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Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
Microbiology, health, virus, lipids, detergent


Have you ever wondered why we wash our hands with water and soap to get rid of bacteria and viruses? Good hand hygiene becomes especially important during viral outbreaks such as the COVID-19 pandemic! The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommendations for handwashing say to scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap. But how does soap kill viruses such as SARS-COV-2? In this activity, you will find out by experimenting with models of different virus types to see how they react to soap.


Svenja Lohner, PhD, Science Buddies

Thank you to EPAM for sponsoring the development of this activity. EPAM is a leading global provider of software product development and digital platform engineering services to hundreds of Fortune 500 and 1000 clients located around the world. EPAM’s corporate social responsibility goals are driven by their values, correspond with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, and are guided by ISO 26000 standards, which provide guidance on how businesses can operate in a socially responsible way. EPAM is committed to serving as an ethical organization and sharing their time and talent to improve tech education around the world, contributing to the sustainability of their local communities.

This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,200 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.


  • Aluminum foil
  • Double-sided tape that stays sticky when wet
  • Butter
  • Butter knife
  • Small plate
  • Sprinkles (the waxy elongated kind) or cracked pepper
  • Bowl
  • Warm water
  • Paper towel
  • Soap
  • Spoon
    Materials needed for the 'See How Viruses React To Soap'  activity.


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Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
Microbiology, health, virus, lipids, detergent
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