Besides the common combination between fatty acids and sodium hydroxide base (NaOH), the antibacterial soaps must contain either triclosan, or triclocarbon. Triclosan is a chemical component which kills bacteria and germs, but it has also a negative impact on health since it is proved that even low levels of triclosan can affect the thyroid's function. The antibacterial soaps prove its efficiency only if the exposure time to the active ingredient triclosan is more than 2 minutes, which is usually not the case, since most of the people tends to shorten the washing hands process.
The use of antibacterial soaps is not the key to the total prevention against harmful bacteria and germs since some of them cannot be killed by the active ingredients contained by antibacterial cleaning solutions. According to several studies, comparing the killing bacteria efficiencies of an antibacterial soap and a normal soap yields that the first one kills about 97% bacteria, while the second one kills around 95% bacteria. Hence, the use of regular soaps can be as well efficient as the use of antibacterial soaps.
The antibacterial soap was patented in 1984, December 25, by the scientists Peter Divone and David Joshi.