Soap or sanitizer: Which is better?

Disinfecting your hands with soap and sanitizer is critical to prevent the spread of coronavirus, but is one better than the other?

News 12 Staff

Mar 15, 2020, 11:54 AM

Updated 1,581 days ago

Share:

Text by Geoff Bansen, Video by Michelle Divon:
Hand sanitizer and hand washing have been all over the headlines for a week now. In times like these, they are common sense. But is one better than the other?
Yes, says Andrea Love, Immunologist and Microbiologist from Vital Statistics Consulting.
"The coronavirus has a lipid and protein-based envelope that surrounds and protects the virus from having its RNA degraded. This envelope is exactly what it sounds like - a fatty coating. Soap is a detergent, and one property of that is it is able to disrupt fat molecules and disperse them. This is why soap and other detergents clean your greasy stove so well. So, in the case of COVID-19, what happens when soap interacts with this fat-enveloped virus? Exactly the same thing. The soap that you wash your hands with disrupts the virus’ protective coating and demolishes it. It also will dislodge any attached viral particles and wash them down the drain. This is why regular old soap is the best practice!” says Love.
But what makes this different from hand sanitizer?
"Sanitizer doesn't actually clean your hands, which isn't ideal. But it's also OK if you aren't able to get to a sink," says Love.
Photos: Impact from around the world
undefined
 


More from News 12
2:00
Former President Trump safe, doing OK after gunfire at rally

Former President Trump safe, doing OK after gunfire at rally

2:01
Sunny, hot and humid Sunday in the Hudson Valley

Sunny, hot and humid Sunday in the Hudson Valley

1:39
Political analyst: Shooting at Trump rally will bring changes to 2024 Presidential Election

Political analyst: Shooting at Trump rally will bring changes to 2024 Presidential Election

0:24
New Rochelle PD: 1 dead in fiery car crash at Golden Horseshoe Shopping Center

New Rochelle PD: 1 dead in fiery car crash at Golden Horseshoe Shopping Center

1:54
Overnight fire closes Delite Bake Shop in Yonkers

Overnight fire closes Delite Bake Shop in Yonkers

2:23
‘New York’s backyard jam.’ Music lovers flock to Pleasantville Music Festival

‘New York’s backyard jam.’ Music lovers flock to Pleasantville Music Festival

1:55
NYPD: 3-year-old fatally struck in Harlem was from New Rochelle

NYPD: 3-year-old fatally struck in Harlem was from New Rochelle

0:30
Wake services held for Port Chester police officer killed in an off-duty motorbike crash

Wake services held for Port Chester police officer killed in an off-duty motorbike crash

0:25
Police: Newburgh man faces prison time for menacing Maybrook residents with gun

Police: Newburgh man faces prison time for menacing Maybrook residents with gun

0:35
NY Office of Cannabis Management issues recall for ‘Sky High’ brand marijuana products

NY Office of Cannabis Management issues recall for ‘Sky High’ brand marijuana products

1:49
2 'underperforming' Stop & Shop stores in Hudson Valley set to close

2 'underperforming' Stop & Shop stores in Hudson Valley set to close

0:34
Testimony ends in Westchester nonprofit's lawsuit filed against Lyft over wheelchair access

Testimony ends in Westchester nonprofit's lawsuit filed against Lyft over wheelchair access

0:57
Nearly $5 million to go toward clean water efforts, police departments in Westchester

Nearly $5 million to go toward clean water efforts, police departments in Westchester

2:10
How to spot scams, fake listings on Amazon Prime Day 2024

How to spot scams, fake listings on Amazon Prime Day 2024

0:26
Police: Bronx man charged in Carmel domestic disturbance

Police: Bronx man charged in Carmel domestic disturbance

1:40
Lawmakers try to force action from state as more beaches close due to bacteria levels

Lawmakers try to force action from state as more beaches close due to bacteria levels

1:03
‘Like a bee colony.’ Crews work to finish preparations for Pleasantville Music Festival

‘Like a bee colony.’ Crews work to finish preparations for Pleasantville Music Festival

1:32
Owners of decades-old restaurant in Rockland County explain reasons for closure

Owners of decades-old restaurant in Rockland County explain reasons for closure

0:57
Congers Fire Department Carnival returns for first time since COVID

Congers Fire Department Carnival returns for first time since COVID

0:24
Rockland County officials warn of contractor scams targeting homeowners

Rockland County officials warn of contractor scams targeting homeowners