Turns out, the answer may not be what you think.

Jaime Milan
April 24, 2020
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Advertisement
Getty / Nv Phngs Caeng Kml Kul Chay / EyeEm

Hand sanitizers and household disinfectants are selling out even more quickly than toilet paper during the coronavirus pandemic, and even antibacterial soap is sold out at stores like Bath & Body Works. But should you be using antibacterial soap to fight off COVID-19? Turns out, the answer may not be what you would've guessed.

While anti-bac soap might sound like the safer option, it's probably not doing anything more than regular soap when it comes to killing the coronavirus. Here's why: Antibacterial soap may be able to kill bacteria, but COVID-19 is a virus, so it won't do you any favors in that department. The FDA has also said there's no reason to use antibacterial soap over regular soap and water, because they haven't been proven more effective (when it comes to preventing illness).

To be clear, regularly washing your hands—with any kind of soap—is important, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. A review of 67 studies found hand-washing with plain ol' soap and water could help reduce both the spread and overall mortality rate of respiratory diseases, like the coronavirus.

The CDC recommends washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water after you've been in a public place, after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose, whenever they're visibly soiled, before eating and after using the restroom. (Just make sure you're washing your hands correctly, since 99% of people aren't!) If hand washing isn't an option, choose hand sanitizer that's at least 60% alcohol. And, try not to touch your face!

The bottom line: If you love your antibacterial hand soap and find yourself washing your hands more frequently because of it, rock on. But just know that regular soap will do the job just as well. Here are a few of our favorite soaps that you can buy online right now