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Wednesday 3 June 2020

Soapy Water: When Market Runs Out Of Cleansing Agents

Because of the presence of alkali in the detergent with which you make soapy water, it may prove more effective in warding off coronavirus

These days, the earth is dominated by the fear of getting infected by the coronavirus. To get rid of the infection, doctors and health workers recommend washing hands frequently with soap and to use hand sanitizer. Naturally, the habit of handwashing with soap and hand sanitiser gradually increases which results in the shortage of these hand cleansing agents at the market. But don’t worry, there is some other way, you can prepare and use soapy water and can stay safe. The preparation of soapy water is very easy and also very innovative. Before going to the preparation and dispensing, let me discuss a few words about soapy water.

Soapy water, as the name implies is a mixture of detergent and water. It can also be defined as a solution of detergent in the water. We all know that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’, so, to increase the habit of handwashing and to avoid the use of costly soap, this alternative was first tried at a school in Kenya in 2008. Later it was implemented in Peru. As the preparation and dispensing of soapy water is very easy, it became a popular way of handwashing in many parts of the world. In Asia, it is becoming popular in Bangladesh and its popularity is enhanced by the international research Centre ICDDR-B (International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh). A video by Nuhu Amin, an assistant scientist at ICDDR-B inspires me very much to prepare and use soapy water so much that I prepared and currently using soapy water at home.

Soapy Water: When Market Runs Out Of Cleansing Agents (Image 1)

Now, how do you prepare soapy water at home? You need a 1.5 l (l – litre) bottle filled with water up to its neck, detergent of any company or brand, a filter paper of funnel, and the teaspoon. Don’t you have a filter paper or a funnel? No worry. You can design any paper into the shape of filter paper and can use that one. Firstly, open the cap of the bottle and make a small aperture or hole at the centre of the cap. You can create the aperture by yourself easily. The aperture is made through which the prepared cleansing liquid can be used or dispensed. Secondly, put the funnel for paper for the filter at the mouth of the bottle. Thirdly, take 4 teaspoons of detergent and add to water. Considering the weight, you can take 30 g or 40 g of detergent (4 full teaspoons of detergent weigh 40 g) but it is recommended to use them more as a precaution. Fourthly, close the bottle with the cap and hold the aperture of the cap with finger and shake well the whole solution or the bottle. Now, your soapy water is ready. Isn’t that too much easy?

If you have prepared soapy water in 500 ml bottle, add one teaspoon and a little more of detergent to the water. If you want to create 250 ml of the solution, you have to add a little less than one teaspoon of detergent. If you want to create 1 l of the solution, then you have to add more than two teaspoons, nearly three teaspoons of detergent. In case of weight, if one considers that for 1.5 l of the solution, the detergent required is 30 g, for 1 l, take 20 g; for 500 ml, take 10 g and for 250 ml, take 5 g of detergent. That is, you can adjust the number of teaspoons and weight of detergent considering the number of teaspoons and weight of detergent used in 1.5 l of the solution by the unitary method. According to Assistant Scientist. Enteric and Respiratory Infections, Infectious Diseases Division of ICDDR-B Nuhu Amin, it is better to use a little more detergent during this COVID pandemic situation as a precaution. In a 500 ml of the solution, the foam will not appear like soap, but the efficacy of the solution is greater.

As for using or dispensing of the prepared soapy water, you may use it through the aperture of the cap of the bottle as previously discussed. You have to shake the bottle well before use. It is better if you can install a spray instead of a cap to the bottle. It is quite convenient to use the spray, as the prepared liquid is not wasted here and you can take the required amount of the solution in your hand. You don’t have to shake before use in case of spray. Other than these, you may use a dispenser for dispensing the required amount of the solution. You may refill the bottle easily when required.

Where To Use Soapy Water

Soapy Water: When Market Runs Out Of Cleansing Agents (Image 2)

You can use soapy water at your home, in the bathroom, or at the office. It can be used in shops, doctor chambers, hospitals, garments, schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions, etc. It can be suitable to use especially in slum areas, markets, shopping malls, and other places where keeping soap is difficult due to the risk of getting a loss of soap. Soapy water can be used in those places where it is very difficult to keep soap but handwashing is necessary.

If you are a doctor or a hospital staff, it is very much mandatory for you to use soapy water. The doctors and other medical staff have to come in contact with various kinds of patients, so they have to wash their hands frequently. Especially, in this COVID pandemic situation, the doctors, nurses, and other medical staff and the patients all are at risk of getting infected with COVID-19. So, they can use soapy water as it can avoid the risk of getting infected by the coronavirus and any type of viruses. For frequent washing of hands, this solution can be used anywhere.

One may ask, ‘Why soapy water?’ or ‘What is its effectiveness?’ First, research studies say that soapy water works just like soap and liquid soap. In many cases, it works far better than these handwashing agents. The presence of alkali in ordinary or low-cost detergents that are available in the market works better against viruses and microbes. Detergent is the main component here. So, you can use soapy water as a better substitute for soap, liquid soap, and hand sanitizer. It reduces both your time and cost. Also, the preparation, use (dispensing process), and the refilling process is easy. It can be a better hygienic method for you. Thus, you can use this preparation as an effective weapon to fight against the germs especially in this COVID-19 pandemic situation. In this lockdown period, you can perform this innovative project easily at home. So, prepare and use soapy water and stay safe.

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