As the world opens up again, the travel bug has returned, and everyone is keen to set foot out into the wild. But then, you need a nature-worthy, eco-friendly cleaning solution that you can carry on your trail without leaving one behind. Enter the biodegradable soaps of the world, which are crafted specially, keeping the environment in mind. Biodegradable soaps offer a cleaning process that not only works for your body but also your tools, gears, clothes, and dishes. It is the perfect companion for the outdoor adventurer, weekend hiker, mountain ‘goat’, and camp junkie!
Biodegradable soap companies do so much for ecological preservation that it is hard to ignore their efforts. From 100% organic, vegan ingredients to mindful packaging, reusing containers, and cruelty-free formulas, biodegradable soaps are BFFs for your skin and nature, too! So, read about our top picks of the 10 best biodegradable soaps that you must try before you head out for your next outdoor adventure.
What Is A Biodegradable Soap?
A biodegradable soap is a cleaning agent or tool that decomposes naturally over time and doesn’t require artificial decomposition processes. These soaps are considered biodegradable if they can be broken down by bacteria into 90% water, carbon dioxide, and organic matter, within a period of 6 months. A lot of biodegradable soaps use organic oils, which are not harmful to the environment, and are great alternatives to skincare.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Biodegradable Soaps?
Biodegradable soaps have several benefits:
- Natural decomposition – They decompose naturally thanks to environmental bacteria and don’t require chemical assistance.
- Environment friendly – Biodegradable soaps are less harmful to the environment when disposed of.
- Organic ingredients – Organically, and ethically sourced biodegradable ingredients mean less artificial, and chemical ingredients are exposed to your skin.
- Better skincare – Natural oils are the best source of skin nutrition.
- Cleaner waterways – When soaps are disposed of, they go through the waterways. Biodegradable soaps exit via waterways without contaminating the water.
10 Best Biodegradable Soaps To Try For Healthy And Happy Skin
This liquid biodegradable soap body wash goes a long way, with just a few drops. Not only can it be used to wash skin and hair, but this biodegradable soap can also triple up as a washing agent for clothes, dishes, and even those monthly pet baths! There are 18 uses in 1 bottle of pepperminty goodness, including degreasing, keeping bugs off plants, hands, face, body, and hair washing, removing residue from fruits and vegetables, and facial and body hair shaving. The organic oil blend of coconut, olive, palm, hemp, and jojoba, provides a rich coat of skin-protecting properties, keeping your hands, body, and hair moisturized and smooth. The peppermint oil works well as an antibacterial and antiseptic balm for skin irritations. Not to mention that soothing, cooling, minty fragrance that emanates from your laundry.
- All natural, vegan ingredients
- More concentrated, greater usage
- Packaged in 100% recycled plastic
- No synthetics, preservatives, or detergents
- May not be suitable for sensitive skin
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Mrs. Meyer’s biodegradable soap is the perfect solution for busy hands. If you’re someone who gets their hands dirty very often, outdoors or indoors, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Hand Soap is the best biodegradable soap for you. Rich in essential oils include olive oil and aloe vera, what we love about this biodegradable soap is that no matter how many times you use it, your hands remain nourished. Unlike most soaps that strip your skin of their natural moisture after a couple of washes, Mrs. Meyes Clean Day Hand Soap keeps your hands moisturized. What’s more, you can choose from a range of fragrances like basil, geranium, honeysuckle, lavender, lemon verbena, oat blossom, peony, plum blossom, and rainwater!
- Essential oils keep hands moisturized
- Clean floral scent
- Free of paraben, artificial colors, and phthalates
- May need more than 4-5 pumps for full lather
Are you going on a big weekend trip down to the lake forest? Planning a few hikes? What you need is a durable, leak-proof, spacious container that will carry your biodegradable soap efficiently. That’s where the Campsuds bottle is a winner. It’s durable, reusable, and won’t let anything spill out under any circumstances! This all-purpose biodegradable soap is a heavy-duty solution for stubborn stains, dirt, and grime on camping tools, dishes, and muddy clothes. The formula is concentrated, so you only need a few drops to wash everything all in one go! And you can use this biodegradable soap for your hair, hands, face, and body too! The all-natural ingredients have essential lime oils that keep your skin clean, lemony fresh, and healthy.
- Durable, reusable, and leak-proof bottles
- Pleasant fragrance
- Multi-functional for body, hair, dishes and clothes
- Little goes a long way
- May not be suitable for outdoor camping because of the scent
This coconut-based biodegradable soap is just what you need for a gentle, soothing, and comforting wash, without any irritants, aggravations, or hassle. Kirk’s Gentle Castile Bar Soap works up a creamy lather, replete with 100% coconut oil, and delivers on the simple mission to clean without leaving a harmful trail in nature. It is deeply moisturizing and has a soothing feel on your skin after a wash, especially if you’ve been feeling icky and itchy. Kirk’s biodegradable soap formula is worth a try for daily hand, face, and body washing needs, indoors or outdoors.
- Suitable for sensitive skin
- Hydrates and moisturizes
- Vegan-based ingredients
- Fragrance-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, and cruelty-free
- May feel sticky after washing
Going camping and need something quick and easy to wash the dishes, gear, muddy boots, and more? Coghlan’s Camp Soap is a compact, sturdy bottle of biodegradable soap sunshine! It can be used for washing in rivers, lakes, and streams without polluting the environment. Don’t underestimate the size of the bottle or the quantity recommended peruse. This baby packs a punch and can clean your gear, clothes, dishes, and hair in one day, with lots to spare. What’s more, the bottle is reusable, so you can drop a fresh load of Camp Soap in when you’re done with the original amount. The easy-squeezy aspect of this bottle makes it for quick and efficient use!
- Great for washing dishes and gear
- Reusable and refillable squeeze bottle
- Ideal for outdoor travellers
- May not work as effectively on clothes
Sea To Summit effortlessly makes your traveling needs so much easier to meet! Whether you are roughing it out like an outdoorsy trooper or you’re hopping cities or countries from flight to flight, Sea To Summit Trek And Travel Pocket Hand Wash is the perfect little addition to your toiletries, especially because it guarantees no spilling or leaking! How you ask? Well, this biodegradable soap dream is a pack of 50 dry soap leaves, which you can lather up with when you need to wash up on the go. The green tea fragrance gives you a fresh scent and is pleasing to your senses. They are single-serve, so you needn’t worry about what to do with a wet, soapy leaf that’s done its job well. Just use and throw as you go!
- Ideal for air travel
- TSA compliant
- Pack of 50 leaves
- Dry leaves prevent leakage
- May need more than one per wash
Talk about mindful, moisturizing, and made for sensitive skin! Cleancult’s Bar Soap is a contender for the best biodegradable soap collection this year. Rich in essential oils, including olive oil, coconut oil, and vitamin E, this biodegradable soapy gift is gentle, soothing, and comforting for your hands, body, and face as you wash away all the toxins and irritants of the day. The fresh citrus and tropical aroma of lemongrass keep you feeling fresh and light, ready to take on new challenges! What we loved about Cleancult’s hat in the biodegradable soap ring is that it is mindful not only in ingredients but also in packaging. The paper-based packaging for every Cleancult bar of biodegradable soap is truly a testament to their mission to remain eco-friendly.
- Plant-based ingredients
- Moisturizes skin with essential oil blend
- Eco-friendly, paper-based packaging
- Suitable for sensitive skin
- May not last very long
Pine tar soap made of pine tree resins is known for its strong, natural scent. But the beauty of No Plastic Bottle’s Handmade Pine Tar Soap is that it reduces wrinkles, relieves itchiness, and soothes skin irritations. If you struggle with skin allergies or mild eczemas, this biodegradable and eco-friendly soap is just the ticket for you. Crafted with coconut oil, aloe vera, and rich antioxidants, Handmade Pine Tar Soap protects and nourishes your skin with every wash. Whoever said being outdoorsy or on the go indicates that you have to rough it out when it comes to your skin as well? Consider this a skin spa treatment amid a fun, adventurous outing.
- Provides relief for eczema, psoriasis, and itchiness
- Suitable for dry, damaged, and sensitive skin
- Fragrance of pine tar minimized by aloe vera and coconut oil
- Paper-based compostable packaging
- Fragrance may be overpowering for some
Imagine being an uptight traveler and finding a small leak dripping from the corner of your suitcase. We understand the worry you get from leakages and general messiness. The Dead Down Wind Bar Soap & Travel Container is a heavy-duty biodegradable soap with an armor to protect it from spilling its guts out! The tallow-free formula is eco-conscious and uses natural enzymes to break down any chemical irritants or odors. Indeed, this biodegradable soap doubles as a deodorant and cleaner! And it’s easy to simply toss into your travel bag without worrying about it leaving a wet trail! So this biodegradable soap warrior is just what the doctor ordered for the neat-freak in you!
- Mess-free travel
- Large container
- Tallow-free formula
- May not last long if exposed to moisture
The call of the wild beckons! Alpine Provisions Castile Soap Body Wash is a deeply hydrating and moisturizing biodegradable soap solution for your hands, face, and body. The formula is concentrated but gentle to use on your skin. A little goes a very long way, indeed! The anti-ageing properties of olive oil and coconut oil help detox your skin, soothe damaged and tired skin cells, and rejuvenate your body on the whole. Essential oils like balsam fir and sage, offer a natural, earthy and wild fragrance as you walk through the wild yourself, making you feel like you’re one with nature. The ingredients are organic, vegan, gluten-free, Leaping Bunny Certified cruelty-free, and sustainably-sourced.
- Ideal for dry skin
- Antioxidant and anti-ageing properties
- 100% recycled used plastic bottle packaging
- Filled with essential oils
- May require more soap than normal per wash
Now that you know the creme de la creme of biodegradable soaps, look at our buying guide for some useful tips!
Types Of Biodegradable Soaps
- Liquid soap – This is the most common type of biodegradable soap. It is in liquid form and lasts longer compared to its counterparts.
- Bar soap – Bar soaps are solid bars that create a creamy lather when washed with soap. According to research, they produce a smaller carbon footprint than liquid soaps.
- Rinse-free soap – Rinse-free or no-rinse soaps do not require soapy water to lather. Simply apply directly onto the skin or washcloth, massage it to lather, and then towel dry.
What To Look For When Buying A Biodegradable Soap
Before buying your biodegradable soap, it is important to check if the brand you’ve chosen sufficiently answers these questions:
The first thing one must check in a biodegradable soap is the list of ingredients. It only qualifies as biodegradable if the formula is made of natural, non-toxic ingredients that are not harmful to the skin nor the environment. Hence, it is crucial to scan the ingredient list before purchasing the best soap for your skin.
- Environment-friendly and sustainable packaging
Most biodegradable soaps are made using environment-friendly and sustainable packaging. If you truly want a soap that is good for the environment, do check if your soap is made from sustainable packaging.
- Moisturizing properties
Biodegradable or not, we all want a soap that not only leaves our skin fresh and clean but also moisturized. Soaps with ingredients like coconut milk, olive oil, and aloe vera ensure that skin is moisturized, hydrated, and refreshed for smooth and gorgeous skin.
In a world where we are all doing our bit to preserve the environment, be mindful of ecological waste, and shop and live responsibly, it’s a relief that there are companies out there who care enough to make a little extra effort. Now you can camp outdoors without worrying about dirty fingers while you eat, but know that you are giving back to nature, rather than making a further mess. These biodegradable soaps are a wonderful option for the explorers and backpackers of the world who seek to set foot on new soil without leaving a carbon footprint.
What is the difference between biodegradable soap and regular soap?
Regular soaps require several artificial agents and contain harsh chemicals that may harm the environment in the long run, when disposed of. Biodegradable soaps are able to decompose using natural agents, when they come in contact with bacteria in the soil. While they do not biodegrade immediately, they decompose naturally over a period of time, without causing major harm to the environment.
What is castile soap?
Castile soap is vegetable-based, and does not contain animal fats or synthetic ingredients. They are natural, non-toxic and biodegradable and are a popular choice for eco-conscious shoppers, especially hikers, campers and outdoor sports enthusiasts.