Preprints 2020, 2020050060
Today, the entire globe is struggling to deal with the greatest pandemic of the century, COVID-19. With no clinically approved treatments available, we are left with no options other than following the preventive measures issued by the World Health Organization (WHO). Among many others, hand washing with soap and water has been emphasized the most because it is cost-effective and easily accessible to the general public. Various studies have reported that soaps offer unique chemical properties that can disinfect the virus as a whole. However, there is still ambiguity in the general public about whether soaps can really shield us from this highly contagious disease. In an attempt to help eliminate the ambiguity, we analyzed the mechanisms underlying the efficacy of soap and its prospect for preventing the spread of COVID-19. In this paper, we provide an overview of the history and characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), the detailed mechanisms of the deactivation of viruses by soaps, and the potential effectiveness of soap in eliminating coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2.