Soap works better than alcohol and disinfectants at destroying the structure of viruses.
Why does soap work so well on most viruses including the coronavirus? Because it is a self-assembled nanoparticle in which the weakest link is the lipid (fatty) bilayer.
That sounds scientific, let’s explain.
Soap dissolves the fat membrane, and the virus falls apart and “dies,” or rather, it becomes inactive as viruses aren’t really alive. Viruses can be active outside the body for hours, even days.
Disinfectants, or liquids, wipes, gels and creams containing alcohol (and soap) have a similar effect but are not as good as regular soap. Apart from alcohol and soap, antibacterial agents in those products don’t affect the virus structure much. Consequently, many antibacterial products are basically just an expensive version of soap in how they act on viruses. Soap is the best, but alcohol wipes are good when soap is not practical or handy, for example in office reception areas.
But why, exactly, is soap so good? To explain that, I will take you through a journey of supramolecular chemistry, nanoscience and virology. I will try to explain this in generic terms, which means leaving out special chemistry terms. (I must point out that, while I am an expert in supramolecular chemistry and the assembly of nanoparticles, I am not a virologist.)
Read the full post and learn much more here!