Over the past two years, we have all learned that soap is definitely good for cleaning. But how does soap work? Does soap also kill bacteria and viruses?
Soap as a surfactant
Soap is a natural surfactant, and as such, its job is to clean and remove dirt from the surfaces it comes in contact with. There are two ways that soap works. Firstly, it binds with oils and otherwise insoluble particles, making them soluble and easily removable with water. Secondly, it can also destroy viruses and bacteria by breaking through their fatty outer layer and ripping them apart.
Soap against bacteria and viruses
Soap also has the composition to remove bacteria and viruses from surfaces physically. It can also kill many of them because bacteria and viruses have lipids (fats) outer membranes. The soap molecules connect the lipids in their membranes and dissolve them - essentially making the virus inactive and killing the bacteria. Hooray!
So, there you have it! Because of its unique chemical composition and properties, soap effectively cleans our hands, bodies, and surfaces. Not only does soap remove dirt, but it also can kill certain viruses and bacteria.