By Amy Packham
Soap stocks in supermarkets are dwindling and it’s hardly surprising. We’ve all been told to
How To Wash Your Hands In Five Steps
Online shops that are selling soap
& Other Stories – the clothing retailer – still has a selection of liquid hand soaps online. A 250ml bottle is £6, they come in pretty colours and a range of different scents, too. The brand is offering free home delivery and 100 days free returns on all orders, too, btw.
Or, try The Body Shop. You can buy 100g soaps for £2.50, with scents including satsuma, cocoa butter and British rose.
You could also check out local gift stores in your area and see if they’re selling soap online for home delivery.
Can you make your own soap at home?
Shawn Dritz, from The Soap School, teaches people how to make professional-level soaps using practical equipment you’ll probably have to hand, in his soap masterclasses. “You can certainly make soaps from home,” he says. “The majority of the equipment you would need can be found in most kitchens.”
One simple, 10-minute YouTube tutorial uses olive oil, water, and sodium hydroxide (caustic soda). “You can make this at home really simply,” says Sarah Janes, from The Soap School, “with just three ingredients”. You’ll need a stainless steel pan, a hand blender, and a container to put the soap in.
It seems easy enough, but will a homemade soap do the job as well as shop-bought one?
Professor Sally Bloomfield from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine doesn’t believe it’s necessary to make your own. “Why do this?” she tells HuffPost UK. “Instead of using soap you can use a detergent – washing up liquid, bath and shower gel, or shampoo. All of these are called ‘surfactants’ because they are designed to release or loosen dirt, bacteria, viruses, and particulates from surfaces.”
But, she adds, they don’t kill the virus sufficiently to make the hands or other surfaces safe. “To do that, we need to rinse the surface under running water when the soap and the virus will be washed off and down the sink,” she explains. “So all of them are effective provided that – like washing your hands – you rub the surface and thoroughly rinse.”
If you do fancy making your own soap at home (we have enough time, after all), go ahead – it could be a fun way to pass an afternoon. Prof Bloomfield didn’t say it doesn’t work; just know that if you’re looking for something to rid any potential virus off your hands, soap isn’t your only option.
And just in case your homemade bar doesn’t go to plan, it’s probably best to buy from those in the know.