Can You Use Soap as Lube for ALL TYPES of Sex?

Soap is slippery, especially when it is wet. And since it makes everything slick and slippery, can you use soap as lube for all types of sex? Find out here!

soap as lube

Cleaning with soap is an excellent idea! 

But using soap as a sexual lubricant, maybe NOT SO MUCH. It does not matter if these soaps are liquid, dish soaps, shower gels, and even soaps in their bar form.

Is there a risk to your health in using soap as a lubricant? Does it leave a lasting impact on your bodily functions?

These are some of the questions one can have regarding the use of soap during all types of sex – vaginal, anal sex, etc.

So take some time to read this article. And know whether or not it is a wise decision for you to try out.


Using Soap As A Lubricant

Is soap a good lubricant for sex?

That would be a resounding NO.

It is NOT advisable, under any circumstances, and no matter the situation. Here are some reasons as to why.

Reasons You Should Not Use Soap As Lube

  • Commercial soaps are not for internal use, including vaginal or anal sex. So don’t ever use soap as a lubricant.
  • For women, using soap as lubrication can lead to vulvitis. This inflammation of the genital region causes itching and may also cause a burning sensation.
  • When used as a lubricant, soap can irritate the penis, and, in rare instances, the urethra might become inflamed.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate (SLSA) and other harsh surfactants are frequently used in soap formulations to remove oils and grime from the skin. However, these substances may irritate sensitive places like the vagina, labia minora, or anus.
  • Additionally, soap can alter the pH of the vulva and vagina, upsetting its average balance and increasing the risk of discomfort or infection.
  • Soap is inefficient as a lubricant because the skin can absorb soap during extended contact and rinses away too rapidly with water.

All types of soap are equivalent in this regard. Soap is only best for washing; therefore, DON’T USE THEM AS LUBE!


The Types of Soap to AVOID

To be frank, avoid ALL types of soap if you use soap as lube.

These include:

  • Hand soaps
  • Bar soaps
  • Liquid soaps
  • Dish soaps
  • Body wash
  • And even other gentle soap products

Although soap may be slippery when wet, the detergents, surfactants, and other compounds it usually contains don’t combine or operate alone to generate a safe lubricant.

It’s not a good idea to use soap as a lubricant since it dries up rapidly without water and increases friction despite first appearing slippery.

Just imagine adding water to your soap. It’ll just wash it away, making it useless.

The primary purpose of these products is to remove oils and grime from the skin. Therefore, they have surfactants and detergents in their ingredients. They also frequently include other fragrances and, at times, dye.

Regardless of sex or gender, these components can be pretty upsetting to the genital area.

Soap alters the body’s natural pH in women, which could cause discomfort or infection. Therefore, even external masturbating with soap might result in vulvitis.

Additionally, using soap as lubrication can irritate men’s penises.

Soap can irritate the penis generally, resulting in balanitis on the penis’s head. In addition, if soap gets into the urethra, it can cause urethritis, irritation, and inflammation.

Last but not least, no soap is for internal usage. It’s not suited for the vagina or the anus. 

So what’s the solution?

Use only safe lubricants from well-known companies. Or you could opt for safe lube alternatives.

Your body deserves proper care. Therefore, you should put some effort into giving it the care it needs. Besides, sex in any form has to be pleasurable, NOT painful.


Can I Use Soap as Lube for Vaginal Sex?

NO, it’s not safe. It does not matter how you look at it. 

Commercial soap, whether in liquid or solid form, is likely to contain surfactants, which can aggravate those with sensitive skin. Surfactants are surface-active chemicals that act as solvents to remove oil and dirt.

Surfactants enable the soap to penetrate the top layer of the skin, which is beneficial for overall cleansing but harmful for the vagina.

Even during external masturbation alone, using soap as lube may lead to vulvitis.

In addition, soap has a relatively high pH that, depending on the brand, is frequently in the 9 to 10 range. The pH of the vagina, which is typically between 3.8 and 4.5, is substantially lower than that.

You risk developing inflammation, irritation, and infection by altering your body’s pH by using soap as a lubricant.

Vaginas essentially clean themselves, and using soap can upset the pH balance of the vaginal canal, which can be uncomfortable.

Again, soap or even body wash should not be for internal use.

Of course, as long as you are not sensitive to it and thoroughly rinse after washing, it is acceptable to wash your vagina or anus with soap. The labia majora and vulva can still tolerate that brief contact.


Can I Use Soap as Lube for Anal Sex?

Again, NO. Soap is not advisable for use as an anal lubricant.

Even while the anus isn’t as particular about pH maintenance as the vagina, washing is abrasive on sensitive skin, and the anus is no exception.

Anal pH has a range from 7 to 8. The soap’s pH ranges from 9 to 10. Therefore even if the anal pH is closer to that of soap, it is still not appropriate for use as anal lubrication.

As we’ve already discussed, soap contains surfactants intended to serve as detergents to remove filth and oil. However, these surfactants are too harsh to be used inside the anus and may cause inflammation, infection, or irritation.

You don’t want to spend the day having an itchy butthole… unless you have a rare and unusual kink. (I hope not.)

As much as possible, only use soap as instructed by the label. Don’t use it for other means like for internal use.

Using soap to clean the outside of the anus while taking a shower or bath is safe. BUTTTT, you should rapidly rinse it off and avoid doing any sort of anal penetration.

There are considerably more desirable alternatives for anal intercourse.


Soap Ingredients Worth Noting

Soap is safe when used as suggested, as long as you don’t have any allergies or sensitivities to its components. Although, what reacts in the formula depends on its creation.

All varieties of liquid soap, including bar soap, are often manufactured by mixing an acid and alkali, such as butter or oil. 

When combined, a chemical transformation called “saponification” takes place, removing the lye and producing a finished product suited for cleansing without damaging the skin. 

The duration of this process can be weeks.

Liquid soap and body wash utilize potassium hydroxide, a different type of lye than bar soap. But the method is the same — there is fat in the mixture.

Shea butter, olive oil, grease, cocoa butter, tree nut oils like hazelnut or almond, and other plant or animal fats are a few examples of various fats found in soap. Additionally, it may contain surfactants, which are surface-active detergents.

One known IRRITANT is sodium lauryl sulfate.

Even though SLSA is derived from vegetables and is considered safer, it should NOT be for internal usage. 

Glycerin soaps frequently contain fewer surfactants so that they may appear safer. Even the label reassures you that it’s “moisturizing,” which makes skincare sound safe.

Something to note

However, remember that “safe for internal usage” and “safe for skin” are two different things.

Yeast infections are also known to be facilitated by glycerin.

All types of soaps also contain various dyes and scents, which might irritate sensitive genital skin. So be cautious when handling soaps with pretty colors, fragrances, or those that have a shimmer effect.

Also, some luxury soaps contain parabens, which are carcinogens. So pay attention to the ingredients before using them on your skin.


Safe Lube Types and Natural Lubricants

It is best to choose lube created and intended for personal use instead of using soap as a lubricant.

Available choices you may want to try out include:

  • Silicone-based lube
  • Water-based lube
  • Oil-based lube
  • Natural lubricants

If you’re unsure which lubricant to choose, read through some of our in-depth insights. There is a suitable lube for every need and situation. 


Silicone-Based Lubes

Whether silicone- or water-based lubes are better depends heavily on how you intend to use them.

Since silicone-based lubricants stay longer than water-based ones, they require less frequent reapplication. They’re also compatible with condoms.

Because of their thicker consistency and smooth texture, silicone-based lubes are a much better option for ANAL SEX than soap, and they’re even great for SHOWER SEX.

A word of caution: Silicone lubes and silicone sex toys DO NOT mix well.

You don’t want to use the wrong lube. That will just ruin your toy, the vibe, and your experience. 


Water-Based Lubes

There’s a reason why water-based lubricants are popular among users.

These lubricants are soluble in water, to start.

Water-based lube keeps stains to a minimum and makes cleanup simple. They also have a similar feel to what the body naturally creates.

Even better, this lube is compatible with any dental dam, diaphragm, or condom without causing breakage.

Water-based lubricants are compatible with the most used materials for sex toys, including silicone, annealed glass, metal, and plastic.

Simply said, soap as lubrication can never compare to what water-based lubes can accomplish. 


Oil-Based Lubes

Oil-based lubricants are frequently used by those who are wary about using the natural or organic variety.

Types of oils may include:

  • Olive oil
  • Vitamin E oil
  • Almond oil
  • Hazelnut oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Cashew oil
  • Shea oil

Avoiding many of these oils is advisable if you have allergies.

Although they don’t get along with diaphragms, dental dams, latex, or polyisoprene condoms, oil-based lubes are safe for vaginal or anal sex.

An important note

Oil-based lubes shouldn’t be used during oral sex because users may experience a choking risk. So keep that in mind next time. 


Natural Lubricants

Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the ingredients they take in and even on their bodies.

If that’s you, it’s crucial to realize that the phrase “natural” is just a marketing gimmick with no actual meaning in terms of how its components came to be. 

When a product is labeled “organic,” it signifies that its materials have been certified as having organic ingredients. When they say “natural,” a product can be labeled as that without adhering to any legal or FDA requirement. 

Natural and organic lubricants are usually from seed or nut oils, which may not be ideal for people with allergies to such substances.


At-Home Lube Alternatives

You may be wondering what you may use in its place now that you know soap should not be a lubricant.

Well, here are a few options you may want to consider:

  • Aloe vera gel makes an excellent lubricant as long as it’s pure aloe gel without additives. Fragrances, stabilizers, and additives exist in many allegedly “natural” aloe products. Authentic, fresh aloe should only be used immediately or refrigerated for at least seven days.

Also, keep in mind that aloe naturally contains latex. So avoid using aloe gel as a lubricant if you are allergic to the material.

  • Unrefined coconut oil is also secure to use as a lubricant. However, it can swiftly sink into the skin, requiring reapplication. It can also cause the degradation of dental dams, diaphragms, and condoms, increasing the risk of STIs and unwanted pregnancies.
  • Using vitamin E oil as a vaginal or anal lubricant is also okay. Who knows, you may even already have the ingredient in the lube you’re using. 
  • Other recommendations include shea butter, avocado, and argan oil.

Some FAQs

Is it okay to have anal sex in the shower?

Yes, no problem at all. You only need a silicone-based lube (NOT ANY SOAP!) to help lubricate your partner’s rectum, and the experience will be much more manageable. 


Can I put water in my partner’s anus before anal sex?

You can. It won’t work, though, if you try to use water as a lubricant. Water is not slick. Your partner will become drier. And the same is true for those who use saliva as lube.

However, you can occasionally use water as anal douche to clean your anal insides.

This takes preparation, though. Ideally, you should douche before having anal sex with your partner. By douching with water, the intestinal system will try to remove the excess and any available waste from the colon, consequently cleaning it. 

Getting a douche for an anal enema also benefits people who struggle with constipation.


Is using hand soap as lube a good option for anal sex?

No. Hand soaps are for cleansing and externally cleaning our hands. Like other types of soap, using them internally will dry out your anus.

So, having anal sex using hand soap could result in soreness and an unpleasant anal experience. The anal sphincter could also see damage due to high friction, which may also cause anal blood loss.

Then, you have to deal with a hospital emergency. Yikes

This shouldn’t be the case if you use a lubricant specifically created for anal sex.

Getting a silicone-based lube is the most intelligent and safest action to avoid all these unwanted circumstances.

The colon, rectum, and anus are all highly delicate tissues that may be subject to injury by extreme pressure.

Some hand soaps contain “harsh” ingredients that could damage these soft butt tissues. These soaps ought to enter and irritate them. But if you use a specially made anal lube, you can be confident that you won’t experience any unanticipated stinging, burning, or discomfort.


How about using shampoo as a lubricant and conditioner as anal lube?

Shampoo for hair is slippery. Water is also slick. But there are different chemical constituents combined in the former.

Shampoo and hair conditioners contain specific chemicals that could irritate the delicate skin cells in the same way as soap.

You will see it explicitly stated on the internet in forums, message boards, and private sections that shampoo should not be a lubricant for anal sex. Why? Simple. Shampoos can result in stinging sensations when applied to the body. 


Can soaps cause an infection?

They don’t actually cause an infection per se, but when you use them internally, especially in your nether regions, the harsh ingredients will irritate your skin.

When your skin barrier is broken, it becomes more susceptible to infections.

Both men and women risk illness if soap gets into their urethras. The most prevalent type of urethritis symptoms includes painful urination, pus, swelling, and ongoing discomfort. And it goes on for days.

Not to mention, while symptoms last, there is no chance of masturbating or having sex. It hurts too much. You should also consult a doctor if your symptoms persist for more than three days.

You can also get other infections by using soap when masturbating. Vaginal pH imbalances can cause various issues, including yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis.

All of this is a result of your soap masturbation!

So isn’t it worthwhile to invest a few bucks on the right lube?


Final Thoughts

Cleaning with soap is an excellent habit. It can make your skin smooth. It can make you smell good. And it can keep harmful germs at bay.

But NEVER USE soap as a personal lubricant.

The good thing is that body-safe lubricants are easily available. Moreover, you can also find some lube alternatives already there in your bathroom or kitchen. As long as you’re not allergic to their base ingredients, these items are safe, efficient, and can feel amazing.

Dainis Graveris

Dainis Graveris

Over last 4 years Dainis have helped millions of people through his advice on this site (200+ guides and 1M+ visits/monthly). His work & advice has appeared on sites like: Healthline, Vice, Cosmopolitan, Men's Health, WomensHealthMag, MindBodyGreen & more. Read More

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