WFMY News 2 viewer Valerie Gibson asked, "I have a co-worker who says that bar soap is actually liquid soap held together with talc. The talc is what causes soap scum. So, if you only use liquid body wash products, you won't have soap scum form ever. I find that hard to believe. Could you look into this?"


To verify this question, we turned to the Triad's soap expert. Susan Stringer has owned Jamestown's The Soap Lady Shop for 25 years.


First, Stringer clarified no soap should contain talc. Talc is a natural mineral long linked to cancer. Historically, soap is made from animal fat and lye. She makes hers with pure natural oils and beeswax.

"Here's the marketing gimmick. If it does not say soap on your label, you're using detergent. And Dial is a deodorant bar. So, these things you're picking up and using -- they're actually not a true soap at all."

The Royal Society of Chemistry says when so-called soap reacts with hard water, the calcium and magnesium particles react and form a solid substance in your shower or bath tub. But Stringer says be careful what you call it.

"It's unfair to call it soap scum. It's a detergent scum. Soap doesn't form at all, because there's nothing in it. It goes right down the drain," Stringer said.


Back to Valerie's original question: we verified bar soap isn't made with talc, and neither bar soap nor liquid soap should cause scum. If they do, you're using a detergent -- not real soap.


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