We can all agree that regular soaps are not something that we should use carelessly in the natural world. This is usually a big concern for campers or hikers who want to enjoy the peaceful beauty of the environment while not destroying it with harmful chemicals added into regular soaps.
Luckily for you, like other new generations of eco-friendly products that put sustainability as the top priority, biodegradable soaps have become a thing for a while now. They are not just something we nature lovers can only dream of anymore.
But before heading into the best biodegradable soaps that are loved by countless campers and hikers, let’s learn some necessary information about this new product.
How To Choose And Use Biodegradable Soaps
Look for natural ingredients
For a true eco-friendly cleaning product, the soap should be made only from natural and toxic-free ingredients, which means you should avoid these chemicals at all costs: petrochemicals, parabens, surfactants, sulfates, and phthalates.
In the case you have sensitive skin, the soap you use should be hypo-allergenic and fragrance-free while containing moisturizing ingredients such as coconut oil and aloe vera.
And just to be sure, you should test the reaction of your skin with the soap before committing to use it permanently or taking it with you on the trail.
Only use a dilution ratio of 1:3 or more
Soaps often have a concentration of 3 water to every 1 soap, and in the case of liquid products, this means you can get as high as 15 washes per ounce. But usually, you need only a single capful of body wash to clean your entire body.
Scented or unscented
This is actually crucial for those who carry soap on the trail as they are not the only ones who find the citrus-scented soap attractive. Bears sometimes find this aroma alluring as well, so you should store them properly when entering those areas.
Soaps are not just for your body but can also be useful to clean dishes or your socks as well. That’s why many manufacturers have put out multipurpose soaps that are a godsend for those who love portable and versatile cleaning products. You can use it in your vacation or when hiking; just make sure to reach the recommended uses of the product to know whether it’s a versatile soap first.
Soaps don’t come with just the soap itself but also the container, which can be either environmentally friendly or not. Each type of soap has its own advantages and drawbacks when it comes to packaging for a biodegradable product.
For example, bar soaps guarantee little or no plastic waste, but you must store it properly, especially on travel. On the other hand, soap sheets or liquid soaps can feature reusable containers, but they are also prone to leakage.
Wipes can be biodegradable as well, but their plastic containers are usually not, and you must seal them in place to keep them moisturized all the time properly.
Use it properly
Just because all these products are biodegradable and contain 100% of natural ingredients, it doesn’t mean they are completely nature-friendly. You can still cause a lot of damage to the environment if you don’t know how to wash your body or your dishes with soaps correctly, especially when you bring them to your camping or hiking trip.
First, make sure that you don’t use any cleaning products within the range of 200 feet to a water source in order to avoid accidental contamination. And you should still only use biodegradable soap sparingly and remember to collect the soapy water to a bottle even though you can’t recycle it.
Best Biodegradable Soaps Revews
United By Blue – Grants Pass Rogue Soap
This bar soap from United By Blue – an American manufacturer – is made from various oils, geranium, and bentonite clay, providing a pleasant sage and cedar scent.
Even though you may find it has a rough exterior before initial use, this bar soap is not tough for your skin. However, keep in mind that the Grants Pass Rogue still scrubs away grime and dirt and prolongs skin moisture, thanks to the natural oils. It’s not only the soap itself that is entirely biodegradable, but so is the packaging.
Kirk’s Original Coco Castile Soap
Founded in the 1830s, Kirk’s was called by many as the original inventor of biodegradable soap, and after many years later, it still makes quality products that have built its reputation.
Like previous products, the Original Coco Castile soap is a great organic soap with reusable packaging, making it an ideal choice if you prefer a completely eco-friendly lifestyle. This Castile soap is free from fragrances with just a few ingredients added, which are also gentle even for babies.
For the base of this biodegradable soap, Kirk’s has used a lot of natural oils such as citrus-peel oils and coconut oil, leaving your skin conditioned properly without residue. As a result, the Original Coco Castile soap is a good choice for sensitive skin and can also be used to treat poison ivy.
Ursa Major Natural Bar Soap
With volcanic rock abrasives, this energizing grapefruit, rosemary, eucalyptus, and peppermint-scented soap should not be ignored as a step in your morning routine.
The grapefruit can complement oily skin while the peppermint is naturally infused into the soap, stimulating your body’s circulation. The Ursa Major Natural is soft and gentle for your skin without being excessively harsh. On top of that, this bar soap is incredibly affordable; with just a few dollars, you can have something that lasts several months to take care of your skin.
Dr. Bronner’s – Pure-Castile Liquid Soap
Dr. Bronner’s was founded in 1948 as a family-owned company and has become one of the most well-known brands in the Pure-Castile, biodegradable soap market. This series comes in both bar and liquid soap with all products available in eight scents and one unscented option.
Made from organic oils, they come with no synthetic preservatives and go easy on your skin, especially for those with sensitive skin or allergies. This company even claims that its products can be used for other purposes like toothpaste or mouthwash, but whether it’s something you can enjoy is still debatable and entirely up to each customer.
Juniper Ridge Body Wash – Cascade Forest
Juniper Ridge promises that this body wash will bring you a mixture of scents from the mountainous Pacific Northwest forests, no matter where you are. In order to do so, it’s made by the hydrating scent from tree trimmings on the hiking trails.
This liquid soap is available in both 8-oz and 2-oz bottle sizes, depending on whether you want to have a big bottle for use at home or a small container for travel. Even if you find that the Juniper Ridge body wash doesn’t produce much sudsy lather upon use, it can still deliver a powerful cleaning with just a small dose.
However, the piney scent of this Cascade Forest soap is quite strong and might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Joshua Tree Body Wash & Shampoo
This is not only a liquid soap for your body, but you can also use it as shampoo with a light scent and no harmful chemicals. The added mint oil also provides a great cooling effect that can naturally soothe your sore muscles, especially after playing sports or a long trail. On the other hand, the oil from tea trees works as a remedy to gently clean and heal open sores and cuts.
Sea To Summit Wilderness Wash
Sea To Summit advertises this liquid soap as a multipurpose, low-sudsing wilderness wash, which has a highly concentrated formula to make it thick and suitable for both fresh and salt-water.
Even though it’s mostly unscented, the Sea To Summit Wilderness Wash still has some sterile whiffs. The lip acts as a measuring tool while the bottle is pretty sturdy, so you don’t need to worry about breaking it. With just a few drops of this liquid soap and you can enjoy strong cleaning power that can be used on almost everything.
Sierra Dawn Campsuds Outdoor Soap
This Sierra Dawn product is one of the best-selling camping soap on Amazon and has been trusted by campers for several decades. It’s also among the first biodegradable soaps made for outdoor activities.
The Campsuds is available in several sizes, which are all portable and convenient to use so you can carry it on travel, for backpacking, hiking, and camping with ease. Made entirely from natural ingredients, the Sierra Dawn Campsuds soap has a light lemon-lime scent.
It’s a bit thin, but if you mix it with water, this liquid soap will stretch pretty well. To gain better results, you should wipe some grease out first before cleaning greasy or dirty dishes.
Coleman Dish and Hands Camp Soap Sheets
If you’re preparing for your next hiking trip and prefer an ultra-light packaging, give these Coleman soap sheets a try. They are a cost-effective, simple product that is suitable for cleaning both hands and dishes. Each compact and lightweight plastic case provides 50 sheets that you can mix with water for multiple purposes.
Sea to Summit Trek & Travel Pocket Soaps
This is another great portable soap for travelers and hikers who want to protect the environment they are enjoying from harmful cleaning products. These soap sheets are free from paraben and phosphate and come with a subtle fragrance from the plastic case. Each case like this gives you 50 eco-friendly soap leaves, which is plenty for a typical hike.
With a sheet and some water, the Sea to Summit soap can produce enough suds for you to clean almost everything, from your socks to your hands, and when that’s still not enough for large items, you can put in more sheets.
With more and more biodegradable soaps on the market, you should not worry about putting dangerous ingredients into the environment during your outdoor trip anymore.
Whether it’s bar soap, liquid soap, or soap sheets, you can now clean your hand or clothes conveniently in the middle of nowhere in an environmentally friendly way.