The Best And Worst Types Of Hand Soaps In Public Restrooms

You will be very familiar with this list.

December 6, 2018
Hand Soap



Not all hand soaps are created equal!

Post Grad Problems took the liberty to rank all the hand soaps you'll encounter in public restrooms--except, glaringly, powdered soap. Here's how they stack up, from worst to first:

  • Pink soap. Big Hand Soap made this stuff with 24/7 rest stops in mind, and whenever I’m forced to use it I feel dirtier than I did before application. The smell is what I can only describe as institutional and it does not moisturize in any way. I think it actually strips healthy skin away from the hands. I also see it a lot in bowling alleys and airport bathrooms at LaGuardia.
  • Clear soap. Slightly better than the pink stuff, the clear stuff usually comes out of a metal pump dispenser that is attached to the sink or countertop. The only reason it gets a higher ranking than the pink soap is because it doesn’t have any artificial coloring.
  • Foamy soap. I love these boys--typically found in movie theaters, dental offices and recently renovated airport bathrooms--because I don’t have to touch anything. The one downside is probably that they don’t dispense enough of that foamy, delectable goodness in one try, so you have to wave your hand at the detector three or four times to really get a nice lather going. The foamy soap makes me feel safe.
  • Good soap. Usually only available at high-end restaurants, this soap comes in a vintage pump dispenser and typically smells like eucalyptus and mint. It will leave your hands clean and moisturized, and will usually be sopped up by some really nice paper towels.