What is the hard truth about hygiene

Hygiene: Are solid bars of soap spinning germs?

While the corona virus is spreading, many are wondering: is the environmentally friendly bar of soap also hygienic?

Solid soap has made a comeback in the past few years. Because it is economical, saves plastic packaging and transport emissions. But especially in times of the corona virus, many are wondering: is it as hygienic as liquid soap from the practical dispenser? After all, it passes through a lot of dirty hands every day and offers enough space for germs on its damp surface.

The all-clear comes from the German Advice Center for Hygiene (BZH) in Freiburg. A bar of soap is - at least in private households - no more unhygienic than a soap dispenser, says its director, Ernst Tabori. Because germs could be found on the moist surface of the bar of soap. But they do not survive long in an unfavorable environment for them. In the case of soap dispensers, on the other hand, germs can accumulate on the pump mechanism.

It is not the dosage form that decides, but the application

We can get rid of both of them simply by rubbing our hands thoroughly after soaping and rinsing them under running water. The decisive factor, according to Tabori, is not the question of "piece or donor". It's that we wash our hands with soap in the first place.

By the way, it doesn't matter whether we wash our hands with hot or cold water. More important is the duration (at least 20 seconds) and drying with a clean towel.

However, additional disinfection after washing your hands is not necessary. The BZH and the Robert Koch Institute unanimously explain this. Antimicrobial additives in soaps are also superfluous and, according to the Federal Environment Agency, unnecessarily pollute wastewater and surface waters.

Exceptions apply if family members in the household suffer from highly contagious diseases or have a weakened immune system. Then, according to the Federal Center for Health Education, additional disinfection can be useful.