A global pandemic, something we can honestly say we never thought we’d see in our lifetime. By watching the news or reading any publication, it seems like something straight out of Hollywood—surreal—as most of us can agree. Humanity is faced with a highly contagious virus, and at the moment, there is no vaccine. We’ve all been learning to live with the new “normal”: social distancing, quarantine, masks, etc. This has been eff ective in slowing the spread of the virus, but “hands”-down, what is our biggest weapon in the war against viruses? Seems Mama really does know best: It’s good old-fashioned soap and water.

Why is soap the most eff ective means of killing a virus? When a virus comes into contact with surfaces, it can live outside of the body for hours, maybe even days. Although disinfectants, lotions and potions containing more than 60 percent alcohol can be helpful, nothing does the job quite like soap. The reason? Soapy water destabilizes the components holding the virus together, breaking it down. Soap contains fat-like substances known as amphiphiles, some of which are structurally similar to the lipids in the virus membrane. The soap molecules “compete” with the lipids in the virus membrane. Much in the same way soap works to remove dirt from your skin, soap loosens not only the “glue” between the virus and the skin but also the bond-like interactions that hold the proteins, lipids and RNA in the virus together. The virus is broken down and washed away.

Alcohol-based products such as hand sanitizers and disinfecting products contain a high percentage of alcohol solution (typically 60 percent to 80 percent ethanol) and kill viruses in a like fashion. However, soap is far better at this task because you need only a small amount of soap and water to be eff ective. Provided you wash your hands well for the recommended 20 seconds or longer and at least six to 10 times per day, specifically before meals, after returning home, etc., soap is your best defense for protecting yourself, loved ones, colleagues and customers against viruses.

In fact, if you use hand sanitizer on dirty hands and don’t wash your hands first with soap, you just sanitize the dirt and not the surface underneath it. If you insist on using hand sanitizers to rid your hands of viruses, you should wash your hands with soap as a first step. Floral to the rescue!

FloraLife, a division of Smithers-Oasis Company, which has been in the floricultural cleaner and disinfectant business for 29 years, has more than 80 years of experience in microbiology research. At the onset of the pandemic, it expanded beyond its flower care focus to provide a variety of industries and consumers with cleaning products to address the increased cleaning norms. It fi rst shifted its cleaner/disinfectant product line to off er other industries product applications to address the new cleaning standards. It then used its flower-food- packet packaging to introduce a line of pocket-size, single-serve liquid or powder hand soap. SOAP’s features and benefi ts can be summarized as such:

1. SOAP is an all-in-one product that removes dirt and viruses from hands. Use as is or as a precleaning step before using hand sanitizer.

2. Available in liquid or powder form, fragrance-free SOAP is individually packaged in easy-to-use, on-the-go, single-use packets for the right amount of hand washing soap every time.

3. Lightweight and easy to store and carry, you never need to touch a public soap dispenser again. Take them with you everywhere!

4. SOAP comes in either 3-milliliter liquid or 1-gram powder packets. Both versions are available in 50-pack consumer cartons, 150-pack display boxes and 2,000-pack bulk boxes.

5. Travel-kit- and pocket-friendly, SOAP is ideal for travelers and people on the go, and for outdoor activities like boating, fi shing, hunting, camping and hiking. The packets are also easily and safely shareable.

6. Private labels are available.

7. Made from natural vegetable oils, SOAP won’t dry your hands as hand sanitizers do.

FloraLife can help you to stay protected while on the go. SOAP is a convenient and eff ective product for removing dirt and viruses wherever you are, whatever you are doing. For more information, check fl orafi fecleaners.com, or contact your local FloraLife representative.