The Benefits of Bar Soap

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I get asked fairly often if I plan to add liquid soap to my product line.  While I may dabble in liquid soap one day, I am in no hurry because I strongly believe that bar soap is much better.  Why, you ask?  Well, here are a few reasons.

  1. Less garbage.  Liquid soap needs to be stored in a container.  Most liquid soaps come in a plastic bottle with a pump.  One the soap is gone, the bottle and the pump get tossed.  Compared to a minimal amount of wrapping used in bar soap, liquid soap generates substantially more garbage.
  2. A better moisturizer.  I am going to get a little technical here but the point is that bar soaps can be made to moisturize the skin substantially more than liquid soap can.  I like soaps that keep my skin soft and moisturized.  OK - here is the explanation.  Soap is made by saponifying (converting) oil into soap.  This is done by adding lye (mixed with water) to the oils.  In a simple example, let's say that it takes 5 oz of lye to convert 10 oz of oil into soap.  If you added more oil, the additional oil would act as a moisturizer.  This is called "superfatting" in the soap world and I add 8% additional oils to all of my body soaps (usually shea butter, cocoa butter or hemp oil).  In liquid soap, superfatting is more of a challenge because it can separate out and / or make the soap cloudy.  Side note - for dish soap, you do not want to superfat as that could leave a residue on your dishes.  So, liquid soap can work well for dish soap.  However, for my family, I make a bar soap with no superfat that I wrap in wool and i think it works 100x better than commercial dish soap.
  3. No Preservative Needed.  Anytime you make a product with water, you really need to add a preservative.  I make lotion and follow the discussions and debates around the various preservatives available.  With liquid soap, a lot of water is added and a preservative should be used to prevent the water from growing mold.  While I am still figuring out which preservatives are the best to use, there is no debate that preservatives are not beneficial to your skin.  Bar soap does not need a preservative so that puts another check in the column of benefits.
  4. Harder to use to much.  With liquid soap, it is very easy to pump out more than you need.  With bar soap you lather the soap and use what you need before putting the soap down, allowing the lather to dry back onto the soap.  Less wasted soap.  This is one of the benefits I share about my dog shampoo.  When you use too much liquid shampoo on your dog, it takes forever to rinse out and prolongs the usually unpleasant process of washing your dog.
  5. You don't need a washcloth, sponge, loofah or shower poof.  While those items are great to use, and I use them often (especially soap socks) it is nice that bar soap does not require them.  You can use liquid soap on its own to wash your hands, however, that is a trickier task in the shower.
  6. You can add exfoliants.   Ingredients like ground oatmeal, poppy seeds, ground citrus rind and coffee grounds are a few ways that you can add some grit to your bar soaps to help really clean or exfoliate your skin.  Not so easy with liquid soap.

Wow!  Lots of benefits to using bar soap over liquid soap.  Any more that you can think of?  If so, please share in the comments section.

Happy Thanksgiving! Molly