Soap destroys the novel coronavirus.
Washing with soap and water dissolves the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
- Soap bubbles break apart coronaviruses. Scrubbing for 20 seconds and rinsing well is the best way to get the virus off your hands.
- Any soap will work. Bar soap or liquid soap—they work equally well.
- Warm or cold water is fine. The water should be comfortable (not scalding hot).
Washing with soap and water is better than using hand sanitizer.
Use hand sanitizer if you are not near a sink. Otherwise, soap and water is best.
- Hand sanitizer dissolves coronaviruses. However, it does not kill as many other types of germs as washing with soap and water.
- Hand sanitizer may not work as well if your hands are dirty or greasy.
- If you use hand sanitizer, make sure it’s at least 60% alcohol. Rub it all over your hands until your hands feel dry.
- Be sure the hand sanitizer is not on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's list of hand sanitizers that should not be used. These hand sanitizers have been found to contain toxic ingredients.
It is important to wash often and wash correctly.
If you're healthy, washing your hands can keep you from getting sick. If you’re sick, it can keep you from passing the illness to others.
- Coronaviruses can stay viable for hours and sometimes days, depending on the surface they’re on and other environmental conditions. Washing your hands properly reduces the spread between people and surfaces.
- Scrub vigorously all over your hands for 20 seconds, including your fingernails. This creates the friction needed to remove viruses and other microbes.
- Handwashing also helps prevent the spread of other illnesses like the flu, common cold, and stomach bugs.
There's a lot you can do to slow the spread of COVID-19.
You can take action to protect yourself and others.
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, not your hand.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, especially when your hands aren’t clean or have touched a surface that isn’t clean.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
- Stay home if possible.
- The change in seasons may or may not affect the spread of COVID-19
- Heating your skin will not kill the coronavirus—and it could burn you
- Foods and supplements cannot prevent you from getting COVID-19
- COVID-19 is different from the flu
- Does ultraviolet light kill the coronavirus
- How long does coronavirus live on surfaces
- Does hand sanitizer kill the coronavirus?
- Do bleach and other disinfectants kill the coronavirus?
- Can you catch COVID-19 from food?
- Do homemade cloth masks protect against the novel coronavirus?
- Having antibodies to the novel coronavirus is not the same thing as having immunity to COVID-19
- Can copper supplements fight COVID-19?
- Does zinc help fight the coronavirus?
- Lemon juice does not cure COVID-19
- The flu vaccine does not affect COVID-19 test results or the likelihood of catching COVID-19
- Ginger does not prevent or cure COVID-19
- Does witch hazel kill the coronavirus?
- Does sunlight kill the coronavirus?
- Can probiotics help fight COVID-19?
Last updated: July 29, 2020