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The science of soap

How soap and water combat coronavirus

 

Jenna Hemenway

Soap and water attack a virus. Original drawings by Jenna Hemenway

Recently, hand washing has become a much-publicized defense against coronavirus and soap is the weapon of choice.

Perhaps you can still hear your mother's voice as you walked through the kitchen door, sat down to a meal or came out of the bathroom, "Did you wash your hands?"

Have you ever wondered how soap combats germs and dirt or why it works so well?

Soap can be traced back to around 2800 B.C. Archeologists discovered Babylonian clay tablets inscribed with a soap recipe. The Bible records the cleansing routine of the temple priests using water infused with ashes and animal fat from the...



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