Metro 156

Richard Herring: Put a squeeze on this slippery devil

Wednesday 18 Mar 2015 

The biggest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the public that they should be buying liquid soap dispensers for their homes. At some point in living memory, a soap magnate looked at a bar of soap and thought: ‘We’re not making enough money off of this, what can we do to convince people to spend more?’

And they came up with the idea of putting liquid soap in a plastic dispenser and selling that for five times the price of a bar.

Sure, I know you’re saying: but bars of soap can get all mushy and dirty and disgusting and dispenser soap is always clean. But you’ve just been sucked in by the Soap Satan’s soap lies.

It doesn’t really matter if soap is grubby anyway because it’s soap. It will clean off its own germs, but even if a bar of soap gets a bit manky towards the end it is still cheaper and less wasteful to just buy another bar of soap.
Soap is one of the cheapest substances on Earth (I haven’t looked into this but I assume they just dig it up for free in soap mines).

But you’ve been fooled into paying upwards of £1.50 for it. And you’ve walked into this trap willingly. ‘But Rich,’ I hear you whine, ‘the liquid soap is convenient, due to its liquid nature.’ You know how to make a bar of soap liquidy? Stick it under a hot tap.

Liquid soap perhaps makes sense in some environments, like a public bathroom or a hotel. It’s harder to steal and it seems more hygienic. But that’s partly our own squeamishness at catching the germs of a stranger. Something that soap should prevent.

But to buy this stuff for your own home? Why not just get a shredder, fill it up with five pound notes and wash your hands with those? Warning, don’t do this. It will not clean your hands. And I have to give that warning, because soap consumers are so gullible!

A bar of soap does the job and lasts so long you can practically pass it down the generations as a family heirloom. I don’t want you thinking that I am obsessed with soap, or some kind of tightwad who doesn’t want to splash out money on futuristic liquid soap.

I just hate soap wastage. When I stay in a mildly posh hotel and they give me a nice bar of soap, it feels wrong to use it only four or five times and then let it be thrown away.

So, I take them home with me. And even these tiny bars of soap last literally for eternity. Literally. And I wash my hands after every poo and usually even when I’ve done a wee, though sometimes I just run the tap to trick my wife into thinking I’ve washed them. She will never find out.

A few years ago the soap people really tried to extract the urine (and not just from our hands) by introducing an automatic sensor-driven liquid soap dispenser. They attempted to convince us that even by touching the button on the soap dispenser we were risking infection from the last person who had touched the button. Which, if you think about it, was the same as saying ‘our soap doesn’t work, so you mustn’t touch anything with germs on it before you use it’. We knew that was stupid. But so is all liquid soap.

Join my campaign to get back to regular soap. You’re being taken for a ride by soap billionaires. I wash my hands of them.