5 Best Antibacterial Body Washes – Review & Buying Guide

Posted by , Updated on October 27, 2023

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Antibacterial soaps offer protection by cleansing away disease-causing germs. Harmful bacteria are everywhere, and the proliferation of antibacterial soaps was first as a result of an intensive medical campaign against bugs.

Today, we use antibacterial body washes in our homes to keep our families safe from illnesses. This post looks at some of the best antibacterial body soaps in the market so you can choose the best option.

Buying Guide for Antibacterial Body Wash

Not all antibacterial body washes are safe or effective. A few years ago, I used an antibacterial body wash that left my face with scars that took more than a year to heal. It burned like acid. I hadn’t realized that I have sensitive skin.

I also had no clue about what to look for in antibacterial soap. Because of my never-ending feud with acne, I went back shopping again for an antibacterial body wash, this time armed with the right information.

An antibacterial body wash with natural ingredients is the safest

The best antibacterial body washes use native plant antiseptic products. Top among them is tea tree oils. Tea tree oil has substantive antimicrobial effects together with anti-inflammatory and antiviral functions. Body washes that contain this ingredient are effective for battling acne, athlete’s foot and contact dermatitis among other conditions.

Another natural ingredient of note in the best body washes in eucalyptus oil. Some soaps combine both tea tree oil and eucalyptus. The latter is a moisturizer and an antioxidant that protects the skin from free radicals and therefore can help cure acne.

The right body wash should foam a thick lather

There are antibacterial body washes that hardly froth. Such soaps may not be potent and are only efficient in large amounts. It is also important to note that soaps that lather well leave the skin moisturized and smooth. Those that don’t will likely leave you dry with a tingling sensation.

Chloroxylenol is the right ingredient to look for in a chemical body wash

Body washes that use synthetic ingredients still have a firm hold of the market. If you have to choose them, find one that contains Chloroxylenol. The latter is a clinical-grade ingredient that is used in hospitals to clean wounds and incisions after surgeries. A body wash with Chloroxylenol will, therefore, serve as a reliable antiseptic and disinfectant at the same time.

A moisturizing body wash is the better option

Antibacterial, moisturizing body washes are usually creamy and look like lotions. The lather they foam is also thick. Apart from cleansing, such soaps additionally help to condition your skin. If you are struggling with dry skin, such a body wash would be the right pick.

Think about the environment

It is recommendable to choose antibacterial body washes with natural ingredients because of the effect that chemicals have on the environment. The wastewater from your shower usually eventually finds its way to rivers and water bodies where it endangers marine life. Some chemicals might be effective against bacteria and fungi but dangerous to toddlers, pets and fish.

Post-workout body washes should be easy to rinse off

If you shower more than once a day (say in the morning and after the gym in the evening), you need an antibacterial soap that is easy to rinse off. Experts say that too much washing can leave the skin dry. They recommend just a simple, quick rinse if you shower more than once in a day. Body washes with peppermint and eucalyptus are particularly useful for a cooling sensation.

The best antibacterial body washes have a sweet fragrance

Commonly, body odors are caused by bacteria, and if an antibacterial soap doesn’t leave you smelling fresh, then it probably isn’t effective. Away from that though, the chemical composition of some soaps give them a pungent smell. Such detergents won’t give you a pleasant showering experience. Body washes that use plant ingredients tend to have a lovely aroma and an invigorating sensation.

Beware of harmful ingredients

Experts advise to avoid antibacterial body washes that carry the following components:

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: This ingredient irritates the eyes and might cause hair follicle damage. With continued use, this ingredient might cause asthma attacks.
  • Ammonium Laureth Sulfate: It similarly irritates the eyes and the scalp, and leaves the skin feeling dry.
  • Alpha Olefin Sulfonate: It contains some small amounts of benzene which is poisonous
  • Diethanolamine: This ingredient can easily be absorbed into the skin, and after that, it might induce toxic (carcinogenic) effects on your whole immune system.
  • Triethanolamine: This compound causes eye and scalp irritation and might affect mucous membranes if used for a long time

Best Antibacterial Body Wash Reviews

[amazon link=B01BICMJ16 title=”1. Defense Soap Body Wash” /]

[amazon box=B01BICMJ16 title=” “]

The Defense Soap body wash is an antibacterial soap that blends ingredients such as tea tree and eucalyptus oil. Factually speaking, tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic that can help cure dandruff, dry skin, acne, and many other fungal and bacterial infections on the surface.

Another reason why it might be okay to favorite this soap is the eucalyptus oil component. The latter is known to be effective at combating free radicals by acting as an antioxidant. If you are battling acne and other breakouts, a soap that contains such an ingredient can be your best ally.

The manufacturers also assert that the Defense body wash is a hypoallergenic soap. It might be the right antibacterial soap; therefore, if you have sensitive skin.

You might like the fact that this soap is a high-density leather soap. Because of that, the detergent is potentially effective in small amounts.

The downside here is that pregnant or lactating mothers cannot use this antibacterial soap without a doctor’s guidance.

Defense Soap Body Wash Pros & Cons


  • Has natural active ingredients that can work fungal and bacterial infections, dry skin and ringworm,
  • This soap doesn’t use any chemicals
  • The essential oils in it can also invigorate and nourish your skin
  • It lathers well


  • The soap leaves a body film (not good for post workout cleansing)
  • You might not like its aroma (doesn’t smell like the natural plant ingredients it uses)

[amazon link=B003VCYLGI title=”2. Softsoap Antibacterial Liquid Hand Soap” /]

[amazon box=B003VCYLGI title=” “]

Liquid antibacterial soaps have soaring popularity because they minimize the exchange the transaction of germs between different users.

The Softsoap antibacterial liquid soap comes in a 32 oz. Capacity bottle. According to the manufacturers, this product can be useful in the fight against various types of bacteria like E. coli and S. aureus.

The ingredients include water, sodium chloride, sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate, fragrance, Cocamidopropyl betaine, tetrasodium EDTA, DMDM hydantoin, citric acid, polyquaternium -7, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, hydrolyzed silk, and glycerin.

Even though these chemicals might demonstrate a certain degree of effectiveness against bacteria, beware that in doing so, they have a higher risk of producing cross-resistant bacteria. For that reason, a soap that uses natural plant ingredients like the Defense Soap Oatmeal 4 Ounce Bar might be your best pick.

Nevertheless, Softsoap antibacterial liquid soap has a gentle consistency that I thought it felt like water. That can be a desirable factor, especially if you distaste soap types that are hard to rinse off. Its light nature also means that the soap won’t clog your dispenser.

The chemical composition of the soap, glycerine, in particular, makes it an excellent moisturizer. This body wash might, therefore, be a good option if you are looking for a cleanser that is gentle on your sensitive skin.

Softsoap Antibacterial Liquid Pros & Cons


  • It lathers up well and is easy to rinse
  • It leaves no residue behind
  • The dispensing bottle is well designed
  • It has a lovely aroma


  • It feels too diluted and is therefore not efficient in small amounts

[amazon link=B017TQRPOG title=”3. Derma-nu Antifungal Antibacterial Soap Foot & Body Wash” /]

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If you want to go back to a holistic kind of healing, then natural antibacterial soaps are your best bet in the fight against villainy germs. The Derma-nu Soap uses Tea tree and eucalyptus oils as the main ingredients. In that regard, you might find this soap to be effective against ring warms, acne dandruff, jock itch, and other bacterial and fungal infections.

Because of the mint and wintergreen plant ingredients, the Derma-nu soap leaves behind a lovely aroma, much unlike the Defense soap.

The manufacturers say that the soap is primarily an after-work out cleaner for athletes. Supposedly, the rooibos tea ingredient included makes it an intense exfoliator.

Derma-nu Antifungal Antibacterial Soap Pros & Cons


  • The soap uses natural ingredients (they are much safer on you and the environment)
  • Has a naturally sweet aroma
  • The soap is a good exfoliator
  • It can kill bacteria and nourish your skin as well (the effect of antioxidants)


  • It comes only in tiny bars
  • Its exfoliation performance is questionable (it doesn’t use textured solidifiers like the Defense soap)

[amazon link=B00IFWC058 title=”4. Dial Antibacterial Body Wash with Moisturizers” /]

[amazon box=B00IFWC058 title=” “]

For active antibacterial defense, soaps with a chemical composition still have a firm hold on the market. The Dial Antibacterial body wash soap is one such that might warrant your consideration.
Its main active ingredient is Benzalkonium Chloride 0.10%. However, the Dial soap packs other constituents such as Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Cocoate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Palmate, Talc, Coconut Acid, and many others.

The manufacturers say that this formulation helps to provide a creamy and moisturizing lather. In that regard, this soap might be a 2-in-1 detergent for disinfection and conditioning of your skin.
Apart from its chemical formulation, the soap contains Lavender & Twilight Jasmine that gives it its aromatic properties. That can be an excellent qualifying factor if you are looking to smell fresh after hitting the shower.

Dial Antibacterial Body Wash Pros & Cons


  • It contains strong antibacterial ingredients
  • Has a pleasant aroma
  • It is gentle on the skin and lathers well


  • This soap might leave your skin a little too dry
  • It leaves soap scum in the shower

[amazon link=B00YNH6WLM title=”5. Dettol Original Antibacterial pH-balanced Body Wash” /]

[amazon box=B00YNH6WLM title=” “]

This antibacterial soap blends plant and artificial ingredients. The natural parts include pine oil and castor oil. These are known to be good hydrating agents. For that reason, you might find that this soap is effective at countering inflammation and post work out chafe.

The active ingredient that gives Dettol its antibacterial properties is Chloroxylenol, which is naturally an aromatic chemical compound. You might be pleased to know that this is a safe compound because it’s not among the list of FDA-banned antibacterial soap components.

Also, remember that Chloroxylenol found in Dettol is a clinical compound used in hospitals to disinfect wounds or clean up after surgeries. In that regards, one can expect this soap to be of the highest degree of performance when it comes to combating germs. The manufacturer says that its formulation helps to counter 99 % of all bacteria.

Because of the antiseptic properties of Dettol, the soap can come in handy in cleaning wounds and cuts. The makers also say the soap can actively guard against bacteria and viruses like E.coli and influenza.

The significant drawback here is that Dettol soap formulation is usually so potent that it causes skin irritation. You will need to be extra cautious to avoid contact with the eyes and the mouth.

Dettol Original Antibacterial Pros & Cons


  • Its main compound is a medical-grade disinfectant
  • It contains natural essential oils that can moisturize the skin
  • It has a naturally sweet aroma
  • It’s harsh on germs


  • This soap can be harsh especially if you have gentle skin
  • It leaves behind a dry and tingling feeling

The Best Pick

We are generally drawn to natural products in the face of an ever-growing environmental consciousness. We thus prefer antibacterial body washes containing tea tree and eucalyptus oil. Soaps containing chemicals might not be suitable for your skin or the environment. For that reason, the best pick of the bunch is the [amazon link=B017TQRPOG title=”Derma-nu Antifungal Antibacterial Soap Foot & Body Wash” /].

The tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil components of this soap are effective at guarding against germs and minor skin infections. These ingredients also pack plenty of antioxidants that nourish and protect the skin from free radicals. Unlike the Defense Soap body wash, which is another natural soap in this review, the Derma-nu leaves behind a desirable aroma and is also a good exfoliator.