Advantages and disadvantages of liquid soap

Liquid soap has been around for a long time. Despite liquid soap is a popular choice for everyday cleaning, is it really the best option, or are there any disadvantages to using this wonderful product? 

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Liquid soap is a great product, but it does have its disadvantages, just like any other soap. This article will discuss the pros and cons of liquid soaps to help you decide if using one in your household would be beneficial for everyone.

How does liquid soap work?

Liquid soap is not much different from regular soap. It works in a similar fashion.

When liquid soap comes into contact with your skin, it will surround all the microorganisms present in it with soap molecules. Then, the hydrophobic tails of soap will adhere to the lipid envelopes of all the types of germs, bacteria, and viruses you may have in your skin. 

In other words, soap gets mixed with all the microorganisms adhered to your skin, which will then be removed when you rinse it away with water.

It’s worth noting that liquid soap is as effective as bar soap. It is excellent for removing dirt and bacteria not only on your skin but also around your house and even your clothes.

Is liquid soap a soap or a detergent?

Liquid soaps, soaps, and detergents have tons of things in common. However, they are not the same thing. They’re meant for different purposes. The easiest way to learn if liquid soap falls under the “soap” or “detergent” category is to look at each product’s definition and structure.

Before we start differentiating each option, it is worth noting that all kinds of soaps have detergent properties. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to remove all the dirt and grease from your skin. However, they contain other elements that make them more suitable for the skin.


Firstly, detergents are the result of a mix of surfactants and soaps. The structure depends on how it’s manufactured. You can find detergents in multiple presentations. These products are meant for washing and cleaning either clothes or different objects. However, their harsh structure makes them inappropriate for the skin.

On the other hand, detergents are a different form of soaps as they contain different ingredients. Detergents contain sulfates, dyes, perfumes, and sometimes enzymes and optical brighteners. Some detergents contain biodegradable ingredients, but that doesn’t make the whole substance biodegradable. 

In summary, detergents are mostly made of synthetic chemicals and very few natural ingredients.

Soaps (and liquid soaps)

Whether in bar or liquid form, soap is (mostly) made of natural ingredients. Traditionally, the ingredients used to make soap include alkali, fat, water, and salt. Soap is made through different processes, including the hot, cold, and many others. 

Either way, soaps do not contain harsh ingredients that could result in an unpleasant reaction. Most soaps are eco-friendly and biodegradable and only come in liquid or bar presentation. Furthermore, they’re hypoallergenic most of the time and do not contain any toxic ingredients.

This way, we can say that although liquid soap can be used as a detergent, it is still soap. Occasionally, you may come across a few brands that disguise a detergent as soap due to their “gentler” structure. However, you can easily discover if that’s the right category by taking a look at the ingredients.

Advantages and disadvantages of liquid soap

Liquid soaps are excellent in diverse situations, but they also come with different disadvantages that are crucial to know.


  • It will be less likely for someone to exchange germs with another person since you’re not touching the soap (bar) directly. 
  • You don’t come in direct contact with the soap because it often comes in a bottle with a dispenser. Therefore, it is a more hygienic option.
  • Bar soap may get mushy from time to time. However, liquid soap will remain as good as new throughout its shelf-life.
  • Liquid soap is made with the same ingredients as bar soap mostly. Unlike bar soap, liquid soap generates a richer lather when used. Thus, many people believe that this factor makes liquid soap a better cleaning than regular soap.
  • Some people prefer liquid soap because it typically has a lower pH level. Therefore, it’s a better option for people with sensitive skin.


  • Liquid soap tends to be more expensive due to its presentation. It usually comes with a bottle and a pump dispenser integrated. Both items add more to the total cost.
  • Bar soap tends to be an eco-friendly option. When it comes to liquid soap, the package (bottle and a pump dispenser) contributes to the contamination unless you decide to recycle it.
  • Liquid soap can be a bit tricky to use. Pump dispensers tend to get stuck and it may force you to push harder leading to overuse. You may end up dropping it off of your hands and breaking it in the process and spoiling the whole content. 
  • This type of soap doesn’t have too many variations in the market. Unless you make it yourself, it can be a bit challenging to find 
  • A fragrance-free liquid soap product is also very hard to find. Contrary to this, soap bars come in different presentations and are easy to find at any local store.
  • Liquid soap is generally more expensive when compared to other types of soaps in the market.  

Is liquid soap more expensive?

Liquid soap tends to be more expensive than bar soaps due to the packaging, including a bottle and a pump dispenser. And based on the brand, the price may go up even more.

Statistics have revealed that Americans usually spend more money on liquid soap than they do on bar soaps. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that you’re likely to spend more on liquid soap in the long term. Research has found out that we tend to use more liquid soap than we actually need.

Is liquid soap good for your face?

We all know that you can’t use any soap on your face, especially when it comes to commercial options, as they don’t contain glycerin most of the time. However, when it comes to liquid soap, it’s another story.

Liquid soaps are mostly made, taking into account that it’s also intended for facial use. Therefore, they are perfectly safe for your face and, in some cases more recommendable option for people with certain conditions.

Some of the reasons why liquid soap is good for your face include the following:

  • Liquid soap has a lower pH level than bar soap. Therefore, it is safer for the skin.
  • This soap type has moisturizing ingredients in its structure most of the time.
  • You can find liquid soap in different presentations based on your skin. For instance, if you have dry skin, cream-based liquid soap will work better. However, if you have oily skin, gel-based liquid soap is a more appropriate option as they don’t contain oil.
  • There are liquid soaps available to treat different skin conditions, like acne. However, even if the formulation doesn’t specifically say it is for a certain condition, it will not contribute to the growth of bacteria on your face. 

Is liquid soap good for your skin?

If you’ve been using purchased commercial soap, liquid soap will most likely be a much better option for your skin. Commercial soap does not contain glycerin, and most of its ingredients will make turn your skin dry.

If you have dry skin, liquid soap is a better option as bar soap has a higher pH level and thus will cause your skin to get even drier. 

This alone makes liquid soap more suitable for people with sensitive skin or conditions like eczema or acne, to mention a few. 

When it comes to homemade liquid soap, it is equally effective as homemade soap bars since you have total control over the ingredients. 

Which is better, liquid or bar soap?

The answer to this question is quite subjective. Each soap type has its set of advantages and disadvantages, so it all comes down to what you want and what matters to you.

  • If you want an eco-friendly option, then natural bar soap is a better option.
  • Financially speaking, bar soap is more cost-effective in the long term than liquid soap.
  • However, bar soaps tend not to have a good moisturizing effect. If that’s what you’re looking for, then liquid soap is for you.
  • Some people like their soap with a bit of fragrance, while others prefer it to be as neutral as possible. While you can find bar soap with no smell or with fragrance easily, you’re less likely to find a fragrance-free liquid soap product.
  • Both soap types are equally good when it comes to their structure. They don’t contain harmful chemicals, and both are extremely helpful for the removal of bacteria.

Both options have similar characteristics but may be better for specific users. Therefore, we recommend evaluating the above factors so you can come to a decision.

Is liquid soap bad for the environment?

Studies have revealed that liquid soap has a bigger carbon footprint than bar soaps – about 25% greater. Furthermore, manufacturing liquid soap takes more energy, considering the creation of the substance and the packaging. Not only that, but due to our habits, we’re prone to using more liquid soap than we actually need.

While bar soap is more sustainable, you should know that most of them have fatty bases. Therefore, some manufacturers use oils whose harvesting is more destructive than others. 

We recommend investigating a bit about the brand for either option to make sure that they’re using sustainably harvested oils. 


Liquid soap has multiple advantages regarding bar soap. It is gentler on your skin and has more humectant ingredients. However, you’re more prone to waste it, and it is often more expensive. You can be sure that it will keep your skin as moisturized as possible at all times, though!

Considering the pros and cons of liquid soap can help you determine the best option based on your preferences.

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