The Right Way to Use Bar Soap

Bar soaps are making a comeback and with good reason. With less packaging than their liquid counterparts, they are friendlier to the environment, are an affordable price point, and deliver maximum effectiveness with a dermatologist’s tick of approval.


As we are all increasing our awareness of good hygiene practices, antibacterial bar soaps are a great choice to keep your hands clean and germ-free, while also caring for delicate and sensitive skin.


While soap bars have copped a bit of a bad reputation in the past, there are ways to keep your soap germ-free, benefiting your skin’s health and cleanliness while also extending the life of your soap bar.

How to use a soap bar the right way

1. Keep the water at a warm temperature.

If the water is too hot, the soap will create less lather (see our second tip!) and your bar will ultimately shrink faster. Hot water also dries out your skin, so keep it nice and warm and see the difference.[2]

2.Lather up.

Rinse off your bar soap under the tap quickly before washing your hands, then create a generous lather by rubbing the soap with your hands for at least 20 seconds, circling around the hands and between the fingers. (For more on this, check out our Guide to Washing Your Hands.)

3.Keep it dry between uses (and germ-free!).

If you’ve ever wondered if bar soap holds more germs than a liquid soap, you should know that it’s not the soap that harbours germs – it’s the water left on the soap. By keeping the soap dry between uses, you’ll ensure it stays fresh for every use. This means not storing it on a ledge in the shower where it’s exposed to excessive amounts of water! (Tip: Place your soap bar on top of a sponge in a ventilated soap dish to help absorb moisture.)

Using bar soap on your body

Bar soaps are just as effective as body wash for getting rid of dirt and bacteria on your skin.[1] If you are using bar soap on your body, rub the soap directly onto a wash cloth or loofah and get a really good lather, then apply to wet skin. Use a clean cloth every time you wash, and wash your loofah under clean water after each use. Allow it to dry fully by hanging it rather than setting it down on the side of the bath or sink.

How to make your soap bar last longer

Finally, one of the best benefits of bar soap is its longevity – one bar can last up to six weeks if you let it dry between uses. Another tip is to cut your soap bar in half or even quarters – each smaller part will last longer than you might imagine! This all adds up to an even longer soap lifespan, making it even more cost effective and environmentally friendly over time.


Choosing the right bar soap for you and your family is just as important as knowing how to use it. Look for an antibacterial soap that will leave your skin nourished, even after frequent hand washing.

Cetaphil has been a trusted brand and endorsed by dermatologists for over 70 years. We know what makes good soap. Cetaphil’s Gentle Cleansing Antibacterial Bar is an effective soap that designed to be mild on the skin. Find your nearest Cetaphil Stockist now.