Updated: Apr 8, 2021
How soap works to wash away germs. We found this excellent explanation and now we're going to share it with you.
Here’s why solid soap is not dirty… it’s hygienic
Soap is able to clean germs from your hands with a process that too small to see with the naked eye. Soap molecules get in between the oily surface of our skin and the germs and make it so that the germs stick to the soap molecules instead of the oil molecules. The soap molecules also bind with the water molecules so that when you wash and rinse your hands, the germs get washed away with the soap and water.
No, soap isn’t dirty. And yes, you read that right! It seems weird to think that something that is supposed to get you clean can be dirty, but some people worry that bar soap is a surface filled with germs. Since we are in the business of making hand, body, and dish soaps & detergents, we want to dive into this subject to bring you some ease.
Are solid soaps sanitary?
We know the microbes of your natural microbiome plus the oils and dead skin cells on your hands will be passed onto everything you touch. Studies have shown that we undoubtedly transfer these bacteria to our cell phones, keyboards, remote controls, doorknobs, faucets, liquid soap dispensers, light switches, and even our bars of soap.
However, numerous studies have shown that although bacteria levels on a used bar of soap are slightly higher than on unused soaps, there are no detectable levels of bacteria left on the skin’s surface after using a bar of soap.
So, how can a bar of soap have bacteria on it and yet not spread germs?
Part of it is that bacteria are attracted to the water on top of the bar, not the bar itself.
Washing is a two-step process, well, maybe three-steps...
When you grab that bar of soap and start lathering it up, the oil attracting end of the soap molecule picks up the grease and oils on your skin.
When you rinse, the water-attracting end of the soap molecule follows the water, rinsing the soap and any impurities down the drain.
The optional because some people may choose to air dry their freshly washed hand which is very sanitary. If you choose to towel dry, it's very important your towel is fresh and clean. Otherwise, you'll be transferring new dirt and germs to your previously clean hands.
After washing, any bacterium that was present on either the soap or your hands is washed down the drain.