When camping in the wilderness, you want to enjoy nature to the fullest. You will experience different conditions than those you are used to at home, and you can also expect to get dirty. But after a long day of hiking, a cleansing shower will do miracles at the end of the day.
When you explore nature, it is also important to protect it. That is why we recommend using biodegradable products without harmful ingredients such as phosphates or harmful materials. Harmful additives will end up in lakes and rivers, disrupting their fragile ecosystem.
When we tested the various products on the market, we found that the best biodegradable & eco-friendly soap was Sea to Summit, which is perfect for camping. The second best biodegradable soap we tried was Kirk’s.
In this article, we’ll also explore the following topics:
- The different types of biodegradable soap
- Where Dawn stands
Even while using eco-friendly products, it is recommended to shower at least 200 feet away from the nearest water source. After all, it is your duty to protect the environment once you are out there living in it temporarily.
Take note of every product that you bring with you while camping. From your soap to the food you eat, it is important to minimize your impact on the environment and reduce waste as much as possible. Below, we will present you with the best list of biodegradable & eco-friendly soaps that are perfect for camping.
The best list of biodegradable & eco-friendly soap
1. Sea to Summit Pocket Hand Wash
It is ideal for washing your hands and dishes. It comes in dry sheets, and they are easy to use. Just open the container and use a sheet with water to make it soapy. This product is not ideal for full body wash since you need dry hands to pull out the sheets.
However, you can dissolve a few of them in a bucket with water before you start bathing. This way, you won’t have to worry about wet hands while taking out soap sheets. A plastic container holds 50 sheets. This package can easily be stored in your pocket.
Be advised that this package is not waterproof, and you should always keep it dry. Nevertheless, it is highly portable, and you can take it anywhere while you are out there in the wilderness. Pull a sheet and use it with water when you wash your hands.
The official name of the scent is ”light green tea fragrance.” It will surely please your smelling sense once you use this product. It is also fresh and revigorating, especially if you wash your hands with cold water early in the morning.
|Sea To Summit Trek & Travel Pocket Hand Wash
|Item Dimensions LxWxH
|2.76 x 0.39 x 1.77 inches
- They’re so convenient to carry around to make sure you can wash your hands anywhere.
- The scent is very refreshing.
- They’re a bit pricey for what you get.
- It has a scent so may not be good for hiking.
2. Sea To Summit Wilderness Wash
Another product from Sea To Summit is the Wilderness Wash, which is a biodegradable liquid soap. This versatile product can be used for your body, for your dishes, and even for washing your clothes. The bottle is durable, and you won’t have to worry about leaks or severe damage.
These products are made for camping and backpacking. This company thought about all the harsh conditions travelers might experience in the wilderness. The secure lid will prevent any spillage and you can safely store it inside your bag.
A special formula was used for this product, which features a thick and concentrated substance that will last you a long time. Customers are pleased with this soap’s efficiency and softness, as it can be very gentle on your skin.
It is shipped in several sizes, but all of them are affordable and within anyone’s budget. You can use it as a full body wash or even as a shampoo when you are showering out there in the wilderness. This product is highly efficient, and therefore it can be used for washing dishes or clothes as well.
|Sea To Summit Wilderness Wash
|Item Dimensions LxWxH
|5.51 x 1.57 x 3.15 inches
|8.5 Ounce/ 250ml
- It’s fragrance-free, so you can take it with you where there are animals.
- The concentration is pretty good.
- It was thicker than anticipated.
- Liquid soap is a bit less convenient to bring to go hiking.
3. Castile Bar Soap by Kirk’s
Kirk’s listened to the requests of campers all over the world and developed this wonderful soap that is highly effective as a body wash. Based on coconut, this biodegradable option is ideal for a comforting wash without any irritants. This product will feel soothing and gentle on your skin while also cleaning the dirt and making you fresh.
Because it is biodegradable, this product won’t leave any trails in nature. You can shower peacefully without worrying about polluting the environment. It has a soothing feel on your skin even after you finish the shower. While also being deeply moisturizing, this soap is worth a try as it can do wonders for your body washing needs.
It is suitable for sensitive skin, so you can use it even if you are sensible about some products. Vegan-based ingredients make this product cruelty-free, and you can rest assured that this soap is very friendly to nature. It hydrates and moisturizes your skin without leaving any scents, so you should note it is also fragrance-free.
- Your hands feel clean after using it.
- It’s fragrance-free and can be brought hiking.
- An 18-pack will last you a long time.
- You may not need 18 bar soaps.
Shampoo & conditioner
4. Sea to Summit Trek and Travel
While there are plenty of soaps available for you to choose from for a camping trip, there are very few biodegradable shampoos created for outdoor adventures. This package created by Sea to Summit includes a shampoo and conditioner that do their job very well.
We tried this product, and our hair felt softer and better to touch. We realized this product is better than all-purpose liquid soaps for hands, clothes, and dishes.
We noticed a mild scent with this shampoo, pleasing to the senses. It comes in a plastic container which is lightweight and highly durable.
This shampoo is concentrated, which makes it different from the regular shampoo you might use back home. A full cap of shampoo is just enough to wash your hair.
If you buy this shampoo before departing on your trip, rest assured that the product is TSA compliant. You can also carry it on your flights. And since it is biodegradable, environmental protection is ensured by using special formulas that make this product very eco-friendly.
|Sea To Summit Trek & Travel Liquid Conditioning Shampoo
|Item Dimensions LxWxH
|2.2 x 2.13 x 4.09 inches
- It’s convenient that it’s TSA-compliant.
- This soap may just smell better than Dr. Bronner’s.
- It has a scent and can’t be brought around the bear country.
Waterless for camping
5. Dead Down Wind Rinse-Free Hair & Body Wash
This waterless soap is one of the best waterless options for your camping needs. It eliminates odors and controls the scent, so you are ready for the woods. This product is ideal for camping gear and travel accessories.
It meets most of your hygienic needs when you are out there in the wilderness. It is perfect for outdoor activities and moments where you don’t have access to a shower or running water. It is safe for personal use and won’t cause discoloring in your clothes.
While this product is highly efficient, it is also gentle and ideal for people with sensitive skin. A special formula with natural ingredients helps with cleansing and moisturizing. Because you need to be odor-free in nature, this soap also destroys all odors.
This product is also safe for the environment, crafted with 100% biodegradable ingredients. You can use it outdoors without worrying about damaging the local ecosystem. It is created to keep you scent-free and fresh everywhere you go.
|Dead Down Wind
|Body Wash & Shampoo
|Item Dimensions LxWxH
|8 x 2.5 x 1.25 inches
|Rinse Free Body Wash & Shampoo
- It’s a great product when there’s no water to rinse.
- It made our hair look way better.
- It’s not always available on Amazon.
6. Optimum Car Wash – 1 Gallon
Optimum Car Wash is a must-have for your garage. This soap can easily clean grime and dirt with a special foam that will rinse off easily. The protective coats of wax from your car are protected. It’s even when using this product, which is harmless to the surface of your vehicle.
It is pH-neutral and it is made out of biodegradable ingredients. That is why the Optimum Car Wash is one of the few eco-friendly car wash soaps you can find on the market. It is also harmless for your hands, so you can clean your car without wearing gloves.
If you have plants in your garage, they are also protected as this solution is non-toxic. This makes the Optimum Car Wash soap completely safe and risk-free. Because it is highly concentrated, you only need 1/2 ounce of soap for every gallon of water.
The foam resulting from this solution is strong enough to clean all the dirt present on your vehicle. It does so while preserving sealant coats and protecting the paint from UV rays. This is the best solution if you want to wash your car with an eco-friendly product.
|Optimum Car Wash
|11.5 x 7.2 x 4.4 inches
- It foams nicely.
- It’s nice to know you can have a clean car and respect the environment.
- It provides a great shine and helps preserve the wax coat.
- We’ve checked Amazon often, and it’s not always available.
7. Dr. Bronner’s
This high-quality organic soap is made from organic sugar and shikakai powder. This formula keeps your skin nourished and hydrated. The essential oils and the organic sugar create a wonderful scent that will please your smelling senses.
This is a wonderful addition to your bathroom as the products from Dr. Bronner are the best ones for washing your hands, face, and body. Shikakai powder is derived from a tree and has been used in traditional Indian body care. Because it has low pH, it is very soft for your hair as well.
Palm kernel oil is used to provide a smooth and creamy substance. This ingredient is harvested from the smallholder farmers in Ecuador to protect the local habitats.
The team at Dr. Bronner uses sustainable ingredients and is very careful with environmental safety standards. This product is eco-friendly, so you won’t have to worry about damaging the local ecosystem.
- We love the various scents available.
- It’s reasonably priced.
- Our hands felt nice and moisturized after using it.
- Some people have had issues with their deliveries, although we didn’t.
Why you can trust us & how we picked
The founder of our company and the person testing the products is from Denmark and has always been very eco-friendly. We looked into and tested soap from various different companies and sent questions to the customer support to hear more about their practices. We truly did the legwork to try and find you the best option also while taking care of the environment.
Factors to consider
Finding the best biodegradable soap comes down to knowing which factors to consider. Here’s an overview.
If you’re truly conscious of the environment, you make sure that the product arrives packaged in an eco-friendly way.
Some brands claim to be eco-friendly but aren’t. Do your homework and look into the brand to see if they’re truly good.
You’ll need a different product depending on the way you intend to use the soap. If you’re going camping, you want to make sure you’re not carrying excess weight.
Again, if you’re going camping, you don’t want to bring too much. Consider whether the soap is divisible in amounts that make sense to bring.
Biodegradable soap is likely more expensive than traditional stuff. However, that doesn’t mean you should completely ignore the price.
The ingredients should be plant-based so they can be reabsorbed by nature. It’ll also make you avoid unnecessary exposure to chemicals!
Look for a company that’s happily showing off its certifications. It helps ensure you’re getting it from a good company.
How much does biodegradable soap cost?
Biodegradable soap usually costs between $6 and $30, depending on the type you’re getting.
Types of biodegradable soap
Soap bar is usually made from animal fats and oils. They are long-lasting and budget-friendly overall. Because of its natural composition and compostable packaging, many environmentalists agree that this type has the lowest impact on the environment.
However, more water will be required to generate sufficient lather from bar soap. Because it has higher pH, it can easily irritate sensitive skin. Make sure to store it in a dry place to avoid bacterial growth. Usually, they are less convenient for travel compared to liquid ones or wipes.
Bar soaps can last you 4 to 8 weeks after the initial use. But you can also store multiple bars in dry places. They will last for up to 5 years in their original biodegradable packaging. It is ideal for those without sensitive skin who also want a cost-effective and eco-friendly product.
Because they fit so many cleaning needs, liquid soaps have a multi-use feature and are the most compact. These have added moisturizers that make them gentler on your skin.
And because the soap itself is stored inside a durable bottle, it is also less likely to develop and spread bacteria. Liquid soaps are usually pricier than bar soaps and contain more chemicals that are stored in plastic containers. This is quite the opposite of bar soap’s natural and traditional features.
It will be difficult to find fragrance-free liquid soaps, so only choose them if you want to smell fresh. Liquid soap can last you up to 3 years, depending on how often you use it. They are small enough to fit in pockets or backpacks, and special seals will prevent spillage.
A small-sized bottle can be used for various cleaning purposes while camping. You can kill bacteria on your hands and clothes and remove grease from your dishes.
Soap Sheets are the lightest option. They are also compact and do wonders for your hygiene, considering their small size. Most pieces are smaller than your palm and can be used for different cleaning needs.
However, you might have to use multiple pieces when you wash clothes or larger items. Also, be advised that your hands must be dry when you remove the sheets from the package. This is because the sheets will stick together when they are flooded with water.
Carefully store them to prevent such water leaks. Otherwise, they will dissolve. But most packages are strong enough to be considered waterproof. You can also dissolve a few sheets in a bucket with water and create a cleansing solution.
These sheets never expire. You can use them anytime, even years from now. They are ideal for hikers and campers who want to travel light and look for pocket-sized hygienic products. However, you might want to choose a different type of soap if you are adventuring into wet and rainy climates.
For using wipes, you don’t need access to water. You can wipe yourself with these products whenever you please. They are ideal for various hygienic purposes, but they are the best when used for your body.
Because these wipes are already wet, you can use them even in areas that lack access to water. You will want to save all the water you get in those places, and there is no need to waste any for your hygiene.
You should note that wipes are limited in number and will also be heavier and bulkier than other types of soaps. Effective just as portable showers, these wipes will be useful for up to 6 months after you first open the package. They are ideal for those who want a quick way to stay clean in the wilderness, where water supplies are limited.
Some wipes are specifically made for sensitive skin, so you can find plenty of options to choose from. They are also great for sterilizing cuts or wiping camp gear.