How To Choose Between Liquid and Bar Soap

Soap used to come in the form of bars, but the recent decades have seen the arrival of liquid alternatives, first in the form of hand washing liquid, then as body wash or shower gel. Today, soap is packaged in two physical forms: solid and liquid. With the hundreds of soap varieties that you can choose from, the decision to choose between liquid and solid soap is a no-brainer because soap is soap where soap is concerned. Whatever its physical form, soap remains essentially the same and there is practically no difference between the two as far as function is concerned. The dilemma of liquid and bar soap choosing ultimately boils down to personal preference.

However, if you are not the wasteful kind of person, you might opt for bar soap. Many people use up liquid soap faster than they do bar soap because of frequent misjudgment about the amount pumped out of the soap bottle. Much soap also goes to waste because of many people’s tendency to squirt liberal - yet unnecessary - amounts of liquid soap onto their washcloths. Unless you place your bar soap under continually running water, or let it soak in water in your soap dish, your bar soap can actually last for several weeks.

Besides washing away oil, grime, and dirt, soaps are meant to disinfect your skin of harmful microorganisms. Yet, laboratory experiments show that bar soaps do grow microorganisms on their surfaces, especially if you keep your bar soap in a moisture-rich environment. However, the amount of bacterial growth on bar soaps is negligible and safe enough to ignore; thus, it is no big cause for alarm. Liquid soaps, on the other hand, tend to inhibit the growth of bacteria primarily because liquid soap is stored inside a bottle or container. Yet, the washcloth or scrubber that you use with your liquid soap is a very hospitable place for bacteria and fungi to breed. If you were the forgetful kind who keeps forgetting to hang your washcloth properly to dry after using, you would probably want to go for bar soap instead of liquid soap.

Think also about the slime or sludge that bar soaps leave behind in your soap dish, on the bathroom floor, and other areas in the bathroom that is exposed to soapy water. Most bar soaps leave behind such slime or sludge. Many - if not all - liquid soaps don’t. So, in terms of post-bath cleanup and sludge protection, liquid soaps seem to have the upper hand.

People sometimes choose soap on the basis of how pleasant the soap smells. Many soaps, especially liquid soaps, contain chemical additives to make them smell fruity, minty, flowery, and so on. Yet, these same fragrances can cause allergy in some people. If you are one of them, you might want bar soap instead of liquid soap because many fragrance-free bar soaps are available. On the other hand, liquid soaps that contain no fragrance additive may be somewhat scarcer on the shelves.

Another case in favor of bar soaps is that most bar soaps use glycerin, a substance known to treat some skin problems such as eczema and extreme dryness. So, if you are experiencing skin ailments, bar soaps may be a healthy option for you.

Whatever the physical form your soap takes will not matter if your ultimate intent is just to get yourself cleaned. However, as the foregoing article discusses, there are some other factors that may make you want to decide whether to go solid or liquid.


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