Our popular COVID-19 and the Science of Soap animation was featured on Forbes in an article by Amy Sterling, entitled Washing Your Hands Triggers Trillions Of Tiny Molecular Explosions.

From the article:

There once was a Coronavirus that landed on a human’s hand with a few hundred thousand of its colleagues. It sat, idle, waiting for the right environment to enslave its new host’s cells into making copies of itself. Unfortunately for the virus, the first liquid it encountered was not a human circulatory system but rather a molecular Molotov cocktail: soap.

Soap is pretty basic. It contains molecules that can wedge into and disrupt a cell’s surface, called surfactants. Their presence reduces the surface tension of water so things stick together less.

As you wash your hands, you’re immersing bacteria and viruses, like COVID, in a deadly solution that physically pulls them apart.

In these animations from INVIVO Communications, you can see soap surfactant molecules (yellow) are attracted to fatty molecules (navy), which are abundant in cell membranes. They can arrange into clusters pull away and surround little chunks of membranes.

Surfactants chunks called micelles pop away from the viral body and float off into the surrounding fluid. At scale, this causes the virus to explode.

animated gif from the full animation, of virus distintegrating from soap molecules.

Continue reading the full article here.

See the entire animation of COVID-19 and the Science of Soap.