One Small Step: Bar Soap in One Bathroom



About a year ago I switched to a shampoo bar. My husband too. It has great natural ingredients, is handmade by an Etsy shop, and requires minimal packaging. My soap (from Dress Green) came wrapped in tissue paper in a cardboard box.

So I was thinking about how lame it is that we still use liquid hand soap at our house. Which means that, along with the actual soap, I'm paying for a whole lot of water and a non-reusable plastic bottle. So why haven't I switched to bar soap (which is arguably a smaller step than switching to a shampoo bar)?

My kids. I mean, shoot, I finally just trained them to wash their hands. And I've trained them to do it using liquid soap, and I'm loathe to disrupt the conditions under which they will actually wash their hands without copious amounts of bribery or nagging.

But I had an idea. I switched from liquid soap to bar soap in just one location: the master bathroom. My bathroom. And since I wash my hands more often than anyone else (with diaper changes and bottom wiping and all manner of other dirty tasks), the bar soap gets plenty of use. And I am noticing how very, very long the bar soap lasts in comparison to the liquid soap. Of course all the frugalistas out there know that bar soap is much, much cheaper than liquid soap. With all that extra dough I can to afford to spring for the deluxo natural organic essential oils shea butter moisturizing handmade eco-friendly packaging bar of soap. Personally, I like Whole Foods french milled organic lemon verbena bar.

So now every once in a while I get my kids to wash their hands in my bathroom. They need a little more coaching on how to use the bar soap, but they can do it. My kids sometimes use WAY too much liquid soap (they love to create a sink full of bubbles), so that's another reason to make the switch to bar soap with them. I'll be honest, though. I'm not really running in that direction. I think I'll just keep helping them wash their hands with the bar soap in my bathroom every now and then until it's no big deal.

What about germs? Don't worry. People have already worried about that, and it's not an issue. Nonetheless, I can already tell you the last place I'll be switching to bar soap is the kitchen.

What about you? Are you using bar soap? Could you change from liquid soap to bar soap in one location in your home?

Photo credit: soapylovedeb


This post is part of
Frugal Friday

13 comments:

  1. Why don't you make your own liquid soap? From what I've read, it's pretty easy, and you control everything you put in. And you can make use of all of your old liquid soap bottles.

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  2. We finally went to bar soap in the kids bathroom, simply because they were making too many concoctions and experiments with the liquid kind! (And even if the bottle was getting empty, toothpaste would be added...) They picked out some fun colored soap at Whole Foods and it goes ok.

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    1. Yes, definitely lower potential for concoctions. I like the idea of having them pick out their own bar soap. Great idea!

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  3. I can totally do this! But I'm with you on keeping the liquid in the kitchen. I keep one of those foam pumps by the sink and refill it with concentrated Castille soap and water when it needs refilling... So, at least I'm not paying for the extra water and I'm able to reuse the plastic pump I bought ages ago.
    Question on the shampoo bar... The Etsy site for the orange bar shampoo mentions the need to do a vinegar rinse, periodically, to remove build up. How often have you needed to do it? I'll admit, it's a bit of a turn-off... Groan... But I still love the concept.

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    1. I wash my hair every 1 to 2 weeks. I do the vinegar rinse maybe every month? Maybe less. I use apple cider vinegar, and if you use a conditioner (or any other hair products) afterwards, you probably won't smell the vinegar at all after your shower. I noticed that John Masters Organics sells a fancy suffused with herbs vinegar rinse -- so I guess it's getting to be pretty mainstream. It definitely makes my hair feel silky like I've used conditioner, though (after reading dozens of pseudo-scientific explanations on the internet) I don't understand why.

      I never thought of just using diluted Castille soap. I did read some warning somewhere about diluting liquid soap and bacteria blah blah blah. I'll have to look it up. But a reusable container would be great. You still have the plastic from the castille soap, but much less than what I've got now.

      The most awesome benefit of the shampoo bar is that it's easy to use for travel -- my husband loves that.

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    2. I've been using 1/2 Bronner's, 1/2 water in foaming soap dispensers for a few years and love it. Maybe even 1/3 Bronner's. It's a super cheap solution to hand soap it works well for the kids.

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  4. We have bar soap in our master bathroom but liquid soap in our guest powder room. Both eco-friendly!

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  5. My neighborhood co-op has liquid soap in the bulk aisle so I've just been refilling the same container every month or so... but they recently switched brands to a more expensive brand so I am thinking when that runs out my kiddo is going to have to learn to wash his hands with bar soap.

    I have a question about shampoo bars--how do you get enough lather going? I have long, very thick hair and that question has kept me from trying them.

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    1. I have long thick curly hair. I rub it right against my scalp -- on top and underneath at the base of my head. I rub it right onto my ends between the soap and my other hand. And then I lather with my hands and rub more on. I usually end up overdoing it and certainly get plenty of lather.

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  6. Dare I ask about any of the bar soaps made by LUSH? Is LUSH as good as they would like us to believe?

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    1. I think LUSH is better than most conventional products, but not as non-toxic as some greenies would like. They are not nearly as natural as the Etsy shampoo bar I've been using (ingredient list is about 5x longer and has many unfamiliar synthetics). I just looked them up in the skin deep database. Not too much info, but you could make a custom report yourself and see if there are any ingredients you don't like. I describe how to do that in this post: http://www.eco-novice.com/2013/03/my-favorite-non-toxic-hair-products.html

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  7. Sorry, I meant bar shampoos from LUSH.

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