Sharing bar soap cannot make you sick

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

A communal bar of soap will not make you sickSharing a bar soap cannot make you sick and it is way better for the environment than is liquid soap. Bar soap, contrary to current public belief, does not spread germs, is way more environmentally friendly, and way cheaper

Liquid hand soaps have replaced bar soaps largely because of unfounded fears that bar soap is “covered in germs.” Study after study, however, has shown this is not the case.

If we all switched back to bar soaps and shampoos, we could make a significant dent in plastic waste.

If you walk into the average American household and you will, most likely, find at least five plastic bottles of hand soap, body wash and shampoo.

Let's give an educated guess and say that these soaps and shampoos are replaced every three months, it seems fair to guess the average American household goes through at least 20 plastic soap and shampoo bottles a year.

Multiply that by 126 million American households and that are 2.5 billion plastic bottles per year, most of which end up in a landfill.

The only problem is, many people believe that sharing bar soap can transmit infection and we have, in the last ten or so years, been basically been indoctrinated to believe that by advertising.

There is a tendency to think that, since everyone is using the same bar of soap, and who knows where their hands might have been, the soap can somehow pass around infections. But, let's face it, that tendency did not exist a couple of decades back.

Germs do not stick to soap

A recent health column in the New York Times explains that this beoief of germs sticking to a bar of soap is simply not the case.

Study after study has shown that bar soap is not a suitable environment for germs to live.

The most famous study on the matter was published in 1965. Scientists conducted a series of experiments in which they contaminated their hands with about five billion bacteria, such as Staph and E. coli, and then washed their hands with a bar of soap.

When a second person used the bar of soap shortly after, the germs were not found on their hands.

The researchers concluded that the level of bacteria that may occur on bar soap, even under extreme usage conditions (heavy usage, poorly designed non-drainable soap dishes, etc.) does not constitute a health hazard.

A second major study in 1988 inoculated bars of soap with pathogenic bacteria to see if it could be transmitted to soap users, but test subjects had no traces of the bacteria on their hands after washing.

Subsequent studies have continued to show the same results, while proving the ability of simple bar soap to fight serious infections, such as Ebola.

Save money

Not only does bar soap spare the environment billions of plastic bottles, it saves you lots of money. You can also use it to replace shampoo and conditioner. You don't need those two. Hand soap and body wash are no different.

If you want it in liquid form then use liquid dish soap, such as Fairy or supermarket own equivalent. I have been doing so for years. In fact I used to have a serious dandruff issue and tried all shampoos and none made a difference until dish soap. Dish soap, whether Fairy or supermarket own, also removed oil and grease even when used in cool water.

So, time to counter the con and go for bar soap and, if you wish, liquid dish soap. It saves money and lots of plastic bottles. You only need a little when using liquid dish soap for shower gel or shampoo and even less when washing hands.

© 2019