Antibacterial soap and regular soap: which one is more effective?

does antibacterial soap workAntibacterial soap containing triclosan (0.3%) was no more effective than regular soap at reducing bacterial contamination when used under ‘real-life’ conditions, as concluded by research from Korea published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

The researchers aimed to examine the in vitro and in vivo bactericidal effect of triclosan (the most widely used antiseptic agent in soap) in soap. They tested regular and antibacterial soaps containing 0.3% triclosan (maximum allowed by law) against 20 strains of bacteria for 20 seconds at 22°C (room temperature) and 40°C (warm temperature).

The research shows no significant difference in bactericidal activity between regular soap and antibacterial soap at either test temperature. However, antibacterial soap showed significantly greater bactericidal effects after 9 hours.

These results suggest that although triclosan-containing soap does have antibacterial activity, the effects are not apparent during the short time required for hand washing.

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