Is a soapy washcloth in a plastic bag an effective hand sanitizer?

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I’m not so sure have you ever smelt a damp cloth when it been stored for a few days, that smell is from the bacteria mutiplying in a nice warm, damp environment.


Food supply + warmth + moisture = fuck no.


Does make me wonder about make-up wipes in a pinch, though. Designed to cut through lipid substances? Check. Disposable? Check. Won’t beat soap and water if you have them, but might be better than nothing in a pinch.


Maybe ok if you use it for an afternoon’s worth of searching for toilet paper and isopropyl, then wash it with bleach when you get home?


Also stay fresh in their packet as you only touch one at a time and can go in a pedal bin or similar.

A sloshy bag of soap and water? Nah.


That’s what I was imagining, not that you’d just keep a damp* funk rag in your car or something.

ed: hah, apparently the m-word is disliked enough to be censored here.


Or cleaning vinegar. (Warning: May cause cravings for fish’n’chips.)


I don’t think anyone is suggesting that for one second! Any sensible person would put a fresh, damp, soapy cloth in a ziploc bag first thing in the morning, then rinse in a bowl of fresh water when they get home, let it dry and do a fresh one next day.
That’s a sensible person; I think a few here left their sensible heads in a jar by the bed when they got up this morning…


Just buy a bar of soap.

The cheap stuff works just as well as the expensive stuff so by all means buy a block of the hard green Palmolive or lovely smelly coal tar (doesn’t actually contain coal tar).


I was under the impression that main use of soap is not so much killing but the emulsification of viruses and bacteria. Once emulsified they are washed away with water easily. So I have my doubts on the damp towel with soap. Seems like a breeding ground for bacteria.

Adding non-expert youtube video that Alton Brown just relased somewhat agrees with my claim:


I’ve been thinking of making for any shopping run a travel mug full of almost boiling water (not hot enough to damage it, and with the lid vented open to cool it down to “hot” by the time I’m ready to use it) and a little thing of soap and a paper towel to store in my trunk.

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The link is right that soap is very effective destroying coronavirus because it has an outer shell containing lipids and the shell is broken up by soap molecules:

I don’t get the value of the washcloth, though. It seems like you would be better off carrying a little bottle of dish detergent, along with a few paper towels and a bottle of water. If necessary you can soap up, rinse and dry, but you don’t have to worry about replacing the bag every day.


I spray my plastic shower liner with a vinegar solution after a shower to prevent mold. It works just dandy.

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Just wash your hands in soap and water, washing all surfaces for 20-30 seconds.

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Yep, but let’s not confuse bacteria and viruses. Coronavirus needs to be in the body to replicate. Soap probably won’t destroy bacteria, but it DOES destroy the coronavirus.


Let’s assume we’re all doing that just about as often as we can. (At least I am.) But let’s also assume that there are some circumstances where it is not possible to immediately wash one’s hands despite having touched a surface that makes one want to wash one’s hands, and that one might very much like to have other, portable alternatives for those times, because that’s certainly a situation I’ve found myself in quite a few times over the last couple of weeks.


can a wet towel in a bag with fungus, mildew, and harmless bacteria displace harmful viruses?

A spray bottle of cleaning vinegar mixed with dishwashing liquid (actually I use liquid handwash) is my goto cleaning fluid. Reckon it will work as a sanitizer in a pinch.

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I add salt to that to kill weeds and grass out of place.