Which Soap is Best?
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Antibacterial soap vs. Plain soap: Which is better?
Antibacterial soaps are no more effective than plain soap and water for killing disease-causing germs outside of healthcare settings. There is no evidence that antibacterial soaps are more effective than plain soap for preventing infection under most circumstances in the home or in public places. Therefore, plain soap is recommended in public, non-healthcare settings and in the home (unless otherwise instructed by your doctor).
Do antibacterial soaps promote antibiotic resistance?
There is no evidence that antibacterial soaps cause antibiotic resistance, but some scientists believe they may contribute to the development of antibiotic resistant germs.
Another way to clean hands: Hand Sanitizer
- Wash your hands with soap and water when your hands are visibly soiled. If soap and water is not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (wipes or gel).
- Food handlers in restaurants, schools, delis and grocery stores must wash their hands with soap and water before applying hand sanitizers. [Minn Rules Chap. 4626.0070 - 4626.0085]
(attention: Non- MDH links)
- The Effect of Antibacterial Formula Hand Cleaners on the Elimination of Microbes on Hands
Harvard Medical School
- Consumer Use of Antimicrobial Soap
American Medical Association. Antibacterial soaps and lotions have no health benefit over ordinary soap.
- Antibacterial Household Products: Cause for Concern
CDC: Emerging Infectious Diseases
- Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work
CDC: Antibacterial-containing products have not been proven to prevent the spread of infection better than products that do not contain antibacterial chemicals.
- Hand Washing- Minnesota Food Code Fact Sheet
Safe Food is Good Business fact sheet from the Minnesota Food Code.
- Regulatory History and Attributes of Consumer Antiseptics
In 2005, an FDA advisory panel considered the question of the effectiveness of antibacterial products and overwhelmingly concluded that there was no evidence proving that antibacterial soaps were more effective than regular soaps for preventing infection.
- Clinical Infectious Disease Journal Literature Review
A literature review published in the Clinical Infectious Disease Journal concluded that antibacterial soaps do not provide a benefit above and beyond plain soaps for generally healthy people living in the community. (Clin Infect Dis. 2007 Sep 1;45 Suppl 2:S137-47)
- APIC Guideline for Handwashing and Hand Antisepsis in Healthcare Settings
American Journal of Infection Control, Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology
(AJIC. 1995 23:251-269)