Plain soap just as effective at removing germs as antibacterial varieties
Scientists question manufacturers' and advertisers claims.
Adverts for antibacterial soap often claim them to be more effective at cleaning hands than a regular bar of soap, yet according to new research this may not be the case.
Scientists in Korea have published a paper in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy in which they studied the effect of the ingredient triclosan on bacteria in two ways.
First they examined its effects on 20 strains of bacteria and second compared how the two types of soap removed them from the hands of 16 healthy adult volunteers.
The scientists recreated the conditions of human hand washing by exposing the bacteria for 20 seconds at 22°C (room temperature) and 40°C (warm temperature) to a 0.3% concentration of triclosan - the maximum allowed by law.
Although the antibacterial variety produced significantly greater effects after more than nine hours, it was no better than the plain rival given the short time required for hand washing