Have you ever wondered if soap or soap-free cleansers have an effect on viruses?

While research is limited on this topic, the little evidence that is available suggests that viruses may be inactivated when any soap or soap-free product is used.

So how does this happen? The few studies that have been done suggest that viruses, or 'viral envelopes'; as they're sometimes referred to, are disrupted and eventually disassembled when the surfactants in soap or soap-free cleansers combines with the lipid bilayer of the virus.

Surfactants are the key here - a surfactant is a compound that acts as an emulsifier or foaming agent, and as long as the soap or soap-free cleanser you're using contains surfactants then they should both produce the same effects.

It's important to note that both soap and soap-free cleansers work just as well as each other, as they help lift dirt and contaminants from the skin. Rubbing your hands together too whilst washing also helps this process.

Remember to wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.

Learn more about hand hygiene here.