Did You Know…? Soap and Hand Wash Fun Facts

Because of the pandemic, a hand wash is one of the hottest topics now. Making use of that, let’s learn some fun facts and tips. Is soap the only product you can wash your hands with? What is the average time you should spend washing them? Who actually made the first soap?

We answer these and other questions below. If you care about hygiene, keep reading. You may be taken aback by some of the fun facts and feel like sharing them with your friends. Enjoy!


1. Who, where and when made the first soap?

Let’s go back to the Phoenician times around 5 thousand years ago. Phoenicians made the first soap but it wasn’t meant for body washing – they used it to wash the clothes. The original soap was made from fat, ash and sand. Egyptians were the first to use it on the skin, treating different types of diseases. A typical body wash soap, on the other hand, was made popular by Arabs travelling in the Medieval times, following the trade routes and showing it around the world. Originally, this was a very pricey luxury product. What’s interesting, a soap bar we all know today is a quite new invention from 200 years ago.

2. Is there a soap museum?

Yes, there is! This is an essential product so it’s no wonder it has a dedicated museum (we can make it plural actually). You can go there to learn the soap history and gain an insight into the history of personal hygiene. The display also includes some accessories that were used to keep clean in the past as well as exhibits showing how soap bars were made. Even though a museum of soap sounds funny, this is a place where you can find some part of interesting history.

3. Can anything replace a soap?

Currently, there are plenty of alternatives to an ordinary soap. What to use for hand wash if you run out of soap? A disinfectant based on alcohol works well. This is the most effective way to get rid of germs. If you haven’t got a disinfecting gel or spray, you can wash hands with water alone as a last resort (obviously without the disinfecting effect).


1. How many bacteria live on our hands?

Washing hands with a soap or disinfectant is essential because hands are the harbor for bacteria. Saying that germs are all around isn’t an exaggeration. You may think you don’t touch so many objects but your hands are the house for millions of bacteria. What is the exact number? It’s been checked and the results show that each square centimeter of the skin gets even five million bacteria – they are transferred from handles, phones, railings, hand shakes and touching the dirtiest thing in the world called money.

2. Do bacteria get through washing?

Thankfully, a good soap handles bacteria. It doesn’t kill them but it washes them off the hands so they are fully clean. There are few products that can do away with bacteria because they are extremely resistant organisms adapting to any conditions. The key thing is avoiding contact with them and getting rid of them with a hand wash regularly.

3. What is the optimal time for a hand wash?

Ideally, make a habit of hand washing. Remember, though, you must do it properly: approx. 95% of people wash their hands too fast! The average time is 6 seconds while you need a minimum 15 seconds to reduce the number of bacteria. 15 seconds more lets you get rid of them fully. That is why it’s advised to wash the hands for at least 30 secs. Let’s stick to it!

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