Biodegradable Soaps

I have always like things that do double duty. I am a fan of furniture that can instantly turn from a table to a bed. I love clothes that can be worn 12 different ways. What, footwear with snap-on soles… that transform slippers into shoes? Yes, please! I am the same way with cleaning products. I can clean my house and use it as laundry soap? Fantastic! Now that I live in a tiny house I am even more drawn to those “Swiss army knife” kind of products. I wanted soap we could use every day for a variety of purposes. Here is my review of three biodegradable soaps that can do double duty.

dr. bronner's.jpg1) Dr. Bronner’s Soaps
You’ve probably seen a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap. It’s the bottle with all of the writing on it. This fairtrade soap does more than one or two things. In fact, they claim, “Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1, Pure-Castile Soaps are good for just about any cleaning task. Face, body, hair & food, dishes, laundry, mopping, pets—clean your house and body with no synthetic preservatives, detergents or foaming agents—none!” That seems too good to be true, right? Well, I thought I would give it a try.

At first, I was not a fan of Dr. Bronner’s. It was too runny and too “scummy.” It felt scummy on my body and on the bottom of the shower. I wasn’t impressed. However, in all fairness and much to my detriment, I did not read the directions. Turns out, that is pretty key. My daughter convinced me to give it another try, this time, after reading the dilution “cheat sheet.” Wow, did that make all the difference! I was sold. Dr. Bronner’s is now our go-to soap at home. We use it for almost everything. I do not use it as shampoo because I make my own, but we use it for a body wash, shaving, laundry soap, dog shampoo, and dish soap. We especially like the peppermint, tea tree, and lavender fragrances. I like having one product to take care of several needs.

The proceeds from their products go to very worthwhile causes. They are definitely worth checking out. Dr. Bronners comes in a variety of fragrances and sizes.

campsuds.jpg2) Sierra Dawn’s Campsuds
I liked Campsuds right out of the chute. It has been around since the 60s and for a good reason. It feels a little like dish soap and little bit goes a long way.  It’s compact, versatile, convenient, and environmentally safe. It works well in both cold and hot water. I tried as a body, for dishwashing, and as a laundry soap. It was effective and smelled fresh. It comes in citronella, peppermint, and lavender. While I wouldn’t use this every day, I liked it enough to throw the small bottle in my truck jocky box, “in case of emergency.” Campsuds also come in a variety of sizes.

wilderness wash.jpg3) Sea to Summit’s Wilderness Wash
Wilderness Wash is highly concentrated. You don’t need much at all! It is gentle on skin and clothes, but also effective on dishes and laundry stains. It’s biodegradable, phosphate, and fragrance-free.  However, I didn’t think it did a stellar job on body odor after a workout. It’s decent but not as much as I had hoped for. Other than that, I didn’t find there was much of a difference between Sea to Summit’s Wilderness Wash and Sierra Dawn’s Campsuds. I could only find this fragrance-free soap in one size.

All three are terrific soaps. Dr. Bronner’s is more sustainable for everyday use in our tiny house. The other two are perfect for camping and backpacking.

If you use biodegradable soap please follow the “Leave No Trace” Practice. Biodegradable soaps shouldn’t be used in or by a natural water source. To wash your body, laundry or dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of concentrated, biodegradable soap. Pour the wastewater into a hole 6 to 8 inches deep.

Do you have a favorite biodegradable soap? I would love to hear about your experiences, and I am always interested in check out other soaps that can be used in a number of ways! Please comment below. Find other blogs on our tiny house journey here.


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