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7 hand soaps to fight germs, from cheap to luxury

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The best unscented, moisturizing and foaming hand washes — and ones to ward off germs.

Tons of washing a day keeps the viruses away.

We all know that washing your hands is the best line of defense for protecting yourself against a cold, the flu or the coronavirus. Spending 20 seconds under the sink with soap and water is easily the best way to get rid of germs and bacteria on your hands, and proper hand-washing still trumps hand sanitizer in terms of effectiveness. But what’s the best kind of soap to lather up with? Bar soap? Liquid hand soap? Antibacterial soap? Soap devoid of harsh chemicals?

I chose these soaps based on buyer reviews, ingredients and clinical testing, value for money and my personal experience with the brands. If you’re looking to stock up on the best hand soap to fend off a cold or flu, stay safe as the coronavirus spreads or simply keep your hands clean, these seven hand soaps can do the trick. 

Get all the latest on the coronavirus that’s now been declared a pandemic.

Read more: Get a phone sanitizer to kill germs and bacteria on your screen

All prices are accurate as of May 1, 2020.

Household names are household names for a reason — they work and people like them. Softsoap Antibacterial Liquid Hand Soap has been shown to reduce 99.9% of harmful bacteria and germs, including Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Escherichia coli (E. coli). 

Reviewers on Amazon love that this Softsoap liquid soap lasts a long time (one buyer says the six-pack lasted longer than six months) and despite being an antibacterial soap, this moisturizing hand soap doesn’t leave your hands feeling dry, flaky or crusty. It’s nice and affordable, too: One 11.25-ounce bottle is less than $3.50.

If you’re a fan of foaming hand wash and still want all the microbe-murdering power, try Dial Complete Antibacterial Foaming Hand Soap. Another popular household brand name, Dial has also used clinical testing to prove its antibacterial hand soap kills up to 99.99% of germs and bacteria, although the brand clarifies that the foaming soap is tested on common household germs, as opposed to, say, a respiratory pathogen.

I can’t say I’d spend nearly $40 on a single bottle of hand soap, but it’s available for those who want to. It comes in a fancy bottle, if that helps. And the scent — sweet orange, cedarwood and sage — sounds lovely. 

It’s available on Dermstore, too, which is a brand founded by a dermatologist, so may be worth the price (especially if you want a plant-based soap that’s gentle on skin). Beware of knock-offs on Amazon, though!

If luxury hand soap isn’t your jam, pivot to the other end of the soap spectrum and check out Dial’s basic liquid hand soap for just $1 per bottle.

 It’s not the same as Dial Complete Antibacterial Foaming Hand Soap, covered above: Plain Dial Liquid Hand Soap doesn’t have the antimicrobial agent benzalkonium chloride, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antibacterial soaps don’t protect you more than regular soap if you wash for the recommended 20 seconds. So go ahead and get your liquid hand soap refill for $1!

At just $3 per bottle, this Seventh Generation hand soap is free of dyes, fragrances or phthalates — a steal for people with sensitive skin or those who just want a gentle, natural soap. Buyers on Amazon love the consistency of the soap (not too liquidy), that it lathers nicely and keeps all skin types clean but not dry or irritated. 

One buyer even settled on this hand soap after searching for an unscented, gentle hand soap for an entire year. Another loves these soaps for sensitive skin for her daughter who has eczema and can’t tolerate scented soaps.

Puracy Natural Liquid Hand Soap uses a plant-based, organic formula developed by doctors. It doesn’t contain alcohol or other antimicrobial agents, which can lead to dry skin if you wash your hands often. Puracy Natural also includes glycerin, aloe vera and essential oils to hydrate your skin while cleansing it. 

Buyers on Amazon praise the brand for helping with extremely dry hands, soothing eczema and keeping dermatitis at bay with aloe vera and plant-based ingredients. One buyer who gets dry hands even credits Puracy Natural with putting an end to bleeding and cracked skin.

Mrs. Meyer’s has become a popular brand for its subtle scents and effectiveness. I personally use Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day hand soap (as well as dish soap and household cleaners), and this brand has never failed me. 

The cruelty-free formula is made with mostly plant-based natural ingredients, including essential oils. It doesn’t contain parabens, sulfates, triclosan or phthalates, although it does contain some surfactants — but you can’t really get away from surfactants if you want to get clean, and there’s no evidence that they’re harmful.

Read more: 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. We delete comments that violate our policy, which we encourage you to read. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion.

This Article was first published on cnet.com

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