Should I use antibacterial foaming hand soap?

hand soap
These days, it seems like you can’t even wash your hands without coming across antibacterial foaming hand soap. And while most of us can probably agree that regular hand washing is a crucial component to good health, there seems to be a divide when it comes to antibacterial.

It’s just soap…what’s the big deal?

There are several issues of concern when it comes to antibacterial soap – and most of them are related to its main active ingredient triclosan. Triclosan, which is found in nearly 75% of antibacterial hand soaps, has been widely scrutinized in the last decade.

Why researchers and consumers are concerned about triclosan:

  • Triclosan needs to be left on the surface of the skin for at least two minutes to be effective. Most people aren’t that patient.
  • Some researchers believe that bacteria could eventually develop a resistance to bactericidal agents like triclosan over time.
  • Being exposed to some bacteria is actually beneficial to your health. The normal population of bacteria living in our body helps fend off dangerous bacteria.
  • Many diseases are viral in nature, which means they can’t be prevented using antibacterial soap anyway

So when should you be using antibacterial foaming hand soap?

A clean environment and a clean body are important, but not every inch of every surface needs to be sterile in order to be safe. On a daily basis, antibacterial soap may a little much for the average person.

However, there are definitely instances where antibacterial foaming hand soap is appropriate, such as:

  • In health-care settings where there’s a risk of transferring bacteria from patient to patient.
  • In restaurant settings where someone is handling raw meat or fish.

The takeaway

Unless you work in a healthcare or restaurant setting, you may want to stick to regular soap and water. However, if antibacterial foaming hand soap is your only option, it’s certainly safe to use – but probably a little overkill on a daily basis.

Foaming Hand Soap, Antimicrobial Surfaces and Other Tips for Improving the Hygiene of Your Restroom

foaming hand soapNo one likes a dirty restroom. In fact, a recent study found that 94 percent of adults would actually avoid a business in the future if they encountered an unkempt public restroom. The state of your restroom contributes to your reputation – so it’s time to clean up! Improve your restroom hygiene with the tips below:

Antimicrobial surfaces – Many hand dryer manufacturers already specialize in antimicrobial technology, which can fend off the build-up of harmful bacteria such as MRSA and E. coli. You can expand the use of antimicrobial to your wall paint, flooring, counter-tops and even your toilets.

Automatic soap dispensers – Though it may not actually be unhygienic, a soap mess on your counter top doesn’t look very clean. Swap out your liquid dispensers for drip-free foaming hand soap dispensers and avoid a pool of soap on your counter-tops.

Automatic hand dryers – Similar to liquid soap dispensers, a pile of used paper towels can really hinder the appearance of your restroom and actually discourage hand washing. Automatic hand dryers will make your restroom appear tidy and the’lly also reduce your purchasing needs for bulk janitorial supplies.

Pay attention to your restroom design – Though most people don’t consider the design of a public restroom, it can make a huge difference in functionality. There are certain standards such as height and distance that should be followed when designing your bathroom. For example:

  • Countertops should be 34” high
  • Urinals should be 17” high
  • Toilet seats should be 17-19” high.

Seek the consult of a professional to make sure your restroom follows these essential guidelines.

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons