So what’s the deal with Antibacterial soap, does it really work?

Regular hand washing with non-antibacterial plain soap removes bacteria and viruses by physical means. Plain soaps helps remove loosely adherent bacteria and virus. Plain old soap and water is effective at removing surface dirt, grime and germs. This is because soap is a surfactant- a solution that lifts crud, bonds with it, and allows it to be rinsed away with water.

Natural Handmade Soap
Natural Benefits of ingredients in handmade soap.

Antibacterial soaps do this as well, but are also promoted as “germ killing.” To do this, the antibacterial agent must be in contact with bacteria for approximately 20 seconds to be effective. Antibacterial soaps for household use generally contain the active ingredient triclosan at concentrations between 0.1% and 0.45% weight/volume. Triclosan has varying effectiveness across bacterial and fungal species, and is less effective against viruses.

Unfortunately, many people do not wash the required amount of time in order for the active agents in antibacterial soap to work. which potentially leads to bacteria with increased antibacterial resistance. There is also concern about the safety of some commonly used antibacterial agents (i.e. triclosan) because of their similarity to dioxins, and links to endocrine system disruption. Other concerns include the potential of triclosan to react with chlorine in tap water to form chloroform gas (a potential human carcinogen).

I’ll share the following that I found on Wikipedia: “A comprehensive analysis from the University Of Michigan School Of Public Health indicated that plain handmade soaps are just as effective if not more effective as consumer-grade antibacterial soaps with triclosan in preventing illness and removing bacteria from the hands.” Some experts are now recommending reducing or even discontinuing the use of antibacterial household soap.

In summation the benefits of antibacterial soaps over plain soap have not been clearly proven and the data on its potential risks are conflicting. The actual risks posed by these reactions, outside the laboratory setting, are currently unclear. Based on existing studies handmade organic soap seems to be just as effective, if not more effective as commercially made antibacterial soap.

Let me know what you think