Why Soaps are Important for Hygiene  

Germs, microbes, and viruses are everywhere. And besides the grime and dirt that you need to remove, viruses and germs are crucial in making you sick.  

Especially now that the pandemic is ongoing, washing hands and having regular proper hygiene have become essentially important to prevent catching the CORONA virus and they need to be done on a regular basis.  



Why do need to use soap when washing our hands? 


This is the question that most of us instinctively know. However, for the sake of reiterating the important reasons, we will share with you the reasons why we do so.  


It is important to take note that any soaps, mass-produced or artisanal soap, generally, remove grease and dirt, which can also remove bacteria. However, removing bacteria does not necessarily mean killing them. This is the reason why some soaps contain antibacterial properties to achieve this. But why do we soap if everyday soaps do not kill bacteria? The thing is water alone cannot kill bacteria and cannot remove bacteria like what soaps are able to do. Why is this so? Water and oil do not mix together and unfortunately, your hand or skin has oil and grime. This makes the water ineffective in even just removing bacteria from your skin. This is where soap becomes effective. Because it has surfactant properties. Soap molecules are able to remove grease which also removes a good number of bacteria and viruses by rinsing off with water after putting on the soap.  


Additionally, because soap just removes the bacteria and viruses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing thoroughly your hands to remove viruses especially that the coronavirus is ubiquitous. They recommend washing your hand for at least 20 seconds.  


The History of Soap  


Generally, soaps are made up of water, oil, alkali, and basic salt or alkali. The first known people who make and use soap were the Babylonians around2800 BC. Later on, the ancient Egyptians also created a soap with a similar recipe and they used it for personal washing and treating skin diseases and skin sores. The Romans were able to create soap but it was primarily used by physicians to treat some diseases. Later on, the Romans started to use their creation for personal hygiene.  


Soap ingredients have not changed for thousands of years and soap has remained to be primarily made of oils, water, and ionic salt. However, recent discoveries and innovations have paved the way to add and experiment on different and new ingredients for certain purposes. For instance, mass-produced soaps are made mostly of chemicals and preservatives to prolong shelf lives and make them more economical and profitable. On the other hand, greener innovations are made which add herbs, essential oils, and other organic ingredients to the soap mixture, making it more sustainable, less harmful, and most especially effective. In addition, homeowners cannot create their own soaps at home provided with the right ingredients as soaps are basically easy to prepare and create.  


Handwashing and personal hygiene become easier and more effective with the presence of soap.