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How do you choose the right hand soap?

Choose hand soap
Written by Jasper Verhoeven | Last update: 06-04-2021

Choosing the right hand soap is an important part of the hygiene measures at a horticultural company; especially when you consider that the hands are perhaps the largest source of pathogens and the impact of a plant disease can be enormous. Because employees wash their hands several times a day, it is not only important that a hand soap cleanses well, but also that you choose a product that does not damage the skin. What should you pay attention to when choosing a hand soap? And can any hand soap be used with any crop? In this article, our specialist explains.

Why is the right hand soap so important?

At about 10% of our body weight, the skin is the largest organ in our body. So you have to take good care of it. Therefore, your choice of hand soap is very important. A good hand soap prevents irritation to the skin and keeps the hands clean. In addition to skin, the crop is also important when choosing hand soap. This is because not every hand soap can be used with every crop. 

Different types of hand soap 

Hand soaps come in different types. There are foam soaps, lotion soaps, granulated soaps and disinfectant soaps. Each type of soap has its own specific properties:
  • Foam soaps: foam soap is hand soap in the form of a foam. Because of its foaming substance, the soap feels very soft and pleasant on the hands when washing. Foam soap can be used without diluting it with water. Foam soap is very economical and therefore cheap to use. It is particularly suitable for sanitary areas and for light soiling. 
  • Lotion soaps: we know lotion soaps as the household soaps. In order to use the soap optimally, the hands must first be made moist. After the soap is applied, it offers quick and effective cleaning for light to mild soiling. Like foam soaps, lotion soaps are mainly used for light soiling and in sanitary areas.
  • Granulated soaps: granulated soaps contain small grains (made from natural materials). This provides an abrasive effect, allowing extreme dirt to be removed from the hands. This includes oil, grease, water-based glue residue, latex-based paint residue and vegetable-based dyes. Use granulated soap dry at first. Make sure the hand soap has been well distributed over the hands and the dirt has been scrubbed away by the scrub grains, then rinse the hands with water. 
  • Disinfectant soaps: is a specially developed hand cleanser for horticulture for ‘wet’ hand disinfection, i.e. with the use of water. The active ingredient benzoic acid is a substance that occurs naturally in many fruits and is used in foodstuffs as a preservative against yeasts, bacteria and molds. It is an environmentally friendly product with a very good effect, without harmful side effects for the skin. It is also a good first step in working hygienically. This soap disinfects the hands and removes the vegetable saps.

Hand soap

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Hand soap with perfume

Many hand soaps contain perfume. Hand soap with perfume should not be used in vegetable cultivation. This has been determined by the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) in the context of food safety. As a vegetable grower it is therefore important to pay close attention to this.



Whitepaper: Hygiene measures in greenhouse horticulture

Hygiene measuresThe impact of a plant disease within your horticulture company can be enormous. You can prevent this with the right hygiene measures. Use this whitepaper to keep your business hygiene well under control. 


Use a dispenser

Hand soap can rot if exposed to oxygen. This is due to the enzymes contained in the hand soap. The soap then decreases in performance and in the worst cases, the soap can even be harmful to the skin. To counteract this, it is best to use a dispenser with an airtight filling. This prevents oxygen from reaching the soap and therefore keeps it fresh for longer. This is also more hygienic than, for example, a jar of soap, because the soap in the packaging cannot come into contact with dirt on someone's hands and cross-contamination cannot occur. 

Hand soap for visitors and office staff

To keep plant diseases out of your company, it is important that everyone who enters the greenhouse washes his or her hands. This applies to visitors, but also to office staff. Make sure that in the places where hands are washed, there is a hand washing protocol present. It states how to wash your hands in the right way.

Hand creams 

Many hand soaps contain solvent. This not only removes the dirt, but also skin oils. This can cause dry hands over time. To protect the skin, you can use hand creams. Apply this to your dry skin after washing your hands. There are hand creams for use during work that protect the skin from external influences. These hand creams are often used in combination with gloves. There are also hand creams for use after work, which nourish the skin and prevent it from drying out. This keeps the skin healthy. 

Questions about hand soaps?

Do you have any questions about hand soaps, or would you like tailored advice on using the right hand washing product? Then please contact disinfection specialist Jasper Verhoeven or ask your question via the form below. We will then contact you as soon as possible - on weekdays even within 24 hours.

Specialist Jasper VerhoevenAbout Jasper Verhoeven

Jasper Verhoeven, product specialist disinfection, is the first point of contact for growers when it comes to hygiene. "Customised advice has become increasingly more important, due to the risen demand for hygiene measures in horticulture and the associated challenges. Every time, I see it as a challenge to help a grower to create the ultimate situation at his enterprise."




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We believe that growers worldwide can maximize the yield of their crops with optimum hygiene. HortiHygienz can be used worldwide as a total solution for operational hygiene. Whatever the question or challenge in the area of operational hygiene, HortiHygienz has the solution for you!

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