Why the Government advocates soap and water as a primary defence against COVID-19 - StadiaCare

Why the Government advocates soap and water as a primary defence against COVID-19

24th March 2020

While disinfectants and sanitisers are ideal for spot treating door handles, light switches, telephones, drinks machines, and similar high-touch surfaces – especially in crowded highly frequented venues – they are not good cleaners and cannot compensate for the efficiency of thorough cleaning action.

The number one thing you can do to make a difference is to avoid getting infected and spreading the virus by washing your hands frequently with soap and water. Soap works by dissolving the fat (lipid bilayer) membrane that surrounds viruses, which then renders the virus inactive.

So ‘killing the virus’ shouldn’t be the only goal, as it’s a short-term reaction, we are better focusing on limiting the spread of the contamination. We can do so by cleaning surfaces thoroughly, which means deep cleaning and not just a superficial wipe, all the while practising good hand hygiene.

The reason for this is that as soon as a living organism appears in a sterilised environment, for example, by someone touching the surface, the surface is contaminated and then the original disinfection is meaningless.

Simply put, you need to disinfect after every member of staff, student, visitor or guest, which is neither practical nor does it create sustainable conditions for life on the planet. There are valid reasons for cleaning more often, but not with disinfectant cleaning products – the important thing is to keep clean.

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