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Soaps and detergents, how they work and why they are effective against germs and viruses.

by Lisa Gautier CEO & Co-founder

A 2 min read on home and professional laundry.

So, how do soaps and detergents actually work? At Hackyourcloset.com, we decided to bring an answer to this fairly common topic.

Nelson Mandela said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.

Recently I came across a great article from The Guardian on the science behind soaps. This might feel silly to you but it felt great to me, so I thought why not write about it? In addition, I brought a visual take on it as we all prefer great pictures over a long text.

We own lots of soaps at home from the dish-soap, to the hand-soap, the shower gel and our preferred detergents. 

“One of the best things you can do to reduce your exposure to viruses, and other germs, is to wash your clothes and other fabrics regularly.” The Insider 

Soap molecules are made of two parts:

1. A hydrophobic tail that does not dissolve in water but can dissolve in fat. This tail is naturally attracted to fatty elements.
2. A hydrophilic head that can dissolve in water.

Viruses and bacteria have one thing in common:

3. A fatty membrane that holds the whole thing together.

So our hydrophobic tail is going to be attracted to that membrane and dissolve in it, which will basically break the structure that’s holding on to your clothes.

Our cleaning practices are designed to kill viruses At Hackyourcloset.com, our cleaning practices are designed to kill viruses such as the common cold and flu. In addition to washing all clothes at the recommended 30°C and 40°C, all items are being steamed at high temperatures from 120°C to 150°C.

Regarding COVID-19:
According to Harvard Health, there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted from soft surfaces like fabric or carpet to humans. 

Home laundry at 30°C significantly decreases the bacterial burden. Any temperature above 75°C will kill any viruses.

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