Sanitizer vs Soaps- Which Kills The Coronavirus More Effectively?


The Coronavirus pandemic has engulfed and pushed all the world into crisis, recession, and depression. Having no proper medical treatment yet, it has already infected over 7 million people. It has also claimed more than 400 thousand lives in the world. Amid all this chaos, sanitizer vs soaps has been a heated discussion as to which one of them kills the virus more effectively.

It is difficult to say which one between the two can kill the virus more effectively. Nevertheless,  doctors advise both of them so that people take proper care of their personal hygiene. As the Coronavirus is similar to SARS and MERS, using soap with water or an alcohol-based sanitizer to wash your hands frequently highly reduces the chances of getting infected. Let’s keep the sanitizer vs soaps debate aside for a moment and learn some important things about this virus first.

Some Details About Coronavirus


Coronaviruses(Covid-19, SARS, MERS) are viruses infecting the respiratory tract of mammals including humans. The infamous Coronavirus (Covid-19) spreads like the other communicable infectious diseases. It predominantly spreads by direct contact between an infected and a healthy person in households, workplaces, crowded places, etc. Say, for example, if an infected person touches a healthy one, then the healthy person will also become infected.

It can also spread indirectly. Say an infected patient touches a tables/cloth/anything. Later on, a healthy person also happens to touch that ‘infected thing’ and then touches his/her face. Then the healthy person can also be infected by Coronavirus.

What makes the virus more deadly is that many people remain asymptomatic. This means that they don’t show any signs of infection like high fever, dry cough, difficulty in breathing, etc. So, a person may be spreading the virus without even knowing that he/she is infected. There is no medicine that can cure Coronavirus at the moment. Therefore, prevention is the only way to deal with the virus as of now.

Now, let us take a look at how soap and sanitizers work.

How does Soap act Against The Coronavirus?

sanitizer vs soaps

People use soaps for centuries to get rid of dirt and germs. Soaps are Sodium or Potassium salts of a long chain of fatty acids. Soap action against viruses (including Coronavirus) is the same as the removal of dirt from your body/clothes!

Viruses have fat covering their genetic information. This layer is protective in function.  Soap molecules attach to that layer and carry it off with the flowing water. This tears the fat layer apart, exposing the viral DNA to the surroundings. A viral DNA is dead outside the body of the human(host). Consequently, they die.

So, washing your hands frequently with soap and water will keep the Coronavirus from entering into your body. This is a simple but very effective way of protecting yourself as well as your loved ones.

How does Sanitizer act Against The Coronavirus?

sanitizer vs soaps

A normal sanitizer(alcohol-based) almost works the same way as a normal soap. Note that only the alcohol and soap-like material present in a sanitizer work against the virus. So, the other antibacterial ingredients present in such a sanitizer don’t have a significant effect on the Coronavirus. In fact, many expensive sanitizers work just as soaps do against the virus.

Also, the content of alcohol in a sanitizer should be over 60% if you want to dissolve the virus quickly. Otherwise, it will take time to kill the virus effectively. So, if you intend to buy a sanitizer, then make sure that it’s high on alcohol.

So Sanitizer vs Soaps- What’s The Better Option?

sanitizer vs soaps

Now that you know the mechanism of action of both soaps and sanitizers (alcohol-based), it is easy to decide the best one. Though both of them can kill the virus and stop it from spreading, one is still a better option than the other, but, T&C applied!

According to one idea, soap wins the sanitizer vs soaps battle. It is a far better option if we talk about its action against the virus. But places where soap usage is not practical, (places like offices, etc.), it is better to use a sanitizer that is based on alcohol.

Soap is cheaper, but it is impractical to use it everywhere as it requires water. At the same, time sanitizer is a bit more expensive but can be used anywhere, anytime, and by anyone.

Moreover, if you want to use soap to fight against the virus then you need to frequently wash your hands which becomes almost impractical if you are at work. But on the other hand, alcohol-based sanitizer can be used within seconds and as much frequently as you desire.

Final Words

Alcohol-based sanitizers have some pros that soap does not have. But overall, soap action is better and faster to kill the virus than sanitizers. So it’s a tough call to determine the winner of sanitizer vs soaps battle. Yet, you can use both of them effectively to check the spread of the deadly virus. So, make sure to wash your hands every now and then to protect yourself and your family from this deadly threat.

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