Foam Soap vs. Liquid Soap: Pros & Cons of Each Type

Choosing the type and style of soap for a business bathroom is no small decision. You want a soap that is easy for patrons and employees to use, increasing the likelihood that everyone will wash their hands. 

And the scent that permeates the entire room may leave a positive impression on patrons or be a real turnoff.

Then there are the questions of supply management, storage and cost. These are all of equal importance to businesses looking for best practices when managing restrooms. 

Soap is an important consideration for every business. Alsco can help you choose the right products for your business and ensure you always have what you need on hand. We can easily maintain a fully stocked bathroom for your business so you can focus on the other aspects of running it. 

Foam Soap: Pros

There’s no question that foam soap has many benefits. Here are a few of them:

  • Novelty: Foam soap is newer than liquid soap and many people like it for this reason alone. Some people may wash their hands just to use the soap when they might otherwise have bypassed the experience.

  • Texture: Some people like the foaming action of the soap and the way it expands in their hands. They may wash their hands more thoroughly just because they use the soap longer before rinsing it off.

  • Smell: Because foam soaps are new, they are often made with contemporary scents. Instead of just vanilla or an antiseptic smell, foam soaps are more likely to come in scents like Ocean Breeze or Cotton.

  • Visibility: Foam soap is usually white and highly visible, which can show people where the soap is and where it isn’t. This could make it easier for patrons and employees to make sure they get good coverage when handwashing with foam soap.

  • Cost: Foam soap is generally less expensive than liquid soap. In businesses where customers and employees wash their hands frequently throughout the day, the cost savings can be significant over time.

  • Volume: People generally use fewer pumps of foam soap. Because air is injected to make the foam, fewer pumps put a bigger volume of product on the hands than with liquid soap.

Foam Soap: Cons

Foam soap also comes with some disadvantages. Here are a couple of them:

  • Mess: Because foam soap is airy, people often drop some when they dispense it. But the good news is foam soap can be easier to clean up than liquid soap.

Liquid Soap: Pros

Liquid soap has a number of benefits, like these:

  • Texture: Some people prefer the silky feel of liquid soap. If they like the soap, they may be more likely to use it and wash their hands thoroughly.

  • Efficacy: Studies show liquid soap is more effective at getting hands thoroughly clean. 

  • Familiarity: Liquid soap is the norm and foam soap is still relatively new. This means many people will feel more comfortable with the soap they are used to. This can make it more likely they will wash their hands. 

Liquid Soap: Cons

Liquid soap has some key disadvantages too. Here are some: 

  • Cost: Liquid soap tends to cost more than foam soap. When it comes to a product that is used as much as soap in a business, this cost differential can be significant. 

  • Smell: Some liquid soaps can smell antiseptic and clinical rather than inviting. Depending on the type of business, this can be a negative because it contributes to the overall patron experience. If restrooms are primarily for employees, they may be less likely to use the soap every time they go to the bathroom if it smells too harsh. 

  • Mess: Depending on the style of the soap dispenser, liquid soap can leak or drip from the spout, creating an unsightly pooling mess underneath. For employees, it can mean one more thing to have to keep up with and clean throughout the day. Liquid soap also tends to be a bit more difficult to clean up than foam soap.

  • Lack of visibility: It’s not as easy to see liquid soap on the skin as it is with foam soap. Lack of visibility may make it difficult for people to see where the soap is and is not when they’re washing. This may make them less likely to clean their hands thoroughly. 

Bottom Line: Foam Soap vs. Liquid Soap

In a head-to-head comparison of foam and liquid soap, it will depend on your needs. Foam soap comes out on top in terms of cost and ease of use — two of the biggest considerations for businesses. But liquid soap is likely a superior germ killer.

Whichever you choose, partnering with Alsco will ensure your soaps are always topped off and other restroom supplies never run out, so you’ll save a lot of time as well.

Call now to set up a consultation and find out how Alsco can help. We can make the process of keeping your soap stocked much easier for your business.

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