Bar versus Liquid Soap: Which is better to fight Covid

best kind of hand soap to use for proper handwashing

The pandemic has changed our lives drastically. A lot of people are more aware of the importance of hand washing. After all, this simple act coupled with the wearing of face masks and social distancing is two of the main pillars of battling the spread of Covid-19. 

Although mask-wearing is highly contested in some countries, hand-washing is something everyone still agrees on. Hand-washing is one of the most important parts of preventing the spread of not only Covid-19 but also other infectious diseases.

As a lot of people give more attention to hand-washing, there has been a discussion on the best type of soap to use – bar or liquid? 

Bar or Liquid

It’s no surprise that the demand for soap has significantly increased in the last few years. In a couple of areas, soap has been scarce and has become near impossible to find. According to Market Research and Reports, the soap and body wash market has increased up to 194% during the pandemic. People have become more vigilant when it comes to hand-washing and the effectiveness of manual cleaning and disinfecting.

That said, bar and liquid soap are the most common variants of this cleaning agent.

Bar and liquid soap are equally effective in lowering the number of microbes on our skin. Because both have surfactants, they both work equally efficiently. Aesthetically, they may have a difference. Some bar soaps can leave a residue on the soap dish and can look messy and unpleasant. When using bar soap, the friction from rubbing your hands with it is a bonus when it comes to hand hygiene, as it might remove debris better. One thing that people worry about when using bar soap is that bacteria may grow on bar soaps and studies show there is little to no transmission from bar soap to hands during washing.

Liquid soap, on the other hand, was mass-produced at the beginning of the 1980s. The solution contains detergents, which are synthetically-made surfactants. Since liquid soaps usually come in the pump or easy-to-squeeze bottles, overuse is common. It also takes more energy and resources to produce liquid soaps compared to bar soap due to its packaging. Factor in the higher cost of liquid soaps, and you use more than you need which you don’t typically get with bar soaps

The choice between the two has been a hot topic but more than the question of what is better, it is important to ask if choosing one over the other makes a world of a difference. 

The simple answer is it depends. Bar soap and liquid soap both accomplish the same goals, especially with proper use. That said, there are certain circumstances that can benefit from choosing more mindfully. 

Use liquid soap for hydration

why liquid soap is effective for handwashing

If you are keen on keeping your hands from getting dry and cracked, you may have better results with liquid soap. Bar soaps usually have a higher pH compared to liquid soaps, which can cause your skin to dry out more easily.

However, some bar soaps are infused with oils and ingredients that can moisturize the skin.

Use bar soap if you have allergies

Sensitive skin requires less complicated ingredients. People with allergies do better with soaps that contain fewer ingredients and are more natural. Fragrances and colors that are usually found in liquid soaps are also not recommended for people with sensitive skin. Bar soaps contain fewer chemicals which can cause a lesser chance of a reaction on your skin.

Use liquid soap if you’re sharing with others

Liquid soap comes in a pump packaging which is very beneficial if you are in a public restroom or share the soap with others. Bar soaps have a higher probability of accumulating bacteria and contamination when compared with liquid soap, especially if you use it with other people. Also, if you use bar soap in your household, if someone is sick, you can easily pick up their germs if you have both shared the same bar soap.

As liquid soap is the better choice, you might still want to clean and sterilize the outside of the bottle regularly.

Use bar soap if you prefer cleaner ingredients

why bar soap is effective for handwashing

As discussed earlier, bar soaps contain fewer and more natural ingredients than liquid soaps. It is important to be watchful of the ingredients in your soap because many chemicals can cross through your skin and into your bloodstream. The more you use soap and wash your hands, the higher the potential for the accrual of toxic ingredients.

Bar soaps may usually have cleaner formulations, but it’s not impossible to find it in liquid soaps. You might want to look at the ingredients such as glycerine which is a cleanser that seals moisture in the skin and essential oils. Some soaps will also contain sweet almond oil, coconut oil or shea butter, to further soften the skin.

Some ingredients that you want to look out for are triclosan which was banned by the FDA in 2018 and parabens which are preservatives that extend the shelf life of cosmetics.

Proper Hand-Washing Kills Covid-19 

Hand-washing with soap and water for at least 20-30 seconds can decrease the number of microbes. Whether you’re using bar soap or liquid soap, this is still the same. Both bar and liquid soap have molecules that reduce surface tension or what we call surfactants, which allow the soap to spread. The surfactants of soap have two compounds, the first is the part that interacts with water and the other part interacts with the dirt, oil, and microbes on our skin.

Truth be told, the choice between bar and liquid soap is a little more complicated when it comes to a public setting. As mentioned earlier, bar soap is more cost-effective but it isn’t necessarily the most sanitary choice. Likewise, liquid soap can put a dent in your operational maintenance budget. We at Burgos Commercial cleaning can make the decision easier for you. Contact us today to learn more about how you can avail of our expert help.