"Keep washing your hands!". This is something we've constantly heard parents, news channels, advertisements and literally everyone say. Washing hands and owning a sanitizer has become the new cool.
But do we even know why this helps or why necessarily 20 seconds is the time limit given or why soap is better than sanitizer?
Soap is basically made of two sided molecules. One side gels with water and the other, with proteins and fat. The outer layer of the coronavirus is heavily made up of proteins and fat. Therefore, when you wash your hands with soap, the outer layer of the virus that is made of proteins and fat gets ripped apart by the soap and instantly kills the virus.
And this is where the 20 seconds timing comes in. This process of killing the virus takes time and hence, washing it for 20 long seconds will ensure a complete eradication of the virus.
Now, why is soap better than sanitizers? And not just all sanitizers, it's important to keep in mind that only those sanitizers who have alcohol content of 60% and more, actually work. While even the sanitizer does the same job if reducing the virus, research shows that the detergent effect of the soap is much better.
That's because the friction movement of hands while washing does a more effective job of killing these microbes on our hands than just rubbing the sanitizer for a mere 5-7 seconds. Plus, sanitizer may reduce the virus but cannot kill it completely, which the soap can do. Sanitizer is just an option to have in case you cannot use soap.
So, since we all are at home, next time you wash your hands, remember to choose soap over sanitizer!