Helping a child wash hands

Does Homemade Soap Kill Germs?

Antibacterial soap, as we all know, kills germs. And, at the moment, many people are purchasing them in large quantities, causing shortages. As a result, some people are attempting to discover an alternative. Is handmade soap one of them?

Is it true that homemade soap kills germs? Homemade soap, like commercial soap, does not kill bacteria. Instead, it eliminates them from your skin, along with oils and debris from your hands, whereas antibacterial soap kills or slows the growth of bacteria.

In 2020, handwashing became mandatory to prevent the spread of germs. We suddenly placed a greater emphasis on it (and still do). However, as a result, certain varieties of soap sold out relatively immediately, resulting in a soap shortage.

As a result, people have to come up with alternatives, one of which may be plain old-fashioned homemade soap. Does handmade soap, on the other hand, have the same effect?

What does antibacterial soap really mean?

Before we move any further, we must first grasp what antibacterial implies and does, as there are some misunderstandings about this topic on the internet. The following is how antibacterial soap works:

Antibacterial soap (also known as antimicrobial soap) kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms. Antibacterial soap is used to contain a chemical called triclosan, but it was banned by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) due to research that revealed it could affect hormones.

So, in a nutshell, it destroys bacteria and viruses or halts their growth.

Is homemade soap antibacterial?

Homemade soap or natural soap eliminates germs from your hands rather than killing them, thus it is antibacterial in that sense, but it does not kill them. We’ll need to talk about science a little bit to comprehend what it does.

According to this lengthy essay from Harvard University (which, if you’re curious about how soap works, I highly encourage you to check out), soap molecules loosen bacteria and viruses and wash them away from your hands.

Instead of just washing with water, soap urges you to wash for extended periods of time in order to remove the soap from your hands. The combination of the two is what allows the soap to do its job of effectively washing germs and viruses from your skin.

Which is safer, homemade natural soap or antibacterial?

We’ve previously covered the basics of how each one works. However, there are a few things to be aware of when using antibacterial soap. In addition to killing harmful bacteria and viruses, antibacterial soap also kills healthy bacteria and viruses.

What just happened? Which ones are the most effective? Yes, our hands are contaminated with beneficial microorganisms for your skin. As a result, it’s possible that in the long run, this is not the best solution.

There are some advantages and disadvantages of using antibacterial soap.

Pros of Antibacterial Soap

  • It eliminates dangerous microorganisms and viruses (but be careful not to overuse).
  • Using a hand sanitizer that has at least 60 percent alcohol instead of soap or water is an option if you don’t have either on hand.
  • Antibacterial soap is particularly beneficial in medical facilities where patients’ immune systems are compromised, such as inpatient rehabilitation facilities.
  • Antibacterial soap can be useful for cleaning in a veterinarian’s office or in a house with pets.

Cons of Antibacterial Soap

  • Antibacterial soaps and products might diminish beneficial bacteria if used excessively.
  • The additional chemicals in some antibacterial soaps can strip the skin of its natural oils, causing it to become drier.
  • In some cases, people may begin to believe that hand sanitizers and antibacterial soap are not necessary for comprehensive hand washing.
  • Using antibacterial soap for decades may, despite the lack of proof, result in antibiotic resistance.
  • Soaps with antibacterial agents eliminate both healthy and dangerous germs. It’s possible that destroying the healthy will have negative consequences in the long run.
  • Some antibacterial soaps are more expensive than others.

Despite the fact that homemade soap does not kill bacteria or viruses, it does eliminate after them (if you wash your hands correctly).

Because coconut oil and olive oil are extremely nutritious, switching to natural homemade soap is a good option even for people with sensitive skin.

Both oils have natural antibacterial properties and are safe to use on surfaces.

Olive oil, coconut oil, and shea butter are all excellent moisturizers. Despite their ability to hydrate the skin, they do so without clogging it.


  • There is no difference in effectiveness between regular handmade soap and antibacterial soap
  • Antibacterial soap and hand sanitizers are rather expensive, however, homemade soap is very inexpensive.
  • Good microorganisms on your skin are not killed by regular soaps and detergents.


  • Hand sanitizers in little bottles are more portable than homemade soap.
  • Due to incorrect soap use, some people may not wash their hands completely enough for conventional soap to be effective.

Here’s a video from the CDC showing you how to properly wash your hands:

In Conclusion

Both have their advantages, but utilizing them in excess can be harmful over the long term. To be in the middle is, in my opinion, the perfect position. Keep using the homemade natural soap for as long as possible, and wash your hands appropriately and thoroughly.

However, using a bar of antibacterial soap on your hands every now and then isn’t a bad idea. Don’t use it excessively. A bottle of hand sanitizer is another option if you don’t have access to water. However, you should only do this if absolutely necessary.