Good ol’ soap and water will save us all—here are our favorite ways to keep it sudsy

For the Love of All That Is Good, People, Please Don’t DIY Your Hand Sanitizer

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We love a good DIY, but for real, you all, this is not the time for trying to save a buck on cleaning products. Earlier this week a New Jersey convenience store clerk tried to turn a quick buck by diluting industrial-strength foaming disinfectant into hand wash bottles, sold it, and four kids ended up with chemical burns. Burning kids while trying to cash in on a global viral pandemic? Not cool, convenience store clerk!

Besides avoiding crowds, the current advice from medical professionals in preventing the spread of SARS CoV-2 (aka novel coronavirus) can be summed up with one simple instruction:

🧼 Wash Your Dang Hands, People 🧼

Hand-washing with soap and water (not industrial cleaners, or tiny washcloths) is THE most effective line of defense against spreading SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19, for which there is famously as yet no cure). Our ever-present, super-affordable, totally amphiphilic friend SOAP is here to save us all. And best of all, it doesn’t matter what kind we use, as long we wash for a full 20 seconds (or long enough to sing the first verse of “Shimmy Shimmy-Ya“). 🧼

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If you can’t make it over to Bathing Culture for the good stuff, there are still tons of good-smelling, eco-friendly soaps available (if there was ever a time to #treatyoself with bougie hand soap it’s now). Here are some of our favorite brands.

Dr. Bronner’s

Dr. Bronner’s ubiquitous liquid castile soap is the all-purpose hippie wash that many of us in the West grew up on. Invented by a chemist who escaped from a mental institution (as evidenced by the ramblings on the label), we’ll always have a bottle or two kicking around the bathroom sink. When diluted with water, it takes just a spoonful to make a foaming hand wash dispenser that will bring us closer to godliness with every pump.

Pacha Soap Co.

We love Pacha’s products for everything from hand washing to bathing, not just because they smell like a dream, but they promote small business opportunities, their ingredients are ethically sourced, and they have hygiene education programs to get more hand-washing in schools. Their soaps are available throughout the West, including at Whole Foods.


We love Method because not only have they been at the good-smelling, stylishly packaged, green cleaner game for a couple of decades, but also they use renewable energy to make their products. And they’re widely available, making it easy for most everyone to access them. They were also the first company to make triple-concentrated detergents, requiring less packaging (we love the foaming hand wash refills).

A Word About Essential Oils

Some of our friends are trying homemade hand sanitizer solutions using thyme or oregano essential oil and rubbing alcohol—while some studies have found that some essential oils are effective against a handful of gram-positive bacteria like E. coli and Staph (specifically, oils that contain thymol), please remember that SARS-CoV-2 is a virus, not a bacterium. Also note that no thymol-based disinfectants are currently approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use against SARS-CoV-2. Please maintain a robust hand washing regimen with soap and water. Stay healthy, friends!

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