Is Hand Soap Water better than Hand Sanitizers? Find the truth.

There are NO studies conducted on COVID showing soap & water is better than alcohol-based sanitizer. You may refer to articles for proof!

There is a study (3/15/2020) which shows that roughly 5 min of soaking in hand soap is not long enough to inactivate the SARS-CoV-2 virus (15 min is long enough).

Washing with soap for 30 sec mainly washes most of the virus off your hands into the sink.

Washing with plain water helps
Washing with soap help
Similarly, Washing with alcohol-based hand sanitizer also helps.

But which works better? By how much?
Does it help to wash with soap for 60 sec? Or hand sanitizer for 10 sec?
How about soap for 20 sec compared to hand sanitizer for 60 sec?
60% alcohol vs. 70% alcohol vs. 50% soap vs. 75% soap?
Light rubbing versus heavy scrubbing?
Ethanol vs isopropyl?

Real data = Real Truth and Advice

No real data = You Know What I Mean!

Theoretically, chemists know soap should attach to the SARS-CoV-2 outer shell and help inactivate the virus. But how long does it take in real life? If it takes longer than 5 min, then a 20-sec hand-washing may not do much “inactivation”.

Washing hands with soap & water against COVID has not actually been tested and measured.


It may flush virus down the sink or onto sink/faucet/handle surfaces (where other people may be exposed, or you may catch it in the next 3–4 days), or the soap may attach to viruses and help deactivate the shell.

In tests with a non-COVID virus (rotavirus, without a shell), soap and water removed about 87+/-2%. Plain water removed about 84+/-3%. The difference is not statistically significant (“Liquid soap” and “Tap water” as well as “Savlon” in Tukey group D”)

Figure 2: RotaVirus Studies not COVID19


Good news: For rotavirus, washing with tap water is almost as good as with soap. For COVID, it’s unknown. Hasn’t been studied yet on COVID showing soap & water is better than alcohol-based sanitizer.


Surprisingly enough, Rubbing Vigorously with Soap and Water Work wonders. There is no need to add a Soap to it! Just water will do

Staying Outside or staying away from a sick person is better than along with them as it may contract infection directly.

Stay Safe!


The College of Engineering, Guindy is a public engineering college in Chennai, India and is India's oldest technical institution, founded in 1794.

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