If you’re planning a camping or hiking trip, it’s important to pack biodegradable soap. Regular soap can pollute waterways and harm wildlife. Biodegradable soap is made with natural ingredients that break down quickly and won’t damage the environment.
There are many brands of biodegradable soap on the market, so you can find one that fits your needs. Some soaps are designed for sensitive skin, while others have added benefits like insect repellent. When choosing a biodegradable soap, make sure to read the label carefully to ensure it meets your requirements.
Using biodegradable soap is simple – just follow the directions on the packaging. Simply lather up and rinse off as you would with regular soap. If you use biodegradable soap and follow the “Leave No Trace” principles, you’ll be able to enjoy your camping trip while knowing you’re not harming the environment.
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The Best Biodegradable Soaps
Here’s a list of the best biodegradable soaps available:
Campsuds Sierra Dawn Outdoor Soap
Campsuds Sierra Dawn Outdoor Soap is a natural and effective outdoor soap that ranks high on the list of biodegradable soaps. Made with a blend of essential oils of lemon and lime, this soap is perfect for cleaning up after a long day outside. It’s strong enough to work well on pots an pans, but also gentle enough to use on your hands, face, and hair. Concentrated Campsuds has been trusted by campers for over 50 years and is the perfect choice for anyone who loves spending time in the great outdoors.
It’s available in small, 4 oz Nalgene bottles, which are so lightweight and durable that they have been referred to as “the swiss-army knife of plastic bottles for hiking, backpacking, and camping.”
There’s also a version with Citronella and other oils that help to repel insects while bathing.
Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap
The Dr. Bronner’s brand has long been well known and liked by outdoor enthusiasts. It’s highly concentrated, so a little bit goes a long way. And it works well; we use it at our house for effectively cleaning shower tiles, wood floors and cabinets, as well as using it as a hand soap and body wash.
We also like that the Dr. Bronner’s company is known to be community, emloyee, and environmentally friendly — in fact they’re a Certified B Corporation, and even earn an exceptionally high “B Impact Score”.
Widely available, moderately priced, available in many natural scents and unscented, and completely biodegradable: you can’t go wrong with Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap.
Sea to Summit Pocket Soap
Soap sheets are compact, lightweight, and won’t leak out, making them an attractive option for camping or hiking. Sea to Summit Pocket Soap sheets work well and are phosphate, paraben, and fragrance-free.
Be warned that the soap sheet containers are not water-proof and if soap sheets get even a little damp, they end up sticking together and become a big hassle to use. Even very humid air can cause this problem.
Coleman Camp Soap Sheets
Coleman Camp Soap Sheets are an easy and convenient way to keep your hands clean while camping, hiking or backpacking. These soap sheets dissolve instantly in water to create a sudsy lather, making them perfect for use with hot or cold water. The small plastic compact container is easy to with your camping gear or accessories, and the camp soap sheets can be removed with dry hands.
These are not much different from the Sea to Summit sheets above. Use whichever one is available or is least expensive.
Sea to Summit Wilderness Wash
Sea to Summit Wilderness Wash has a biodegradable formula that is gentle enough for personal use and tough enough to easily handle greasy campfire cooking equipment like pots and pans, and dirty clothes. Plus, the tough bottle comes with a lid insert and secure cap to prevent any leaks in your pack or bag. So go ahead and enjoy the great outdoors – knowing that your impact will be minimal.
Dead Down Wind Base Camp Soap
Base Camp Camp Soap is perfect for dishes, hunting gear, hands, and body. It’s gentle enough to clean your skin, yet tough enough to tackle the toughest grime. Plus, it’s 100% biodegradable and safe to use in the woods or outside when you’re hunting or fishing.
Base Camp Soap does not contain any antimicrobials, sulfates or phosphates that could harm aquatic life or contaminate the water table. This scent control body wash for hunting and camping is proudly made in the United States. A great odor eliminating body soap for camping enthusiasts.
So effective that one reviewer recommends it to mechanics as a great grease cutter, yet another reviewer remarks on how gentle it is for bathing. Incredibly, this product has no one or two star reviews, just three stars and up. How often does that happen?
Direct 2 Boater Biodegradable Camp Soap
Interested in a biodegradable soap that’s safe for use in fresh or salt water? Then you’ll be interested in Direct 2 Boater’s Biodegradable Camp Soap. This soap is also formulated to be gentle on the skin and effective in hot or cold water, making it ideal for use while boating, camping, hiking, or traveling. It’s also unscented, which makes it less likely to cause allergic reactions, or attract wildlife.
It comes in a handy travel size that makes it easy to take with you on the go. And it’s 100% biodegradable, with no fragrances or dyes. In fact, this soap was specifically designed to be free of chemicals that can cause harm to coral reefs.
Mrs Meyer’s Clean Day Dish Soap
The Mrs. Meyer’s brand is very well known, so you’re likely to come across it when searching for biodegradable soaps. Their main attraction, besides supposedly being eco-friendly, it that they come in a wide variety of pleasant scents. But this isn’t necessarily a plus in the wild, as these scents may attract insects or other wildlife. Possibly including, God forbid, bears. But even just insects is bad enough.
It’s true that the Mrs. Meyer’s soaps do not contain common, more or less toxic ingredients like phthalates, parabens, ammonia, chlorine, formaldehyde, artificial colors, or petroleum distillates. But they do often use a preservative called methylisothiazolinone, which can harm aquatic wildlife.
Even so, you should not being using or dumping any soap in poi, so this may not be a deal breaker for you. Note that methylisothiazolinone also may cause allergic reactions or other skin irritation.