SOAP BARS ARE NOT GROSS
Soap bars are perfect for keeping our bodies, waterways, oceans, wildlife and land healthy
Growing up I was accustomed to using liquid soap to not only wash myself in the shower but also wash my hands at any sink in the house. I myself viewed bars of soap to be yuck, who knows who used it last, right?
Let's just have a think about liquid soaps
They are always sold in plastic containers, some are in squeeze tubes, some in pump bottles and come in a lot of different sizes. Even if you buy a large container, at the end of its use it is still just another thing made from plastic that you need to throw away – literally millions of these containers are thrown away per year. Then you need a sponge to lather up the liquid soap. The majority of sponges on the market are also made of plastic and these need to be replaced every few months because they are they are the best breeding ground for bacteria and mold.
Liquid soap is something you use every single day, you go through a lot of this stuff, meaning you go through a lot of plastic to keep using this product. The bathroom is one of the biggest plastic producers of any house. Just open up your bathroom cupboard and you will see what I mean, everything is plastic....plastic bottles, jars, lids, sample containers, sponges, tubes and the list goes on.
Now let's think about soap bars
It has only been since I started reducing plastic purchases that I looked at soap bars again. Soap bars can be sold with either paper packaging or no packaging at all. The paper packaging is usually small, recyclable and can even be burned up in your own home if you have a fire place. Once the soap bar is used, it disappears, there isn't anything to then throw away to have to go through the rigorous recycling process or end up in landfill.
Soap bars are made by a very simple process. Sodium Hydroxide or otherwise known as lye is mixed with water and then with other ingredients such as plant-based butters and oils, this is called the saponification process. Sodium Hydroxide in its natural form is toxic however, the chemical reaction that occurs during the saponification process eliminates any traces of it. The basic ingredients that soap is made of and aren't toxic to us or the environment. Soap in its natural form is exactly that, natural.
Please be aware it of course depends on which brand you purchase, there are a lot of natural organic soap bars available but you still need to read the ingredients to avoid synthetic additives.
Soap bars are now not only being made to wash your body. There are shampoo bars, conditioner bars, bars to wash your face with and even bars to wash your dog! These beautiful, cleansing and safe soap bars have the potential to eliminate so much plastic waste. Bars of soap are also great for your bank balance as they are usually much cheaper than liquid soap.
The science behind a bar of soap
Somewhere in history our views of soap bars were altered. People started believing that touching a bar of soap will somehow increase their chances of getting sick. It is actually the complete opposite. Numerous studies have been performed to back this up.
A study performed back in 1965 involved researchers intentionally contaminating their hands with bacteria. The researchers would then wash their hands with a bar of soap and a second person would then use that same bar of soap to wash their hands. The second person’s hands were cultured and they found no transferred bacteria.
The study concluded that:
- a bar of soap does not support the growth of bacteria
- any bacteria that is found on a bar of soap does not constitute a health risk
- bars of soap are antibacterial in the way they physically and chemically work
Soap doesn’t actually kill bacteria or viruses it does however, very effectively remove them from your skin. Soap contains hydrophilic and hydrophobic characteristics that work with water to remove grease, oil, grime and bacteria from skin. It is the mechanical movement of rubbing our hands together to remove the soap that in turn removes the bacteria and viruses.
Soap has even been proven to be more effective than antibacterial soap. Even the FDA doesn’t recommend the use of antibacterial soap due to it contributing to the rise of antimicrobial resistance.
How to normalise bar soaps again
The only way to change the world is to change yourself. Start using bars of soap and other people will catch on eventually. Use them in the shower and at sinks in your house. Visitors will have no choice but to use them and end up being pleasantly surprised they didn’t catch an infectious disease.
- Bars of soap reduce plastic waste
- Science backs up soap bar efficacy
- Save your money as soap bars are cheaper
- Putting up with a messy soap bar is not that bad as you are helping to save our planet earth
It is time for us to embrace the soap bar!
The EVAH Organics team
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