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Is There a Difference Between Hand Soap and Bar Soap?

When you go shopping for your groceries, do you have a hard time picking up the best soap? Well, you’re not alone in it! Soap is honestly an essential part of our everyday life, and the diversity within different kinds of soaps makes it even complex.

Both the hand and the bar soaps are very effective in removing dust and germs from your body. But this article will help you understand the significant differences between them regarding the moisturizing effects and from a purely health-conscious standpoint.

It will help you in your search for Hand soap vs bar soap and in the end, you’ll be able to select which type of soap is more suitable for you and is more environmentally friendly for all of you.

Researches Did on Hand Soap Vs Bar Soap:

Actually, hand soaps and bar soaps have become an essential part of our lives. But some major differences are still noticeable between the two. According to the researchers, the following are the distinguishable facts between both:

  • John Whyte, MD, who is a WebMD Chief Medical Officer, holds the opinion that hand soap is a little more expensive than bar soaps.
  • Studies have predicted that there can be no denying the obvious fact that the already used bar soaps have comparatively higher levels of bacteria than the unused ones, still, the evidence is that the body after getting washed with soap does not show bacterial presence.
  • From the information provided by the CVS online store, Dial’s Gold Bar Soap is sold at 16.7¢ per ounce, while Dial’s Hand Gold Soap equals 26.7¢ per ounce.
  • Stanley Maloy, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Research & Innovation at San Diego State University states that both are different in the perspective of forming lather on hands for thorough hand washing.
  • A study in the early 90s by the Dial Corporation worked on the question of whether or not bacteria and viruses are transmitted through soaps. The answer is: no, it doesn’t. So, both bar soaps and hand soaps are very safe while dealing with bacterial infections.
  • -there’s a much higher cost for liquid soaps as you may leave some of it as waste to dispose of than that you don’t normally do with bar soaps. [source: Bartels].
  • A study done in 2009 at the Institute of Environmental Engineering found out that hand soaps leave a 25% larger carbon footprint than bar soaps. Yes! Because of the chemical composition of the soap, it takes more chemical feedstocks and working to manufacture such hand soaps. In fact, it is more than 7 times when manufacturing bar soap. That means seven times more energy is used along with the carbon emissions in it!
  • Elaine Larson, associate dean for research and professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s School of Nursing says, “Bar soap is good at mechanically removing germs that are transiently on your hands.”

Common Uses of Hand Soap and Bar Soap:

 The most particular question that arises in people’s minds is that

“How are both soaps related to us in our daily life?”.

Well, the answer to this question is that there are some common uses of both bar soaps and hand soaps in our daily life. These include:

  • They reduce the pathogens from your hands.
  • They lift away dirt and microorganisms present in your hands.
  • They can be effective in killing the germs on your hands.
  • They are used as cleansing agents.
  • They are ingestible antidotes for mineral acids or heavy metal poisoning.
  • They have good biodegradability.
  • They are useful in removing bacteria.

Liquid Soap Vs Bar Soap with Respect to Quality:

  • Bar soaps have a dehydrating effect as they tend to dry out the skin more easily than hand soaps because of their relatively high pH.
  • Bar soaps get slimy and mushy more frequently than hand soaps which can appear to be very unsightly.
  • Some people are allergic to scents while some dislike them. And so the non-scented ones are way too hard to find. For such people, bar soap is a better choice since it offers a bigger range of non-scented soaps.
  • Bar soaps become smaller after every use and can break into tiny pieces and become difficult to use. Therefore, these must be disposed of away.
  • It is easy to find bar soaps made with quality and sustainable ingredients that are very much affordable. Bar soaps are accessible to anyone of any socioeconomic group.
  • Being a dry bar of soap, it only needs paper for packaging. On the other hand, hand soap requires a bottle, and it’s often a plastic bottle.
  • Bar soaps are great for air travel as we do not need to be worried about their spilling.

Liquid Hand Soap Vs. Bar Soaps with Respect to Uses:

Both soaps have various uses and advantages over each other. One of the basic questions that arise is

“How are they different in their uses and how do they cope with our problems?”.

 The answer to that is listed as follows:

  • Hand soaps keep the sink area more tidy and clean as there is no wet residue left after washing like the bar soaps.
  • Hand soaps have a more moisturizing effect than bar soaps that do not let our hands dry.
  • There are more scents and varieties available for hand soaps as compared to bar soaps. Some people tend to go for sweet fragrances.
  • Bar soaps are user-friendly when it comes to rubbing them against hands because that friction helps to get rid of debris and visible dirt particles more easily.
  • Bar soaps contain fewer chemicals than hand soaps so they’re more health-friendly and thus people with sensitive skin find bar soaps more reliable than hand soaps.
  • We tend to use more hand soap with each wash than the bar soap when used each time.
  • Many of the bar soaps have a fatty base, some of these are much more environmentally destructive than the others.
  • The hand soap has varieties with glycolic or salicylic acid and they work perfectly fine to help in brightening the skin. Hand soaps may also leave the skin a bit less gritty after every wash.

One minute of vigorous hand washing with bar soap is way enough for removing certain bacteria and many viruses from the hands.


The most frequently asked question about hand soap vs. bar soap is, “Which kind is more considerable and in what perspective does it maintain it?”

Well, it entirely depends upon the factors that are more considerable to you. If the decision is cost-related, bar soaps win hands down. If moisturizing factors and rich lather are your choices, then hand soaps are won with a significant margin.

However, from a genuinely healthy standpoint, bar soaps contain fewer chemicals and so they are the way to go. Lastly, if ecology and greenery are your favorites, then bar soaps are way ahead. In a word, sharing your soap would not get you bacterial infections if you are healthy and sound.

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