March 23, 2020
Soaps, Sanitizers, and A Homemade Version
At Gutbliss, we recommend washing your hands thoroughly with warm water for 30 seconds with an all-natural soap as the gold standard for keeping your hands clean during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What about antibacterial soap? First, antibacterial soap kills bacteria, not viruses, and the coronavirus is just that… a virus. And second, no matter the soap, whether natural or otherwise, all soaps contain something very special that hand sanitizers don’t, and that’s, very simply put, “soap molecules”. Soap molecules have properties that attract and repel water. When introduced to water, the parts of the molecules that attract water point outward and are able to dissolve lipids (or fats). Lucky for us, the coronavirus is enclosed in a lipid outer layer, which is destroyed during hand washing with soap. Soap also dissolves the weak bonds that hold the virus together, killing the virus and removing it from your hands.
What about hand sanitizer? 60 to 80% alcohol-based hand sanitizer gels can also be effective in destroying the coronavirus outer layer and bonds within the virus, but soap is the most effective in completely removing the virus from your skin. In addition, these sanitizers often possess harmful chemicals that are less than desirable. During this pandemic, if you’re in a pinch, at Gutbliss we fully support using alcohol-based hand sanitizers (be sure to rub the gel thoroughly into your hands and in between your fingers when doing so), but don’t forget that soap and vigorous hand washing with warm water should be your main defensive strategy.
These days, finding hand soap or hand sanitizer at the store is like striking gold. For those of you interested in improvising, here’s a healthy homemade soap recipe that will help protect you and your family:
½ cup castile soap liquid
½ cup distilled water
Add water to a soap dispenser (you can recycle one that you currently have in your home), then add the liquid castile soap. Prior to each use, shake the soap dispenser. Use like regular liquid soap as often as needed.
Variation: For scented soap, add essential oils. Our favorite are tea tree (15 drops) and lavender (10 drops).