11-29-2015, 10:47 PM
#1
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Here is a good question, how do you sanitize a partially used container of soap you get in a trade?

Its come in contact with bodily fluids, and cant really be sanitized like a razor can be. So what does someone do? I have always seen people trading off partially used soap and cream, and its just weird to me?

Sure if someone trades off a partial tube of arko shave cream, its not THAT unsafe as a partial tube of toothpaste would be.

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 11-30-2015, 06:14 AM
#2
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Well....it is soap. Hot water and a dab of aftershave containing alcohol on the puck should do. Alternatively you can scrape a fine layer off the top. 

I know some people have an aversion to  partially used soap but I'm not one of them.

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 11-30-2015, 06:49 AM
#3
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I don't think it is weird, but I personally don't buy or use soaps that have been lathered by someone else, that's just me.  But the same could be said about brushes, so...... Biggrin

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 11-30-2015, 09:31 AM
#4
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for me i scrape a very very thin layer off the top and then use some 91% alcohol (just a bit) on the top. i have yet to have the alcohol ruin any of my soaps doing this.

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 11-30-2015, 10:00 AM
#5
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There is a 1988 NIH study that showes that soap (bar soap) doesn't transfer bacteria.  Still not a bad idea to head the advice to scrap a bit off and clean with alcohol.

Washing with contaminated bar soap is unlikely to transfer bacteria.

Abstract
Recent reports of the isolation of microorganisms from used soap bars have raised the concern that bacteria may be transferred from contaminated soap bars during handwashing. Since only one study addressing this question has been published, we developed an additional procedure to test this concern. In our new method prewashed and softened commercial deodorant soap bars (0.8% triclocarban) not active against Gram-negative bacteria were inoculated with Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa to give mean total survival levels of 4.4 X 10(5) c.f.u. per bar which was 70-fold higher than those reported on used soap bars. Sixteen panelists were instructed to wash with the inoculated bars using their normal handwashing procedure. After washing, none of the 16 panelists had detectable levels of either test bacterium on their hands. Thus, the results obtained using our new method were in complete agreement with those obtained with the previously published method even though the two methods differ in a number of procedural aspects. These findings, along with other published reports, show that little hazard exists in routine handwashing with previously used soap bars and support the frequent use of soap and water for handwashing to prevent the spread of disease.

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 11-30-2015, 10:14 AM
#6
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i don't really trust most of the infectious disease material from the government published in the 80s. or the early 90s.  you can find published manuals telling you that a non reusable syringe can be sterilized for medical use after each use. ..

we can soak a razor in barbicide as many times as we want to, and may not kill any microorganism trapped under grease. So if the hiv or aids virus is protected from barbicide and medical sterilization technique, by a small speck of grease on a stainless steel tool, then how can a person really feel confident that a splash of 91% iso killed everything off?

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 11-30-2015, 10:39 AM
#7
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wow.  Lots of interesting speculation in this thread. 

topcatman, as far as HIV is concerned, it cannot replicate once it is dried out.  It might survive 45-60 minutes on a non-porous surface before it is not longer able to infect anyone.  So you don't really need to worry about HIV on a razor.  Just leave the room, come back in a couple of hours, and it's dead.  

The soap issue is different.  If it were me, I would scrape or wash-off a layer of the soap and then forget about it.  The bacteria aren't drilling holes in the soap so they can get into the deeper layers.  I wouldn't even bother with the alcohol.  (And oh, by the way, 70% alcohol is a better disinfectant than 91% alcohol.)  



On the other hand, if it worries you that much, just don't buy any used soaps.

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 11-30-2015, 11:20 AM
#8
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(11-30-2015, 10:39 AM)kingfisher Wrote: On the other hand, if it worries you that much, just don't buy any used soaps.

This seems like the point the OP is arriving at.  I've personally been involved with either purchasing or buying hundreds of used soaps or creams in tubs and I've never once had any problems whatsoever.  But if the idea of it bothers you, there is virtually nothing you can do to to fully assuage those fears.  I never do anything beside maybe rinsing off the top whenever the soap comes with dried out lather on it, but then again, last night my 4 year old daughter dropped her cupcake on the garage floor and she said that one could be mine.

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 11-30-2015, 11:51 AM
#9
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Warning: I am not a scientist or healthcare professional.

Well it is soap so washing it for 20 seconds under water should help wash bacteria away.

UV light kills bacteria. I think leaving it out in the sun without the top on until it dried would kill some of the germs. Using a magnifying glass should help kill more.

So scrape, wash, dry in sunlight?

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 11-30-2015, 12:56 PM
#10
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(11-30-2015, 11:20 AM)jpakstis. Wrote: This seems like the point the OP is arriving at.  I've personally been involved with either purchasing or buying hundreds of used soaps or creams in tubs and I've never once had any problems whatsoever.  But if the idea of it bothers you, there is virtually nothing you can do to to fully assuage those fears.  I never do anything beside maybe rinsing off the top whenever the soap comes with dried out lather on it, but then again, last night my 4 year old daughter dropped her cupcake on the garage floor and she said that one could be mine.

Kids always seem to say the funniest things, Josh! Biggrin

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 11-30-2015, 01:28 PM
#11
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(And oh, by the way, 70% alcohol is a better disinfectant than 91% alcohol.)  


Never heard that before. Can you explain?

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 11-30-2015, 02:03 PM
#12
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(11-30-2015, 01:28 PM)David Wrote: (And oh, by the way, 70% alcohol is a better disinfectant than 91% alcohol.)  


Never heard that before.  Can you explain?
I'm not kingfisher, but one rationale is, the 91% alcohol, relative to the 70%, will harden/seal bacterial walls, preventing alcohol from entering; many bacteria will not be killed, but just be dormant. On the other hand, with the 70%, the wall should remain porous, allowing alcohol to the kill the organism.

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 11-30-2015, 04:31 PM
#13
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(11-30-2015, 02:03 PM)ask4Edge Wrote:
(11-30-2015, 01:28 PM)David Wrote: (And oh, by the way, 70% alcohol is a better disinfectant than 91% alcohol.)  


Never heard that before.  Can you explain?
I'm not kingfisher, but one rationale is, the 91% alcohol, relative to the 70%, will harden/seal bacterial walls, preventing alcohol from entering; many bacteria will not be killed, but just be dormant. On the other hand, with the 70%, the wall should remain porous, allowing alcohol to the kill the organism.

alcohol sanitizes by denaturing proteins.  A bit of water makes this process more efficient.

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 12-01-2015, 07:01 AM
#14
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Give it a pump of antibacterial soap (the stuff that sez it kills 99% of harmful bacteria) and wash the soap with soap?

My soap does not come in contact with any of my bodily fluids - only the hair of a dead badger - which has been well washed (daily) with soap.

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 12-01-2015, 07:57 AM
#15
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(11-30-2015, 12:56 PM)celestino Wrote: Kids always seem to say the funniest things, Josh! Biggrin

They were really good cupcakes!

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 12-01-2015, 08:11 AM
#16
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Real soap (as opposed to a synthetic detergent bar) has a pH of 8.5 to 10. That in itself makes it pretty hostile to most bacteria, particularly human skin bacteria. Human skin's normal pH is between 4.5 and 5.5.

Bacteria that are adapted to live in the mildly acidic environment of the human skin are unlikely to survive the mildly basic land of soap. This also explains why bacterial growth is not much of a concern in making and storing soap, while questions of rancidity of free oils are.

Non-soap cleansing bars (like Dove) are usually closer to neutral (pH 7), so they have to deal with these questions in other ways.

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 12-01-2015, 08:24 AM
#17
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The more I think about this, I can't help but to remember the times, while in the Army, when I used some really nasty water to field shower, or the days I went without a shower while sitting in some nasty a$$ jungle in Panama or the sands of Iraq.  I still alive and kicking.

So in the bigger picture, a little used soap is actually nothing in comparison.   HmmBiggrin

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 12-01-2015, 11:08 AM
#18
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(12-01-2015, 07:01 AM)BrentS Wrote: Give it a pump of antibacterial soap (the stuff that sez it kills 99% of harmful bacteria) and wash the soap with soap?

My soap does not come in contact with any of my bodily fluids - only the hair of a dead badger - which has been well washed (daily) with soap.

I have been pondering topcatman's "contact with bodily fluids" statement myself.  After considering my own daily procedure with shaving soap, I have decided that the truly useful piece of information that I have gleaned from this thread is to avoid purchasing previously used soap from topcatman.    Shy  (this post is made in a spirit of fraternal joking, I grew up in a large family and we yank each other's chains constantly)

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 12-01-2015, 10:09 PM
#19
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the inadequate 30 second long 5 point shower is not something to talk about and stay polite. seriously, way to many nasty spots to go to.

If the bar of handsoap is nearly self cleansing, then why did the bar of soap in the public bathroom go the way of the do do bird BEFORE the major crisis of Aids started in the 1980s? I have seen a few snips of articles form back them correlating the public hand soap to the spread of disease. And the whole rise of the "hygienic" liquid bathroom soap, followed in the 90s of studies showing how those soaps love to be breeding grounds for bacteria.

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 12-02-2015, 09:30 AM
#20
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Some people do use pucks of soap like a shave stick (and of course shave sticks themselves) which would be rubbed directly on the face. So it's not entirely out of left field to think of a shaving soap coming into contact with your body fluids/oils.

(12-01-2015, 10:09 PM)topcatman Wrote: the inadequate 30 second long 5 point shower is not something to talk about and stay polite. seriously, way to many nasty spots to go to.

If the bar of handsoap is nearly self cleansing, then why did the bar of soap in the public bathroom go the way of the do do bird BEFORE the major crisis of Aids started in the 1980s? I have seen a few snips of articles form back them correlating the public hand soap to the spread of disease. And the whole rise of the "hygienic" liquid bathroom soap, followed in the 90s of studies showing how those soaps love to be breeding grounds for bacteria.

I do remember the wave of liquid soaps coming on the market, but I seem to recall the advertising mostly being about the mess of sticky soap left to sit on the sink than anything health related.

As for public bar soap, like you say above, it's nearly self cleaning. A public restroom w/ a bar of soap is very different from borrowing soap at a friend's, or buying a used shave soap from a previous owner. It doesn't matter how quickly bacteria dry or are killed by the alkalinity if you are using a still-wet soap 3 minutes after the last guy. Not to mention mess, theft, and intentional misuse that would be alleviated by having a closed liquid dispenser rather than a bar. Also, here's an interesting study published by the National Institutes of Health about the unlikeliness of transferring bacteria via a "contaminated" bar.

If you're uncomfortable, then by all means better safe than sorry. And it's certainly possible that there could be a problem. But it's not very likely.

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