Why should consumers reach for bar soap when shopping? Bar soap has the same cleansing effect as liquid soap and needs no preservatives and few additives. And thanks to its eco-friendly paper-based packaging, it gets good marks for sustainability. Plastic bottles and dispensers with liquid soap involve high transport costs and lots of packaging and plastic waste.

A plus for bar soaps is that they need no preservatives and can make do with fewer ingredients than liquid soaps. Since soap contains almost no water and has a higher pH, germs and bacteria have little chance of surviving.
Liquid products with their high water content and neutral pH have a very high risk of germ growth, making preservatives an absolute necessity. Synthetic products often contain a chemical cocktail of preservatives, thickeners, pH regulators and emulsifiers.

Both products have the same cleansing effect. They break up the natural oil layer on the skin along with the dirt, germs, bacteria and viruses it contains. The alkaline pH of bar soap is quickly neutralised by water. The skin’s protective layer is regenerated in a short time by the sebaceous glands in healthy skin.
Bar soaps work more efficiently than liquid soaps and last longer, and they are much more economical and less liable to excessive use. Pressing the dispenser once often yields more liquid soap that one really needs for hand-washing, and many users press two or three times.

Bar soap Liquid soap
Natural surfactants (natural product)
Salt from residues of a weak acid (fatty acid) and a strong base
pH slightly alkaline
Synthetic surfactants (chemical product)
Salt from residues of a strong acid (usually sulphuric acid derivatives) and a strong base
pH neutral
No preservatives
Low risk of contamination by germs during use in the bathroom

  • Almost no water
  • Higher pH
Uses preservatives
High risk of contamination by germs during use in the bathroom

  • High water content
  • pH neutral
Skin care ingredients, colourants, perfumes
Water, preservatives, thickeners, pH regulators, emulsifiers, skin care ingredients, colourants, perfumes
Economical to use
Bar soap can’t be over-dispensed
Consumption 2–3 times greater
Wasteful dispensing
Non-adjustable dispenser mechanism
Microplastic-free recipe Microplastics in many recipes
Convenient for travel
Allowed in hand luggage
Only small amounts allowed in hand luggage
Low environmental impact
Unpackaged or plastic-free, recyclable packaging
Reduces packaging and plastic waste
High environmental impact
Plastic bottles and dispensers
Large amount of packaging
Large amounts of packaging and plastic waste
Eco-friendly aspects
Bar soaps contain almost no water
Lower emissions during transport thanks to smaller volume
Lower use of packaging materials
Environmental impact
Liquid soaps have high water content
High emissions caused by transporting large volumes of water
Use of large amounts of packaging materials


Kerstin Sauer
Marketing & Kommunikation
Beiersdorfstr. 1
79423 Heitersheim