cream" has been left on the skin.  It's amazing how deeply those particles can penetrate.

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washing hands for a full 20 seconds

Finally, the model washes hands the CDC way. Thoroughly, deeply, and for a full 20 seconds.  Go ahead, sing to yourself.

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 virus cream all gone

After a proper washing, there is no evidence of any virus cream left on these extremely clean (and adorable) hands.

If this doesn't prove to everyone that proper hand washing is the best way to get rid of dangerous viruses hanging out on your skin, I don't know what will.

Special thanks and shoutout to the folks at Vox who created this video, from which all these pictures come.  They have all the rights and copyrights.  Please visit them and see what else they are up to.

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don't be fooled by anti-bacterial claims 

Finally, don't be fooled by anything that includes anti-bacterial products, like anti-biotics.  They aren't better for cleaning, and they may be harming you.  Soap is, by its very nature, anti-bacterial.  Even better, it's anti-viral, as this presentation proves.  So get out there, don't be afraid.  But don't touch your face, and wash your hands, often, and properly.  Thanks.

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