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Is Bar Soap Sanitary or Covered in Bacteria?

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Is Bar Soap Sanitary?

Making the switch to bar soap is a fantastic way to reduce plastic waste. But a lot of people wonder: Is bar soap as sanitary as its liquid counterpart?

Picture this: You’re in the store, and you come face-to-face with rows upon rows of beautifully packaged liquid hand soaps, each promising a clean, germ-free experience. Then, you spot the humble bar soap, its simplicity almost overshadowed by the flashy labels of its liquid counterparts. Which one should you get?

It’s a common dilemma. With concerns about hygiene and cleanliness at the forefront of our minds, many of us wonder if bar soap is truly up to par. After all, it sits there, exposed to the elements, potentially collecting germs with each use.

But fear not! Today, we’re going to unravel the mystery surrounding the hygiene of bar soap and uncover whether it deserves a spot in your eco-friendly bathroom. So, let’s explore the truth about bar soap and its place in our quest for a cleaner, greener lifestyle.

Yes, Bar Soap Is Sanitary

Etee body soap bar

Let’s answer the question straight away: Yes, bar soap is sanitary! Despite the common misconception that bar soap is a breeding ground for germs, research and experts confirm that when used and stored properly, bar soap is just as hygienic as liquid soap.

In fact, a study going all the way back to 1965 has shown the inability of soap bars to transmit bacteria. Then, in 1988, 16 volunteers washed their hands with bar soap intentionally contaminated with bacteria. After washing, none of them had any detectable levels of bacteria on their hands.

As long as you’re practicing good hand hygiene by washing for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, using bar soap is perfectly sanitary.

Plus, if you think squirting liquid body wash on a plastic loofah is more sanitary than a bar of soap, think again. Loofahs are a breeding ground for germs because they stay in a warm, wet environment. That’s why it’s a good idea to make the switch to one of these top loofah alternatives.

Related: Get a More Sustainable Clean With These Best Eco-Friendly Body Washes

Additionally, opting for a sustainable body soap bar over liquid soap can help reduce plastic waste and environmental impact, making it a win-win for you and the planet.

How Bar Soap Works on Germs

To understand why bar soap is sanitary, it helps to understand how it actually works on germs. Bar soap cleans by physically washing away dirt, germs, bacteria, and other microorganisms. While the science behind soap involves some pretty nifty chemistry, here’s a very basic explanation.

Related: Blueland Hand Soap Review- Is This Soap Actually Eco-Friendly?

Bacteria have a fatty outer layer that sticks to your skin when they land on you. Soap is able to surround the bacteria and break apart this fatty layer. Once it does, the water can do its job of washing that bacteria off your skin and down the drain.

Does Bar Soap Have Germs on It?

Person holding shampoo bar between fingers

Since soap naturally contains what’s needed to wash away bacteria, that must mean bar soap is completely germ-free, right? Well, not exactly.

There probably are some germs on your bar soap, but they’re not very concerning because they likely come from you.

Your skin has millions of microbes on it, including fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Most of these microbes won’t do you any harm because they’ve adapted to work with your immune system and protect you from illnesses.

Related: Reduce Waste and Get a Natural Clean With the Best Eco-Friendly Hand Soap

If you happen to get some of your own germs from a bar of soap, they’re pretty harmless because your body already knows how to fight them.

Of course, like everything in life, there are some exceptions. If you have a weakened immune system, you could have a higher risk of infection from your own microbes.

How to Keep Your Bar Soap Sanitary

Soap bar in soap dish

The chances of getting sick from your soap bar are slim to none. However, if you want to keep your bar soap sanitary and clean, here are a few tips that can help. As an added bonus, many of these tips will also help extend the life of your bar soap, which will help you save money in the long run!

  • Choose a Drainable Soap Dish: Opt for a soap dish that allows water to drain away from the soap between uses. This helps prevent the soap from sitting in a pool of water, which can promote bacterial growth. I use this bamboo soap dish in our home. I like it because it does a great job of elevating the soap bar and it’s easy to clean.
  • Keep it Dry: After each use, make sure to allow your bar soap to air-dry completely. Placing it in a well-ventilated area, away from the direct stream of water in your shower, will help it dry faster and reduce the risk of bacterial buildup.
  • Rotate Bars: If you’re using multiple bars of soap in different locations (like the bathroom and the kitchen), consider rotating them regularly. This allows each bar to dry thoroughly between uses and reduces the chance of any lingering bacteria.
  • Cut Down the Soap: If you find that your bar soap is too large or takes a long time to dry, consider cutting it into smaller pieces. This not only helps the soap dry faster but also ensures that you’re using up every last bit without any waste.
  • Clean Your Soap Dish: Regularly clean your soap dish to remove any buildup of soap scum or bacteria. A quick scrub and rinse with hot water will do the job.
  • Store in a Cool, Dry Place: Since moisture can promote bacterial growth, avoid storing your bar soap in humid or damp areas. Instead, store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to help prolong its shelf life and keep it sanitary.

Are Natural Soap Bars Hygienic?

It’s time to put to rest any doubts or hesitations about the cleanliness of bar soap. Contrary to popular belief, bar soap is indeed a sanitary and effective option for keeping your hands and body clean.

The next time you’re faced with the choice between bar soap and liquid soap, feel confident in choosing the more sustainable option. Not only are you making a positive impact on the environment by reducing plastic waste, but you’re also embracing a time-tested, eco-friendly solution for personal hygiene.

More Outstanding Tips on Sustainable Living

Did you enjoy learning more about the cleanliness of bar soap? Are you looking for additional tips that can make eco-friendly living even easier? Then please be sure to take a look at some of our other popular posts:

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