BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Would you believe it if we told you that plain old soap and water doesn’t kill germs, yet it is the single most cost-effective way of preventing yourself or anyone else from contracting COVID-19?

In layman’s terms, a soap molecule has a head and a tail. The tail of the molecule is lithophilic, meaning it is attracted to things like dirt, oil, bacteria and other germs. The head of the molecule is hydrophilic, meaning that it is attracted to water.

When soap comes in contact with dirty hands — even germs that you can’t see — the tail of the soap molecule attaches to oil, dirt, bacteria and other germs on your hands. This forms tiny clusters called micelles. As you lather up and scrub-a-dub, the rubbing of your hands helps to loosen oil, dirt, bacteria and other germs from your hands.

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Next, you turn on the faucet. Because the head of the water molecule is attracted to water, once your hands are placed under the running faucet, the oil, dirt and bacteria are lifted away from your hands and washed away.

By washing your hands, you can help protect yourself and others from contracting COVID-19. Clean hands can save your life, and possibly someone else’s life during this current epidemic.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Chelsea Ingram

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