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Foam vs. liquid soap – which is better?

If you’re confused about what type of hand soap and other cleaning supplies you should be buying, you’re not alone. There are a lot of options and it’s tough to make the right call without expert advice. Lucky for you, you’re in the right place! We love helping our customers make better cleaning choices that support the health and safety of their employees and residents. So – foam vs. liquid soap … which is better? Is there a difference? 

Let’s compare the options and talk about the pros and cons. 

Does choosing foam vs. liquid soap save you money? 

Short answer: yes. First, let’s talk about how foam soap is made. Foam hand soap is actually a liquid soap solution that gets pumped through a special dispenser. The dispenser infuses the liquid with air, which makes it appear light and foamy. So the foam you see in your hand is just a liquid solution with a lot of air bubbles. 

Here’s where the cost savings happen. The special foam soap cartridges are actually MORE expensive upfront than the regular liquid soap. But when people see the volume of foam per pump, they tend to use LESS of it. 

Bottom line: you pay more upfront for the foaming refill cartridges. But you get more handwashes per refill because people use less soap per wash. 

Is foam soap better for the environment? 

Yes! Here’s why. Foam soap is easier to rinse off completely, which means you’re using less water per hand wash. You’re also dispensing less soap per pump, which means that less soap ends up in the wastewater system. And you get more handwashes per dispenser refill, which reduces excess packaging and transportation costs. Conclusion – foam soap reduces packaging and energy waste, creates less environmental pollution and conserves water.

Can switching to foam soap reduce your cleaning bill? 

Yes again! Liquid soap dispensers tend to be messy. They may slowly clog up with use and they often drip or leak. Any time your hands aren’t positioned just right, soap ends up on the counter or the floor. And that means that your cleaning crew will be doing more work later, which can increase the labor portion of your cleaning bill. 

Which type of soap is most for effective handwashing? 

This is where things get more complicated. A 2017 study found that foam soap was less effective than liquid soap at removing bacteria from hands. The researchers theorized that this could be because foam soap comes out of the pump as a lather and doesn’t require scrubbing to produce bubbles. They also suggested that foam soap might be less effective than liquid simply because one pump of foam delivers less soap than one pump of liquid. 

However, it’s important to understand that there were limitations to this study. For example, the study was small and the methods they used weren’t rigorous. That means that more research is needed to reach a definitive conclusion in the foam vs. liquid soap debate and foam soaps are still a popular choice for many industries. 

As always, make sure you communicate with your cleaning team about your options and choose handsoaps and other cleaning products that are appropriate for your needs and meet your industry’s regulations. 

We’re here to help you make better cleaning choices

We’ve been supporting our customers with product recommendations and expert commercial cleaning services for more than 20 years! We build custom cleaning plans that reflect your top priorities – cost savings, eco-conscious values, seasonal maintenance and more. If it’s important to you, it’s important to us! Schedule a virtual cleaning consultation with us today!