Likely, because of world attention on the coronavirus, facility managers are asking cleaning contractors what types of soap are used in their facilities. We already know that proper handwashing with warm water and soap is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of the disease.
However, questions are coming up about the difference between regular soap, antimicrobial soap, antiseptic soap, and antibacterial soap, and what is recommended to help halt the spread of the disease?
First, let’s focus on three types, those labeled “antimicrobial,” “antiseptic,” and others identified as “antibacterial.” While you will see all these names used, they are not the same, and cleaning professionals, as well as facility managers, should be aware of this. In simplest terms, these are the key differences between these soaps:
When applied to the skin, antimicrobial and antiseptic soaps contain antimicrobial substances that help reduce the possibility of infection
An antibacterial soap, on the other hand, is a drug used in the treatment and prevention of bacterial infections on skin surfaces.
Because antimicrobial/antiseptic soaps contain ingredients that can inhibit the growth or reduce the chances of infection on the skin, it can also kill or inhibit the growth of some bacteria, viruses, or fungi.
However, an antibacterial soap contains ingredients explicitly designed to kill bacteria. To do this, they may contain ingredients including chloroxylenol, triclosan, and others.
The bigger question is, do we need antiseptic or antimicrobial soaps?
Most studies now say the answer is no, including the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control regarding how to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.1 Washing properly for at least 20 seconds with plain soap and warm water, following recommended protocols, should provide effective protection.
We may find it easy to assume that a soap labeled “antiseptic” or “antibacterial” offers properties making them more effective at killing germs and protecting health. But, regular soap, properly used, is just as effective without raising additional health or environmental concerns.
It’s good to see facility managers asking questions like this. They know their role is to help protect the health of building users. And they know our role, as professional cleaning contractors, is to help them accomplish this.
The Secure Clean blog is designed to help building managers keep their facilities cleaner, healthier, and safer, in the most cost-effective way possible. To learn more about us, please take a few minutes to explore our website at www.securecleanbsi.com, contact us here or at 888-609-1410.