Do soapless cleansers kill germs?

Robin has switched to a soapless cleanser to avoid soap scum, but she wants to know whether it will clean stains and kill germs as well as traditional soap.

Q. Robin
After using cakes of soap in the hand basin and shower all our lives, we recently changed to liquid soapless cleanser for showering and hand washing. The main reason was that it is now so much easier to keep the shower clean, and I must say it is brilliant, as we no longer get difficult to clean soap scum on the walls and glass of the shower cubicle.

However, I do wonder if the antiseptic qualities of soapless cleanser are as good and safe as old fashioned soap?

A. Soapless cleansers essentially do the same job as a traditional bar of soap, without the harsh ingredients. In fact, they are perfect for those with sensitive or dry skin, as soapless cleansers are much gentler. As you mentioned, another benefit of soapless cleansers is the lack of soap scum build up, which can make cleaning the bathroom much simpler.

The scientific difference between soap and soapless detergents is that soap is made from natural fats and acids, while soapless cleansers tend to be made from petroleum or synthetic materials. Both soap and soapless cleansers or detergents are equally capable of dissolving grease and killing germs.

The only downside to soapless cleansers is because of the materials they are made from, not all of them are biodegradable, making them less environmentally friendly. It is important to check that the brand you buy is biodegradable – a quick Google search should be able to tell you either way.



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