How Does Using Soap During Handwashing Work?

Ashley | 04 - 09 - 2020
How Does Using Soap During Handwashing Work

Keeping your hands clean is one of the major things to follow. Throughout the day, we touch a lot of objects and surfaces which might carry hazardous germs. When you touch those objects you pick-up those germs that can cause diseases like diarrhea, stomach ache, etc. So, it is advised not to touch your nose, mouth, and face frequently without washing your hands with soap as you might get infected. You cannot assume that your hands are germ-free, just because they are not visible to the bare eyes.

Remember, rinsing your hands with water without using soap is of no use as you will still carry those harmful germs on your hands if you are not using soap. Using soap during handwashing is the best way to wash away the germs that are sticking to your hands and one of the major uses of soap is that it restricts the spread of germs right away.

What Are Soaps?

According to Wikipedia, soaps are salt of fatty acids that are used for a variety of cleaning purposes. The invention of soap dates back to 2800 B.C by Babylonians. Early soaps were made by combining animal and vegetable fats. Over the years the process of preparing soaps evolved and liquid soaps were patented by William Sheppard in 1865.

1. Who Was the First to Invent Soap?
  • A. Babylonians
  • B. Egyptians
  • C. Romans
  • D. Mayans

How Does Soap Work and Why Do We Use It?

Soaps do not kill the germs, instead, they wash away the germs that are sticking to your hands. But how? Soaps usually consist of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. The chain of atoms are both lipophilic (attracted to oils) and hydrophilic (attracted to water). So when you use soap, it lathers up and the lipophilic side picks up the oil and the hydrophilic side washes off the dirt following the water. So always remember that water alone cannot help wash away the dirt, germs, and oil off your hands as it does not have the tendency to mix with oil. One of the greatest benefits of using soap is that it helps remove the microbes and dirt sticking to your hands leaving your hand germ-free which could possibly control many health issues and infections that are caused by viruses and bacteria.

Try to wash your hands every 30 minutes and also:

  • Before and after using the toilet.
  • Before eating, cooking or handling eatables.
  • After sneezing in your hands.
  • After handling sick people.
  • After physical contact with your pets.
  • After handling garbage.

The Right Way of Using Soap During Handwashing:

  1. Wet your hands with water and apply a good amount of soap on your hands.
  2. Lather it up, by rubbing your hands as it helps lift up the dirt and germs on your hands.
  3. Make sure to reach every corner of your hands including the area around your nails and between your fingers.
  4. It is recommended to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  5. Rinse your hands with water completely.
  6. Dry your hands with a clean towel or tissue.


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