Antibacterial soap is defined as any cleaning product to which active antibacterial ingredients have been added, such as Triclosan, one of the most common. Triclosan can be found in more than 700 antimicrobial-infused products such as deodorants, toothpaste, mouthwashes, and over 70% of all liquid soaps. It can also be found in any number of consumer products marketed under the trade name Microban such as fabrics, cutting boards, kitchen utensils, toys, and trash bags, to name a few.
These chemicals in antibacterial soaps and products kill bacteria and microbes but have little to no effect in killing viruses. Your common household colds and flu are caused by viruses and therefore, antibacterials will not prevent them from spreading. While Triclosan has been shown to be effective in reducing and controlling bacterial contamination on the hands and on treated products, there is concern that overuse of Triclosan may lead to bacterial resistance to antibiotics.
According to many sources, it may be time to replace these antibacterial soaps for good old soap and water. Please check out our article on “Antibacterial Soaps—The Controversy”.