Unfortunately, bar soap is all too often valued for its aesthetic quality and fragrant appeal over its ability to clean, but it really affords more attention than this because bar soap is the greener alternative and the healthier too when compared to liquid soap. The popularity of liquid hand soap and body wash has risen in the last decade; perhaps, due to the convenience that they offer to the customer such as ease of use, quick lather response and the protective barrier that dispensers seemingly provide against spreading germs; however upon closer inspection, these pros may not outweigh the cons.
The plastic packaging for liquid soap is wasteful
Liquid soap is typically sold in plastic dispensers that are thrown out once emptied, not making this soap option very sustainable. Moreover, soap dispensers that are designed to be refilled only encourage the consumer to purchase the refillable liquid soap containers that are also made of plastic. A bar of soap does not require the same manufacturing processes that liquid soap involves since it is often packaged in paper or cardboard that takes less energy expenditure to make and can be recycled more readily than plastic.
Soap dispensers need cleaning or else…
Another knock against soap dispensers is the little known fact that they are incubators for microbial life. In a recent national study, 1 out of 4 soap dispensers in public restrooms were found to be contaminated with infectious bacteria. The concept that objectionable microorganismscan grow in or around soap is not a new discovery, especially to medical professionals. For years, hospitals have enforced the use of dispensers with replaceable bags that supply their own nozzle and are sealed to prevent germ invasion. However, some community settings seldomly clean their dispensers, but rather, repeatedly refill their dispensers with pourable liquid soap that only puts more bacteria on a user’s hands than they had before washing. For the individual who prefers a soap dispenser at home, this means that a dishwasher safe dispenser should be used and cleaned on a frequent basis instead of continually refilling; however, a bar of soap will save the time taken away from this chore .
Save money with a scrub instead of a squirt
A bar of soap also tends to last longer than liquid soap because scrubbing to reach a proper lather leads to what is needed for a good washing whereas the pumps or squeeze bottles for liquid soaps all too often facilitate over consumption and contribute to wasting more of the product than is necessary, sometimes slipping down the drain in the process.
Additionally, when cost is factored in, a bar of soap is the better deal in the end, especially since liquid soap costs more and is used up more quickly. With all this in mind, a bar of soap reduces waste in more ways than one.
Needless antibacterial agents found in liquid soap
In this age of hygienic awareness, antibacterial soap comes in an array of marketable products, with liquid soap leading the way. The list of ingredients is indeed, a list, and the consumer may really not know what they are getting since the ingredient names can read like a science book. Unfortunately, some soap includes potentially harmful chemicals that are designed to go beyond removing germs; instead, they either kill or inhibit the production of bacteria but may do so with the potency to cause nerve damage or interrupt endocrine function.
Triclosan has received the most attention, especially since it is registered under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a pesticide that interferes with hormone production and may create antibacterial resistance. Moreover, when triclosan comes in contact with chlorinated tap water, chloroform is made and that poses a health risk since it is a probable human carcinogen. Some dishwashing liquids and many different liquid hand soaps contain triclosan so exposure to chloroform can occur.
Worse yet, the affectivity of its presence in soap is under debate too, which might come as a surprise because triclosan is currently one of the most common antibacterial agents found in personal care products. Many manufacturers claim that it is an operative agent against bacteria, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated in the past that it may be no more effective than regular soap and water. Some studies found antibacterial agents, like triclosan, created higher incidences of illness; especially in those who already suffer from chronic conditions.
Furthermore, the American Medical Association (AMA) says “Considering the available data and the critical nature of the antibiotic resistance problem, it may be prudent to avoid the use of antimicrobial agents in consumer products.”
Synthetic additives don’t give a natural clean
In addition to antibacterial agents, liquid soap tends to include additives, such as lab created fragrances and synthetic moisturizers too. Consequently, users who wash their hands with these may experience allergic reactions that could be avoided if natural soap was used instead. Unlike liquid soap, fragrance free bar soap is easily found. The purest bar soap available is a vegetable soap called castile soap. Castile soap is made using no animal products, like tallow or animal fat and is often composed of plant oils like olive oil, nut oils or seed oils. Additionally, glycerin (glycerol) is usually left in after the soap making process, which is naturally moisturizing and good for those prone to skin disorders like eczema or psoriasis.
Take care of that bar of soap & it will care for you
Finally, bar soap may leave some soap scum in the bathtub or in the soap dish, but with a little extra care this annoyance can be avoided. A wire or bamboo dish that allows drainage can prevent bar soap from retaining moisture and minimize degradation. As far as sharing bar soap with others in a household, it is advisable to rinse the soap off after each use and only allow those to use it that are free of infections of any kind.
The scrub-a-dub rule
To achieve a good wash, select regular soap and warm water to create a rich lather. Next, scrub the hands lightly all the way up to the wrists, while also making sure to get under the nails and in between the fingers. Scrubbing at least 20 seconds should be efficient and then a clean dry towel can be used or hands can be air dried.
To conclude, the superior soap of choice for the home is regular bar soap, especially for the green home and the environmentally conscious. Liquid soap might offer the consumer convenience, but it does so at a price.