Soap and water work better than hand sanitizer to eliminate coronavirus because soap interrupts sticky joints and the virus slides right away. Cleaning with a household cleaner that contains soap or detergent reduces the number of germs on surfaces and decreases the risk of surface infection. In most situations, cleaning alone removes most virus particles. Disinfection may not be necessary to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in the home, unless someone in your household is sick or if someone with COVID-19 positive has been in your home in the past 24 hours.
Many types of bacteria and viruses, including the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), can live on your hands and enter your body when you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, or the food you eat. Regular hand washing with soap and water is one of the most effective ways to eliminate these germs and avoid getting sick. But how does it actually work? According to the CDC, cleaning refers to removing dirt and dust from surfaces, which also removes (but does not kill) some of the germs found there. Using water alone to clean your hands doesn't work, because water and oil don't mix (as you know from your bottle of Italian salad dressing).
The recommendation to use basic household cleaners or soap and water for most household cleaning is surprising, but Alan says it makes sense. You can use regular dish soap and hot water to clean surfaces (be sure to rinse under running water) before applying a disinfectant to kill even more germs. Cleaning with soap and water can also dislodge germs and cause them to slide off surfaces when rinsing. Rinse all soap under clean running water and dry your hands thoroughly with a clean towel or air dry them.
If no one in your household is sick, CDC recommends cleaning surfaces with a household cleaner that contains soap or detergent.
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