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Eco Facts

Do I Need To Use Antibacterial Hand Soap?

Written by Syed Naqvi, Head of Product Development + Innovation @Blueland

February 20, 2021

Antibacterial hand soap sounds good for keeping germs, like bacteria and viruses at bay, but there are several studies that show non-antibacterial hand soap is effective at helping wash away bacteria and viruses, without the potential health risks associated with antibacterial soap. There are studies that suggest that antibacterial soaps might actually be doing more harm than good.

Are Non-Antibacterial Soaps Effective?

The FDA states that regular, non-antibacterial hand soap is effective for the removal of bacteria and viruses. Hand washing with plain, non-antibacterial soap is a good way to prevent the contraction and spread of illness.

Wash your hands with plain soap and water. That's still one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and prevent spreading germs.

the FDA

How To Effectively Use Non-Antibacterial Soaps

Studies have proven that non-antibacterial hand soaps are effective at removing germs[1]. For hand washing, what is most important for keeping germs at bay, is how you wash your hands. When you wash your hands, doctors recommend washing your hands for at least 20 seconds. First, run your hands under warm water. Then add soap, and wash your hands together for 20 seconds, making sure to wash your palms, backs of your hands and under your fingernails. Washing your hands with plain soap and water for 20 seconds allows the surfactants of the soap to work with the washing motion and break up bacteria and viruses. Finally, rinse your hands with warm water and dry with a clean towel or air dry. According to the FDA this is your best defense against bacteria and viruses [2].

Blueland’s Foaming Hand Soaps

We don’t include any antibacterial or disinfectant agents in our hand soaps. Instead, we rely on the surfactants in our hand soap to wash away viruses and bacteria. What is most important with our hand soaps is how you use them.

WHO hand washing guidelines

[1] Burton, Maxine, Emma Cobb, Peter Donachie, Gaby Judah, Val Curtis, and Wolf-Peter Schmidt. “The Effect of Handwashing with Water or Soap on Bacterial Contamination of Hands.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 8, no. 1 (2011): 97–104. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph8010097.

[2] Commissioner, Office of the. “Antibacterial Soap? You Can Skip It, Use Plain Soap and Water.” FDA, May 1, 2020. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/antibacterial-soap-you-can-skip-it-use-plain-soap-and-water

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