Bar Vs. Liquid Soap: Teach the Controversy

I'm not sure if this comparison is how many bars equal one bottle for uses or if you can buy four cheap Irish Spring bars per $2 bottle of liquid soap...because I am impartial!
I’m not sure if this comparison is how many bars equal one bottle for uses or if you can buy four cheap Irish Spring bars per $2 bottle of liquid soap…because I am impartial!

In the world of hygiene, there are two options: the bar or liquid soap. I fall squarely on the side of liquid, but I will do my best to remain neutral in the exploration of this topic. People still using bars of soap: why? You do know that technology has advanced beyond that, right? It’s like using a flip phone instead of a smart phone. Is it something you learned in prison? Something born from nostalgia? Again, I’m impartial here. I just want to present an even and fair view of both sides. Whatever method people want to use to ensure the integrity of their scent is fine with me.

If you’re using just a bar, not only are you cultivating a layer of soap scum on every tile in your shower, but are you carefully crafting a science experiment on that part of your back that no one can reach? Have you hired a team of adventurers to hack through the flora to discover the new fauna you’re cultivating on that hard-to-reach spot? Hey, maybe it’s enjoyable for you to scrub the grout, a meditative experience, and to have critters on your hard-to-reach-spot keeping you company. No judgement.

I only offer this image in the interest of full and fair disclosure.
I only offer this image in the interest of full and fair disclosure.

Is there a sense of adventure when using a bar of soap, like, “hey, that hair glued to the surface of the bar doesn’t look like mine, no one in this family has curly…uh oh.” Maybe you avoid all of that by using a washcloth. Maybe you know the exact amount of uses it takes before a washcloth becomes completely unusable. Maybe you just want to use the quaint, outdated soap dish that seems to come standard with every shower. Which, hey, in the interest in impartiality, I appreciate making use of an otherwise useless appendage like figuring out something to do with the human tailbone.

People who put bars of soap out by sinks in their home: why do you hate your guests and your hands? Everyone has had that moment where you got a little something on your wiping hand, and in that moment, would you rather have liquid hand soap, or a bar of soap that you have to squish between your palms, pushing through that strange gelatin layer, gently replacing it on the grotesque dish? Truly, that’s a question, posed in the most equitable, dispassionate way possible.

Sure, bars of soap are superior, that's why they're so widely seen in public restrooms. You'd all be comfortable using a communal bar of soap at your work bathroom or at your city park, right?
Sure, bars of soap are superior, that’s why they’re so widely seen in public restrooms. You’d all be comfortable using a communal bar of soap at your work bathroom or at your city park, right?

It surprises me that hotels still provide bars of soap which they seem to expect you to use simultaneously both in the shower and next to the sink. I’m fairly certain, if they could get away with it, hotels would call that bar of soap “body, hand and hair nourishing formula.” Also, you’re lucky to get two body towels, but wash clothes, wash clothes as far as the eye can see, all in service of the love of bars of soap. I can’t imagine it’s more cost effective to buy mountains of bars of one-time-use only bars of soap rather than have a refillable soap dispenser next to the sink. Which I only mention to give equal time to both sides of the argument.

Well, that’s a pretty good nondiscriminatory overview of the controversy between bar and liquid soaps. I hope that my journalistic evenhandedness gave you enough information that you are able to, on your own, without influence, taking into account just the facts, come to a reasoned opinion on the matter yourself.


Add yours →

  1. Hmmm, don’t think I’ve ever given it much thought. I tend to have both a soap dispenser and a bar of some scented soap near the sink. In the shower, hubby has a particular brand he likes to have on hand, so that’s a no brainer. I do spray down the shower with the soap scum stuff, and don’t have much trouble in that regard. You are right, for a quick wash up, the liquid would be much better to have . I didn’t need this to add to all the thoughts in my brain this morning, my dear! 😉


  2. I can’t believe I’ve followed you all of these years. People like you are what is wrong with this country.


  3. Fuck “even-handedness!” DEATH TO BAR SOAP USERS!


  4. Your dedication to impartiality in journalism is admirable.


  5. I am a liquid soap user ever since I got married and was able to run my own home. I hate soap scum so that justifies the reason for its use.


  6. Your mind sure goes where mine has never gone before: a communal bar of soap… I guess some people would rather feel something hard than something soft and wet and whitish…. I guess.


  7. Liquid soap in the sink, bar soap in the shower. But I live alone, so I don’t have the communal bar soap issue. (I am not okay with that. Would switch to liquid if I had to share.) Sharing is gross.


  8. Well I hadn’t considered it until now, but after that analysis, I may have to switch to bar soap.


  9. I use liquid in the kitchen, and I use bar soap in the bathroom


  10. Hmmmm. I use liquid soap, provided throughout the house, or shower gel, provided in the showers. When I designed a house and had it built, I said, Don’t put soap holders in the bathtubs. They exist to get dirty and moldy and gather crud.

    Other than seeing hair stuck to soap, what is it that makes it bad? How do germs live on soap? It’s soap! I don’t want to use bars of soap. I just don’t understand.



  11. I’m keep wondering: Is this something I want to go public? Will I be spammed with soap coupons, hygiene surveys, mold-protect ads, ‘how to stop hair loss,’ shower exercise? Well?


  12. As a bar-soap user all my life your “objective” look at pros & cons of both bar & liquid soaps leaves me feeling a bit…



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