1. The α-hydroxy soaps exhibit a high germicidal action toward certain organisms. As with other soaps, the germicidal action increases with molecular weight to a maximum, then diminishes. The pH effects the germicidal action as it does other soaps.
2. Certain α-hydroxy soaps give two distinct germicidal zones with Staphylococcus aureus.
3. The effect of the hydroxyl group in saturated soaps is to increase selective germicidal action; the effect of the hydroxyl group in an unsaturated soap is to diminish it.
4. The soaps offer a means of separating mixtures of organisms by selective germicidal action.