The Big Mistake You're Making With Your Bar Of Soap

Different types of soap are made with different ingredients to address varying purposes. For example, body wash is designed to clean and rehydrate skin, as well as tend to clogged pores and dry patches. Bar soap, on the other hand, works by breaking up the buildup of dirt, oils, and sweat on the skin's surface, swiftly washing away germs. Not only that, but many bar soaps are paraben-free and made with natural ingredients, further benefiting our health.

You would think that a bar of soap would ultimately take care of itself when it comes to cleanliness, right? After all, soap itself is a cleaning agent, isn't it? As with most surfaces, our bar soap also comes in contact with bacteria — the majority of which is directly from our own skin. Although a bar of soap does a great job removing grime from our bodies, it doesn't have the means to remove grime from itself. Therefore, the biggest mistake you may be making with your bar soap isn't what kind you're purchasing or how you're using it. Instead, the mistake lies in what you're not doing.

The step you should take before you soap up

Since the germs on our bar soap are primarily our own, they're unlikely to make us seriously ill. However, if you are not regularly cleaning your bar of soap, those with compromised immunity, or those with uncovered cuts or wounds, may be more susceptible to bacterial infections.

If you leave your bar of soap soaking in a murky puddle of water on the bathtub ledge between uses, you're leaving it further prone to bacterial buildup — as seen by the slimy coating that can form on its surface. Bar soap is definitely messier to use and can potentially harbor more bacteria if it's sitting in a pool of water — a risk you don't run with liquid soap," Dr. Peterson Pierre of Pierre Skin Care Institute explained to Realtor.

Thankfully, cleaning your bar of soap is quick and easy. Before you start lathering yourself up, give your bar soap a pre-lather and rinse for about 15 seconds. Next, use the bar soap directly on your skin rather than on a washcloth or loofah to avoid further transfer of germs. Afterward, be sure to store it somewhere where water won't pool so it can thoroughly dry before your next shower. "The main caution is to keep the bar as dry as possible in between uses to minimize bacterial buildup," internal medicine specialist Dr. Nadia M. Khan told Realtor.