Ask The Nurse

To personally discuss a medical issue or to make an appointment, call 216-444-4HER (216-444-4437). You can also make an appointment at Cleveland Clinic. For your security, please do not use this form to email personal, confidential health information. We cannot diagnose or treat by email. Our email policies are explained further in this disclaimer. You may also wish to review our privacy statement. Disclaimer | Privacy

How does bar soap compare to alcohol based sanitizers or liquid soap? I prefer using bar soap, but I’m concerned about its effectiveness.

Bar soap is just as effective as liquid soap. Hand washing is very important, but it is often performed incorrectly.

Generally, you should wash for 15-30 seconds. It can be difficult to estimate 30 seconds, so try reciting the "Happy Birthday" song when you wash. In contrast, alcohol based rubs are effective after the hands become dry, usually around 15 seconds.

All My Best,
Nurse Mary

January 6, 2015 at 4:00pm

Share this article


Go back to the question archive