March 19, 2020 5 min read
Alcohol based hand sanitizers (with at least 60% alcohol) are increasingly difficult to find. They also excel at drying out your hands and are not as effective as saponified oil based cleaners (high quality soap) for hand hygiene.
It may surprise you to learn that your dog's organic shampoo is actually MORE effective in killing viruses (including the SARS-CoV-
Don't get me wrong.
Alcohol based hand sanitizers absolutely have their place. I use it after I've gone to the grocery store or have pumped gas in my car. I liberally apply it to destroy any germs or viruses I may have picked up on my hands when out in the community.
Because hands aren't completely smooth or nonporous like steel, the tiny viruses can get in the nooks and crannies of the skin. You need to use a large amount of hand sanitizer to cover your hands completely and ensure the alcohol has a chance to destroy all of the viruses. If you just cover part of your hands, and then touch your face you may still transfer the virus to your mucous membranes (mouth and nose) and contract illness.
Imagine something really small and hard to see, like a grain of salt. A grain of salt is about 1000x bigger than a single virus.
Now, imagine that you spilled 1000 grains of salt on a stainless steel counter (1,000,000 viruses). It wouldn't be too difficult to clean the stainless steel counter and get most if not all of the grains of salt. If however, you spilled the same 1000 grains of salt on a rug, it would be much more difficult to find every grain and clean it up because the grains would settle in the fibers of the rug.
When a virus is on your hands or other skin, it is similar to the salt in the rug and it is your job to get them all out, destroy them and wash them down the drain!
If you have water available, you should always opt to wash your hands for 20-30 seconds with soap and water instead of using alcohol based hand sanitizer because it is more effective and it is less harsh on your skin than alcohol based sanitizers.
This is still true.
It is still important to limit your dog's exposure to the virus.
Viruses mutate over time and create new strains. We are seeing this with SARS-CoV-
Minimizing your dog's exposure to the virus is just smart.
You also want to make sure you don't spread the virus on surfaces in your home where you could make yourself sick.
We suggest as soon as you walk in the door to your house and kick off your shoes, that you wash your hands for 20-30 seconds with soap and water before you touch your dog.
Then change your clothes, leave them in your designated “germ room” and wash your hands again!
Washing your hands with your dog's shampoo made with saponified organic oils (high quality soap) for 20-30 seconds will kill the virus on your hands.
4-Legger is just as safe for humans as it is for your pets! In fact, when I was still in cancer treatment, I had a real “Aha” moment when It occurred to me that my dog’s 4-Legger shampoo was safer than the human products I was still using! Now, we make it easy and keep 4-Legger in foamer bottles at every sink in the house for the humans too.
Note to the scientists out there: We've over-simplified the interactions to make it easier to understand!
Shampoo made with saponified oils has been shown to be more effective at breaking down viruses like SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) than alcohol, antibacterial wipes or detergent based/antibacterial hand wash.
Most viruses have 3 components: the genetic material (either DNA or RNA), proteins and lipids (fatly acids).
The weakest part of a virus is the lipid area.
4-Legger organic dog shampoo is amphiphilic - it has both polar (water loving) and lipophilic (fat loving) properties.
You already know our shampoo loves water and when combined with water it creates A LOT of lather. Why? It loves water!
The other amazing property our shampoo? It loves lipids (fats). So, just like it will look for water, it will look for lipids.
When it finds lipids, it will bind to them and break them down. (This is kind of like how it effectively removes dirt and environmental toxins from the skin).
The shampoo breaks down the bonds (the glue) that help the proteins, the genetic material and the lipids hold the virus together.
Many have described this as a house of cards falling down. You remove the bond and the whole thing just falls apart.
Our saponified oil based shampoo effectively dissolves these bonds, breaking apart the virus and you use water to wash it all down the drain when you rinse your hands after scrubbing them for 20-30 seconds!
This is why hand washing technique is SO important.
You want to completely scrub your hands for 20-30 seconds to get in every nook and cranny of your skin - giving the shampoo time to break down the virus.
When you are washing your dog, we recommend getting your dog thoroughly wet and then adding 4-Legger shampoo to your dog’s coat. Their coat, like the rug analogy, makes it much harder to get in every nook and cranny! Work it into a great lather for a least 20-30 seconds and then rinse away all the germs, dirt and environmental toxins that have accumulated on your dog since their last bath.
We completely understand the next few months are going to be very disruptive and hard to navigate.
The only one who will likely be thrilled you are stuck at home is your dog, so it is more important than ever to practice good hygiene - especially when you have to run out for errands.
If you missed our tips for keeping you and your dog safe during the pandemic, please do take the time to read it.
We wish you all good health and good hygiene!