While alcohol-based disinfectants, liquids, wipes, gels, and creams are all effective at getting rid of viruses, the good old soap outperforms them significantly. Chemistry Professor Pall Thordarson explains the science behind soap and how it effectively kills the Coronavirus.

Viruses can be active outside the body for hours, even days. When I shared the information above using Twitter, it went viral. I think I have worked out why. Health authorities have been giving us two messages: once you have the virus there are no drugs that can kill it or help you get rid of it. But also, wash your hands to stop the virus spreading. This seems odd. You can’t, even for a million dollars, get a drug for the coronavirus – but your grandmother’s bar of soap kills the virus.

So why does soap work so well on the Sars-CoV-2, the coronavirus and indeed most viruses? The short story: because the virus is a self-assembled nanoparticle in which the weakest link is the lipid (fatty) bilayer. Soap dissolves the fat membrane and the virus falls apart like a house of cards and dies – or rather, we should say it becomes inactive as viruses aren’t really alive.

The slightly longer story is that most viruses consist of three key building blocks: ribonucleic acid (RNA), proteins and lipids. A virus-infected cell makes lots of these building blocks, which then spontaneously self-assemble to form the virus. Critically, there are no strong covalent bonds holding these units together, which means you do not necessarily need harsh chemicals to split those units apart. When an infected cell dies, all these new viruses escape and go on to infect other cells. Some end up also in the airways of the lungs.

When you cough, or especially when you sneeze, tiny droplets from the airways can fly up to 10 metres. The larger ones are thought to be the main coronavirus carriers and they can go at least two metres.

These tiny droplets end on surfaces and often dry out quickly. But the viruses remain active. Human skin is an ideal surface for a virus. It is “organic” and the proteins and fatty acids in the dead cells on the surface interact with the virus.

When you touch, say, a steel surface with a virus particle on it, it will stick to your skin and hence get transferred on to your hands. If you then touch your face, especially your eyes, nostrils or mouth, you can get infected. And it turns out that most people touch their face once every two to five minutes.

Washing the virus off with water alone might work. But water is not good at competing with the strong, glue-like interactions between the skin and the virus. Water isn’t enough.

Soapy water is totally different. Soap contains fat-like substances known as amphiphiles, some of which are structurally very similar to the lipids in the virus membrane. The soap molecules “compete” with the lipids in the virus membrane. This is more or less how soap also removes normal dirt from the skin.

The soap not only loosens the “glue” between the virus and the skin but also the Velcro-like interactions that hold the proteins, lipids, and RNA in the virus together.

Alcohol-based products, which pretty much includes all “disinfectant” products, contain a high-percentage alcohol solution (typically 60-80% ethanol) and kill viruses in a similar fashion. But soap is better because you only need a fairly small amount of soapy water, which, with rubbing, covers your entire hand easily. Whereas you need to literally soak the virus in ethanol for a brief moment, and wipes or rubbing a gel on the hands does not guarantee that you soak every corner of the skin on your hands effectively enough.

So, soap is the best but do please use alcohol-based sanitizer when soap is not handy or practical.

Pall Thordarson is a professor of chemistry at the University of New South Wales, Sydney.



Semen, gunk, spunk, jizz or whatever you prefer to call it, is made up of two components – spermatozoa (or the tadpole-like reproductive cells that contain half of the genetic information to create human offspring) and seminal fluid (composed mainly of water, proteins, vitamins, and minerals).

All the components in semen are relatively safe to ingest. However, the mere thought of consuming semen can make most people’s stomach turn. And for understandable reasons: the way semen looks, tastes, and smells can be off-putting to many. But did you know that ingesting or getting exposed to semen can pose some great health benefits? If it doesn’t turn you off, read on as we give a rundown on why semen can be good for you.

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Looking for that special fragrance that everyone will associate with you and come to recognize as your own unique scent? While there are a lot of fragrances on the market that smell good, looking for your signature scent can be a feat. To save you time and wasted cash, we’ve listed down a guide to help you find your signature scent that will stand out, turn heads and leave a lasting impression.

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An increasing number of men are now into manscaping and for good reasons: 70 percent of women prefer their man trimmed his pubic hair to maintain hygiene, improve appearance, and make access easier (whatever that means). The data came from a survey conducted by Cosmopolitan, Esquire and AskMen, asking their social media followers about pubic hair grooming.

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If you are the type of guy who doesn’t brush for days or whose idea of dental hygiene is munching on some breath mints, this article is for you. If you think losing your teeth or having horrible breath are the worst that can happen, you are greatly mistaken. Poor dental hygiene can lead to gum disease, a form of chronic inflammation that is linked to serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer.

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A hi-tech urinal is being developed to automatically wash and dry the penis after urination. Currently in its prototype stage, Urinary 2.0 is the brainchild of by biochemist Eduard Gevorkyan, economist Ivan Giner, and coach Miguel Angel Levanteri.

The ultra-modern bathroom fixture is equipped with programmed sensors which activate its cleaning and drying mechanisms when the user has finished urinating. As soon as one of the sensors detects that the user is done peeing, soapy water is automatically administered for three seconds to clean the penis. Continue reading →


Cheating men have revealed the real reasons why they become unfaithful to their partners. Many women think that their partners stray because they are bored with their stale relationship, but that may not be the case for most cheaters.

A recent survey by Superdrug’s Online Doctor revealed that the most common reason why European and American men are cheating is simply because they can’t resist the temptation of the other person. A large majority of the respondents, comprised of over 2,000 European and American adulterers, claimed that the main reason for their extra-marital affairs is: the other person was just really hot. The assumption that men are just bored that’s why they cheat is not even on the top 3 main reasons for infidelity. Continue reading →


Looking for ways to spice things up in the bedroom? You may want to consider the latest trend in boosting sex drive which involves freezing your man parts to as low as minus 160 degrees! The procedure is called “Love Mist”, a form of cryotherapy offered by a spa in Manchester, UK.

The bizarre treatment entails spraying a chilly negative 160 degree Celcius mist of liquid nitrogen onto your genital area. The 30-minute treatment is performed by a trained therapist and is available to both men and women. Continue reading →


An increasing number of men are dying their hair for different reasons. For the younger ones, it
is usually to look cool or keep up with the trend. For the more mature, it’s mostly to hide the
grays and somehow defy aging. A teenager bleaching his dark hair blonde is a form of self-
expression. On the other hand, a fifty-year-old man with deep facial wrinkles and jet-black hair
spells desperation.

Graying is part of aging. Melanin, a pigment polymer that gives hair its natural color, is
delivered via specialized cells called melanocytes. These cells are located at follicles and inject
color as the shaft grows. As you age, these melanocytes slow down or stop their pigment production,
leading to gray, colorless hair. According to a study, a man’s chances of going gray increase about
10-20% every decade after the age of 30. Unfortunately, a cure for the condition, outside of dyeing
and application of coloring products, is yet to be discovered. Continue reading →