Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Soap Opera

Do you use liquid soap in a pump dispenser- or do you prefer solid bars? There are apparently five reasons why bars are still popular, according to recent studies.


  1. Tradition  - bars of soap have been around for 3000 years [obviously not the same bars, you know what I mean]
  2. Luxury – plastic bottles don’t feel very glamorous, but bars can be wrapped in tissue, be embedded with rose petals, can nestle in the drawer and perfume your lingerie, and tied up with ribbons they can be elegant gifts.
  3. The feeling of cleanliness – the physical act of scrubbing away dirt in the shower leaves you feeling truly refreshed.
  4. Ecology and economy- less packaging is better for the planet.And furthermore, 60% of the cost of your liquid soap is paying for the plastic bottle and the squirty pump.
  5. Bottles are fiddly – initially you have to manage the unscrewing of the pump, and in operation you need one hand to pump and the other to catch the liquid as it squirts out. You can hold a bar of soap and turn it round and make a lather one-handed [I proved that last week, whilst in a splint!]

I think I would add a 6th reason – I am not sure about the excess use of ‘anti-bacterial’ chemicals. If you wash your hands properly with bar soap, they will be clean. I realised when we were packing to move that I had lots of bars of soap squirrelled away – and so decided we would use them up before buying any more bottles. I have put the small ones in a dish on the windowsill in the downstairs loo [the one beside the kitchen!] and larger ones in Steph’s Ceramic Sheep [made in Technology at school years ago] in the bathroom.


Very Old Joke – there were two bars of soap in the bathroom. The first one said “Can I stroke your palm, Olive?” and the other replied “Not on your life, boy!”



So – how do YOU lather up – liquid or bars?


  1. Definitely with bar soap. I had been thinking of writing a post on this subject since reading the article but you've beaten me to it. I have lots of bars given as gifts (hopefully my friends are not trying to tell me something here!) and I use them to scent my linens in the airing cupboard before going on to use them for the original purpose. I wonder if it is a generation thing since plastic bottles were not invented when I was young? Using bars also cuts down on waste going to landfill since you can use every last scrap and there is no plastic bottle to go in the bin. Love the joke!

  2. We use liquid in the kitchen but bars in the bath. Sitting in the bath wrestling with a bottle just seems wrong somehow.

  3. Liquid in the kitchen and anything goes in the bathroom! I love soap - I could actually open my own shop - and I actually made my own for Xmas pressies last year, wrapped up with tissue and ribbon. I own soap from all over the world! Love your 'soap' joke, though I can still smell that Lifebuoy soap which my Mother used to make us use. It was such a relief when she elevated our status to 'Pears'!

  4. Yes you definitely have enough soap for a while!
    We still use soap for reason 4. and 5. Out on the campsite I put liquid soap dispensers and it always takes me an age and having to put my glasses on to work out how to get them started.
    (Our lot did ceramic hollow tree trunks but I like the sheep better)

  5. Well, I got thoroughly sick of the bar of soap in the bathroom. It felt like it had been there all year and didn't lather well. Chris had bought a bottle of soap but I've got about 10handmade soaps I was given as a gift I need to dig out. X

  6. Hangs head, admitting hand wash but using gifted bubble bath in the dispenser. Thinking of switching back to bars. x

  7. I much prefer 'proper' soap. I have so many pump action gels, given to me as gifts, and eventually will get round to using them. I suppose.

  8. Good joke. I love bars of soap, I have neroli scented Yorkshire soap co or L'Occitane lavender spindle for summer and Lush's snowcake for winter in my shower.

    I would like to use bars in the toilet and kitchen but I am just not comfortable they are hygienic enough and may harbour germs with the repeated contact then sitting there.

    I really don't like globby liquid handwash either which take time to spread and lather. Instead I refill foamer bottles with a ratio of 1 part bath or shower crème and 4/5 parts water depending on how soapy the base product is. This means I get foam which is easier to use and get to smell my favourite fragrances on my hands during the day. its great for using up your Christmas smellies stash.

    Foamer bottles are harder to get a hold of but Method do a good one which has their product in then I just use my own stuff once that's finished. Their bottles are good as they have a wide base so are nice and stable.TK Maxx sometimes does foaming handwash sometimes too.

  9. Sorry to be a 'party pooper'b but I always use dispensers. I buy nice looking ones when on offer in the supermarket and refill if possible.
    In another life I would get pupils to swab both bar and dispensers onto agar. The bars always grew the most cultures, so for that reason my preference would be for the dispensers.

  10. Bit of both chez nous. I have nice bars from France and the boys have pumps!

  11. I like dispensers which I refill with bubble bath both in the kitchen and bathroom. Less mess on the side of the sink from a soggy bar.

  12. Both with us - I usually use pump soaps but refill them frequently. But we were given some lovely scented soap - eucalyptus and pine. Both fragrant and manly! - at Christmas so that is being used in the bathroom. I remember Pears soap at My Nan's house - the smell of that is very evocative!


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