Do you want to return to using 'old fashioned natural soap bars' as your parents did? Perhaps you want to cast aside chemical-ridden liquid soaps and shower gels. Or simply do your bit for the environment by using less plastic bottles?
Whatever the reason, one concern that continually pops up in one form or another, through emails or at live events is this: Does bar soap carry germs?
Well, the straight answer is yes and no; That's cleared that up then.
Obviously, you want to wash with something clean, right?
Germs are not attracted to soap, they are attracted to water. A dry bar of soap will not attract germs. If you see naked soaps in a shop or on a market stall, you can feel confident, picking them up to smell them.
However, if you leave your soap in a moist environment, say on the side of the bath in a pool of water, then yes. Your resulting slimy soap molecules will attract low detectable levels of bacteria.
SO ARE GERMS ON SOAP BAD?
Everything is covered with germs of some sort, but here's the thing, most of them don't have an effect on us; otherwise we would be sick all the time.
It is highly improbable that the bacteria left on your soap will cause an infection or indeed make you ill. They will have no adverse consequence to you or your skin cells. In fact, most of the germs come from you.
Sharing your favourite soap bar with other family members is nothing to worry about either. You and your family likely all share many of the same micro-organisms in any case.
Using bar soap to wash your hands in public areas is probably not a great idea. However, public facilities don't usually offer bar soaps.
If you have a fragile immune system, it may be advisable to show a little extra caution. In these cases, perhaps using liquid soaps, hand sanitizers that you can dispense from a container, or shower gels would be a better choice.
But for general public health, most of our bodies will happily and productively, fend off the germs and we need not worry
HOW TO PREVENT GERMS ON SOAP BARS
Here are a few simple things that you can do to eradicate the germs on your soap bar.
1. RINSE YOUR BAR OF SOAP
It is a good idea to rinse your soap under running water to get rid of any slimy outer surface, before lathering up. The slime is where the germs will be lurking.
2. ALLOW YOUR SOAP TO DRY
After each use, store soap in a place where it can properly drain and dry. Germs tend to like holding their meetings in moist environments, so allowing your soap to dry, can help prevent this.
3. USE TWO BARS OF SOAP
Consider alternating your soap bars to allow enough drying time between each use. Besides, this gives you a great reason to mix it up a bit and use different soap scents!
Do you have concerns about using soap bars? If so, I hope this article goes some way to alleviating those concerns. Please leave us a comment below if you enjoyed this article. If you are feeling really generous, perhaps you could share this post using the germ-free buttons below - I would forever be in your debt :)