Are Bar Soaps Hygienic?

Sometimes we receive questions asking whether "bar soaps" are hygienic?

The short answer; yes, bar soap is hygienic. However, there are some interesting reasons why it's hygienic. Read below to find out more.

Bar Soap v. Liquid

First of all what's the difference between the two. Bar soap is unwrapped and not enclosed and is in a solid form. Liquid soap is placed, usually in a plastic bottle that uses a pump. Which does a better job? Soap, whether liquid or bar, will reduce the number of pathogens on your hands. The friction you create when you're rubbing your hands together and lathering up lifts away dirt and microorganisms, and the water then rinses them off. 

Why do some choose liquid instead?

When I talk with people and tell them that we sell organic skin care products, they ask if we sell liquid soaps.

So many people tell me that they would love to switch to a natural soap to get rid of the chemicals and the plastic bottles. So what is stopping them from doing so? Some people believe that bars of soap are less hygienic than liquid soap. Let's take a look at the word hygienic.

According to the, the word hygienic means, "Conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease, especially by being clean; sanitary." So according to this definition, bar soap is hygienic.

How bacteria on human skin works

Human skin has a natural microbiome (microbiome, in simple terms a collection of bateria that live amongst each other) that contains thousands of different bacteria, fungi, and viruses that do not cause negative health consequences for those with an intact immune system because they are part of our bodies. As a matter of fact, this microbiome helps keeps our skin healthy.

First of all, as you place your soap bar under the faucet to create lather--you are actually washing off the surface of the soap. Then when you lather up with soap the oil-attracting end picks up greasy dirt and oils on your skin and when you rinse, the water-attracting end allows you to rinse away the soap and impurities. When you towel dry or touch a light switch or faucet, any bacteria you transfer remains there.

Bacteria do not like to live in the actual soap bar, they are attracted to water that sits on top of the soap. So if you are still concerned, doing a couple of simple things will help your bar soap harbor fewer germs.

Bar Soap Tips

  1. Allow Your Soap to Dry: Store soap out of the water and allow it to dry between uses to get rid of the moist environment that germs enjoy. If you take lots of showers consider using a couple of soap bars and alternating them to allow enough drying time between each use.

  2. Rinse Your Soap: If your soap is not dry, rinse it under running water before lathering up to get rid of the wet outer surface. 

Now let's talk about Liquid Soap

When considering which type of "soap" to use for you and your family the choice is between a bar and a liquid in a bottle. So my question is . . . how hygienic is liquid soap?

As I mentioned above, bacteria do not like to live in a soap bar, they like the water on the surface which can be rinsed away. But what is the first and most abundant ingredient in liquid soap? And the answer is...water!

Now let's talk about your liquid soap dispensers: Many people don't realize there is maintenance to having liquid soap dispensers. How often do you clean the top of your liquid soap dispenser? 

  • If you use a liquid hand soap in your own bathroom, remember to clean the pump regularly. You are constantly touching that pump with dirty hands.

  • If you use liquid soap to refill that pretty dispenser in your bathroom or guest bathroom, be sure the dispenser is cleaned thoroughly between fillings and the pump is cleaned often. Since liquid soap is mostly water, a film of bacteria can remain on the inside of the soap dispenser, in the pump and on the pump if not cleaned properly. Be sure to allow it to dry completely before filling.

  • Even if you use disposable bottles of liquid soap in your guest bathroom, be sure to clean the pump often. Think about what people have done just before pushing down on that pump dispenser. (Bar soap doesn't sound too bad now...)

  • If you are using a liquid soap dispenser in your kitchen, there is a different set of problems. Each time you handle raw meat, raw chicken, etc, or something dirty you need to wash your hands. So you press down on the top of that dispenser and leave all of that glorious bacteria behind.

More information about Liquid Soap

Public bathrooms usually do not usually use bar soap, but microbiologists have discovered that 25% of the liquid soaps and dispensers in public restrooms are so contaminated with high concentrations of nasty bacteria that even after washing, your hands are actually less clean than before washing.

Another thing to be cautious about is the refillable type liquid soap dispensers in public restrooms (rather than ones that have a replaceable single-use soap pouch) since they are usually not cleaned when refilled and are loaded with bacteria including many that cause disease.

In Conclusion

Liquid body washes are made with synthetic detergents, fragrances, and preservatives that provide no benefits to our bodies and are harmful to the environment.

Obviously, we are natural "bar soap" biased!

We never doubted the cleanliness of a natural bar of soap, but after all of our research on liquid soaps and soap dispensers, we are now more convinced than ever--we will take a natural bar of soap over liquid soap any day.

With our soaps new scents=new benefits

Check them out

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Connecticut, United States