I have enjoyed Gregory Greenleaf’s columns in the past, but was disheartened to read how thrilled he still is to use liquid soap instead of bar soap. Yes, I’m over 65, but for me, the choice is like “paper or plastic” on steroids.
Google “environmental impact bar soap vs. liquid soap” and you’ll see that liquid soap has 10 times the carbon footprint of bar soap. Just consider the tons of extra water being shipped around and the used plastic containers. Plastic is now very hard to recycle and often ends up in landfills instead, where it will either sit forever or break down into small pieces that enter the food web. The choice seems pretty stark.
Germs on bar soap? If they’re not already dead, wash as usual and they will be! That’s the whole point of washing, right?
One factor not mentioned by Mr. Greenleaf is the “slime” factor of bar soap. That is, if you’re the sort who grabs the bar of soap, rubs it under running water and returns it to the dish, the dish soon fills with gelatinous soap goo.
But there’s a solution. Wet your right hand, but pick up the soap with your dry left hand. If the soap is dry, rub some off onto your right hand (not under the water), return the soap to the dish, and wash. If the soap is wet, just rub some onto your left hand and return the bar to the dish, then rub your hands together. If all, even most, in your house follow this procedure, no soap goo!
Staying with liquid? At least try diluting it. Each spurt (by design, I cynically believe) has far more soap than you need.
Everett E. Sinnett
Bailey Island and Rockville, Maryland