*Last Updated: June 2024

The 5 Best Antibacterial Body Washes [Ranked]

All soap will purge bacteria to some degree. However, if you’re searching for something that truly destroys and expels bacteria, the body wash will have to include some type of disinfectant.

Enter: antibacterial body wash.

According to New Scientist:

“Antibacterials are compounds that interfere with the growth and reproduction of bacteria, and can be used to disinfect surfaces in the home. They are added to some soaps, detergents, skincare products and household cleaners.”

It’s a fact that what looks clean to the naked eye may not be essentially free from all detrimental bacteria.

So, how do you ensure that you’re maintaining your health at the highest possible level?

The simple answer is by using an antibacterial body wash.

These days, when air pollution is so high, the term “antibacterial” has become quite popular in the field of soaps, body, and hand washes and, there’re reasons behind it.

One single antibacterial body wash can help you get healthier skin and all-round protection while helping you in treating certain skin disorders (Source) that usually occur due to bacterial infections.


Comparing Them

SaleBestseller No. 1
Dove Body Wash Care & Protect Antibacterial 4 Count For All Skin Types Protects from Dryness 20 Fl oz (Pack of 4) (Packaging may vary)
5,925 Reviews
SaleBestseller No. 3
Antibacterial Body Wash - Antibacterial Soap And Tea Tree Body Wash For Jock Itch, Athletes Foot, Eczema And Back Acne - Anti Bacterial Body Soap For Men And Women Safe For All Skin Types - 8 Oz
  • SOOTHES AND NOURISHES DRY, ITCHY SKIN - Derma-Nu Therapeutic Antibacterial Body Wash gently cleanses skin and provides soothing and nourishing relief from dry, itchy skin. This multi-action antibacterial soap helps calm and relieve jock itch, athletes foot, ringworm, toenail and nail fungus, body acne, and more.
Bestseller No. 5
VITA VIE Antibacterial Body Wash, 12 oz
  • Helps to Wash Away and Protect Against Skin Irritations.

Good Or Bad?

The Ken Berry YouTube channel had an interesting take, saying “The bacteria on your skin, in your mouth and on your counter are your friends. Using soaps with Triclosan, Triclocarban or ay of the other antibacterial agents in soap isn’t helping anything, and is probably doing harm.” (Source)

Buying Guide

Though an antibacterial body wash is something that can be found in almost every home these days, not all of them are equally effective or safe to use.

  • Ideally, you should always look for an antibacterial body wash with natural ingredients and the one that lathers well, leaving your skin smooth and moisturized. If you’ve dry skin, a moisturizing, antibacterial body wash should be the right option.
  • In case you tend to shower multiple times a day (for example, in the morning and after working out in the evening), look for a product that would be easy to rinse off.
  • Body washes containing eucalyptus and peppermint (Source) are especially useful for providing you with a cooling sensation.
  • Generally, body odors are triggered by bacteria and thus, if an antibacterial body wash fails to leave you smelling fresh, it may not be much effective.
  • Go for products with plant ingredients to get an invigorating sensation and an excellent aroma.
  • Finally, it’s strongly suggested to avoid products carrying harmful components like Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Diethanolamine, etc at their prolonged use may trigger conditions like irritation in the eyes, inflammatory skin reaction, etc.
  • The use of these products may also make your skin oilier due to the loss of natural skin oils, which have been stripped by them.

More Details

An antibacterial body wash is a cleansing product that fights bacteria and genuinely eliminates them, keeping you safe from the damages caused by them.

Such products come with a common goal of providing protection against bacteria while prioritizing maximum self-hygiene.

What distinguishes an antibacterial body wash from a regular, ordinary body wash is that the former not only cleans dirt, sweat, excess oil, etc but also protects the skin for hours after washing, helping in the fight against infection and illness.

It can also help in inhibiting body odor, which may result when germs multiply on the skin naturally.

As our surrounding is increasingly becoming more unhygienic because of the rise in air pollution (Source), it has become utmost important that we make use of products like antibacterial body washes more diligently.

Using such a product can bring a multitude of benefits your way including immunity to diseases, treatment of certain skin conditions like athlete’s foot (Source), rashes, among others.

Additionally, body washes having low pH can offer a smooth texture to your skin.

Most of these products are made using a broad range of natural ingredients that are not only perfect for your skin but suitable for the environment as well.

Natural Antibacterial Body Wash

Bestseller No. 1
Truremedy Naturals Remedy Tea Tree Oil Body Wash - Body Wash That Helps Body Odor, Ringworm, & Skin Irritations - Tea Tree Soap Body Wash (1 pk, 12 oz)
  • HELPS SKIN IRRITATIONS - Our 100% natural tea tree, mint, and aloe tea tree soap is a powerful odor eliminator that helps moisturize the skin and soothe common skin irritations.

A natural antibacterial body wash comes with native plant antiseptic components like tea tree oils (Source), eucalyptus oil, etc.

These ingredients offer lots of benefits including antimicrobial effects, anti-inflammatory functions, moisturizing effects, among others.

Additionally, these products help to reduce the adverse effects of the chemicals on the environment.

For instance, the wastewater from the shower usually finds its way to water bodies where it may endanger marine life if you’re using a chemical body wash.

For Surgery

SaleBestseller No. 1
Hibiclens – Antimicrobial, Antiseptic Soap and Skin Cleanser 8oz for Home Hospital 4% CHG
  • Trusted by Healthcare: Hibiclens Antiseptic Skin Cleanser has been a trusted product among many hospitals and care centers for over 40 years as a skin cleanser in pre-operative patient bathing, and for help in reducing the risk of surgical site infections

You can play a crucial role in maintaining your own health before undergoing surgery- combining well with nitrile gloves.

As our skin isn’t sterile, it’s extremely important to make sure that it remains as clean as possible.

While before any surgery your skin will be thoroughly prepared with antiseptic, it can work better when the skin is clean.

And this is exactly where an antibacterial body wash can help you out.

As these products not only fight harmful bacteria but also kill them, you can be assured of having the highest level of cleanliness of your skin when undergoing surgery.

Different Types

Generally, antibacterial body washes can be divided into two categories, natural and chemical.

As we’ve already discussed the natural ones, let’s see what a chemical antibacterial body wash is.

These products are made using synthetic ingredients and share a fair percentage of the skincare market.

However, if you’ve to pick them, look for one that contains Chloroxylenol.

It’s a clinical-grade ingredient that’s used in hospitals to clean incisions after surgeries and wounds.

Hence, a body wash with Chloroxylenol will serve as both a disinfectant and a reliable antiseptic.

For Men

Bestseller No. 1
Dove Men+Care Body Wash Skin Defense 4 Count For Smooth and Hydrated Skin Care Effectively Washes Away Bacteria While Nourishing Your Skin 18 oz
  • Dove Men+Care Skin Defense Antibacterial Body Wash is tough on dirt and germs eliminating 99% of bacteria, but easy and comfortable on skin

Be it the humid coastal temperatures or the scorching sun or field jobs, there’re lots of reasons that can make a man feel a bit sweaty and messy.

Hence, it becomes quite important to pick an antibacterial body wash for men to stay amped up and hydrated even in the worst weather conditions.

If you’ve eczema or acne, you should go for a natural body wash that’s free from unnecessary components.

Non-natural products would be an ideal option when you’ve truly good skin.

In general, the latter would help you enjoy cost-efficacy over and above the former.

DIY Antibacterial Body Wash

Despite the presence of “natural” labels on antibacterial body washes that are available at the drugstore, if you think they may contain harmful chemicals, you can always take the DIY route to make such a product yourself.

It’s absolutely easy to make one using some simple ingredients like tea tree essential oil (twenty drops), lavender essential oil or eucalyptus essential oil (ten drops), jojoba oil (one tsp), and one 16 oz bottle of unscented liquid castile soap (Source).

All you need to do is to add the oils to your castile soap bottle. Remember to shake the mixture well before each use.

Common Ingredients

There’s a broad range of ingredients used in making antibacterial body washes.

As almost all of us use this product to stay away from illnesses, it’s important to learn a bit about their ingredients.

There’re some natural products that blend ingredients like tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil.

These would be good when you’re looking for a product that would not only help in curing dry skin and fungal and bacterial infections but also in combating free radicals by performing as an antioxidant.

Common ingredients found in non-natural antibacterial body washes include citric acid, glycerin, water, and a good number of chemicals.

It’s important to note that while these chemicals might offer a certain degree of effectiveness against harmful bacteria, they may also come with a higher possibility of producing cross-resistance of the bacteria.

Apart from the common ingredients, some antibacterial body washes also contain Twilight Jasmine and lavender that gives them aromatic properties.

Such a product would be an excellent choice if you’re looking to smell fresh after having a shower.

You should also keep in mind that some of the body washes come with a formulation that’s usually highly potent and thus, can trigger skin irritation.

Therefore, you’ve to be extra cautious when using them to avoid contact with the mouth and the eyes.

The Top 5 Team

We are a team of product researchers that specializes in assembling comprehensive buying guides. Our team has a variety of backgrounds, with a mixture of soft and hard sciences represented. Check out our About page to read more about our reviews and editorial process.