post off: liquid or bar soap. which one are you?


Until I saw this aluminum soap case at an antique store, I hadn’t really given the question much thought. We’ve been a liquid soap household for at least 10 years. So long, in fact, that my kids would probably be as puzzled by a bar of soap as they would by a VCR. Why did we make the switch? To be honest, I can’t remember, but we’ve stuck with liquid soap because it seems to solve the soap scum problem. What’s your soap preference? — Sarah L.

From our partners

Liquid soap by the sink! Much neater and no soapscum!

But I do use bar soap in the shower rather than the shower/body washes that seem so prevelent today. Nothting beats a lathered beauty bar :)


i did use liquid soap (in the shower) for a little while, but switched back about 5 years ago after my dermatologist said many brands were not as gentle on your skin as bar soap. granted, that was 5 years ago and the market has changed a lot in the time. but now, i’m hooked on bar soap. yes, it’s more to clean the shower, but i find the variety of amazing-smelling bar soap is leaps ahead of the overly-scented liquid stuff, and i get a small burst of pleasure when i find a new one to try out. so for now, i’ll stick to the bar method. heh.

I made the switch to liquid soap for germ-y and soap scum-related reasons in my kitchen and bathroom, but recently went to natural bar soap for my showers (instead of body wash, etc). For some reason all this talk on sulfites and chemicals has gotten under my skin, so to speak.

Castile liquid soap for all-purpose house/dish cleaning, bar soap (and bar shampoo) for bodies. Less packaging, less energy to produce and move it around, more bang for your buck, since buying liquid soap means you’re buying water, and bar products–good ones–don’t require, as per the FDA, preservatives that are just sent down the drain.

By “soap scum” I suppose you mean the slimy underside, if a bar doesn’t dry between uses. Prop it up at an angle or use a vented soap dish = non-issue.

I like liquid soap for hands and bar soap for the shower. For some reason, I”ve experiences many more issues with the scum at the sink than the shower.


Bars, everywhere! I’ve found tea tree oil based for that antibacterial edge, charcoal based for acne treatment, even a shampoo bar. I get to give my money to an actual person (via etsy or farmers markets, craft shows etc) and there’s virtually nothing going to landfill.


If you use any of the deodorant type bar soaps your shower tile will be a pain to clean. I found out from my cleaners (I run a large rental house) that the people using deodorant soap are running up my cleaning bill. Why? Those soaps are mostly wax to help the deodorant smell transfer to someone’s body and STICK.

I cannot force my renters to change their soap preferences but you might want to know that any of the Dr. Bronner’s bar soaps and old fashioned olive oil soaps don’t have the same problem. Yes, this is by experiment with one person in the house being assigned a singular shower and willing to try stuff out.

Personally I use a bar soap for travel. No 3 oz fluid restriction and it works for hair and body for a week or three. (my hair is past my shoulders and I travel a fair amount for my day job).

I am a bar soap boy through and through! My partner would whole-heartedly stand opposed.


Liquid. Bars get gross.

liquid at all the sinks but bars in the shower. Just the way we roll :)


Another one here who does bar soap in the shower but liquid soap at the sinks. We have a four-year-old. There are simply not enough hours in the day to permit me to care for him properly AND clean up all the messes we’d have if he had to wield — and therefore drop — bar soap every time he washed his hands.

I do need to find a nice new bar soap for the shower. I’ve used Dove for years, but lately I’ve had a hankering for a nice luxury bar of soap, like Rebecca mentioned above.


In the shower, I use two different bar soaps… one for my face and one for the rest of me. In the bathrooms and the kitchen, we use liquid soap. I seriously hate liquid soap in the shower…. my skin never feels clean.


I have really sensitive skin – most soaps make me itch like crazy! But I’ve found a bar soap brand for the shower that works great, smells fantastic, and doesn’t make me itch. It’s Mistral’s French shea butter soaps. My favorite flavors are grapefruit/red currant, South Seas (smells like the ocean plus wildflowers), and wild blackberry. For washing my hands I like the Bath and Body Works anti-bac moisturing hand soaps. Good stuff. So I guess I do both bar and liquid soaps!

Bar all the way! Bar soap involves far less packaging in terms of waste and in terms of manufacturing. It’s easier to travel with too. I’ve even made my own soap pouches out of fabric.


Liquid soap in the kitchen and by the bathroom sink – biodegradable, natch – and bar soap in the shower. I have SUPER sensitive skin, and the emulsifiers in liquid body wash make me break out in a rash, even the ones for people with sensitive skin! So it’s Dove Sensitive Skin bar soap for body and face, and Method at the sinks.

I like to have a pretty soap dish with a bar of soap handy at every basin in the house.

shelterrific » Blog Archive » five things we learned last week

[…] 3) Liquid or bar soap? You’ll take both. While opinions vary, many of you prefer liquid at the sink and bar for the shower. Fanny says: “I like liquid soap for hands and bar soap for the shower. For some reason, I’ve experienced many more issues with the scum at the sink than the shower.” What’s the soap situation at your house? […]


I prefer liquid for hands, but bar for the shower/bath. I just feel like I get much more clean with bar soap, perhaps because my skin is oily.

Dr Bronners liquid peppermint soap! Only thing that wakes me up in the morning!


bar soap. better for the environment. plastic bottles that most liquid soaps come in are much harder to recycle than the cardboard that bars come in.

shelterrific » Blog Archive » new obsession: pirouette soaps

[…] usually fall on to the liquid side of the great soap debate, but the other night, I smelled a soap so heavenly that I had to take it home with me. And […]

Susan S

Liquid soap- definitely! Bar soap (and in particular the dish) harbor bacteria. Several studies have been done in the hospital setting, such as:

Nix DH. Factors to consider when selecting skin cleansing products. J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2000 Sep;27:260-268

Bar soap in the shower for the adults. Liquid for the kid (much easier for little hands, no dropped soap bars and California Baby products are great for kids). Sinks usually have Dr. Bronners liquid castile soap and my face soap is Dr Bronners with a few drops of essential oils added.

T Bone

I’m going to throw this one out there. liquid soap is for weirdos. ive never felt clean after using it.
give me a bar of soap – its the american way


Liquid soap for hands definitely: easier for stiff, painful hands/wrists to use; gets under fingernails and between fingers better = cleaner hands; also, less messy.

Hard soap in the shower.

Mrs B

I make my own liquid and bar soaps. Usually have 3-4 bars on the shower. I use foamer bottles at the sinks, and have a bar at each. Depends on the mood as to what I use.