Switching to real soap instead of using liquid soap in plastic bottles is ever so easy. You can pick up big brand products at the supermarket, but if you want to get away from big companies and plastic wrappers, here are our personal favourites to do just that.
My favourite brand is Wild Grove. We were first given some by a family member for Christmas a few years ago, and loved it so much that now we buy our own straight from the company. Beautifully presented, these make lovely gifts.
Hand made in the UK by a small business and covered with felted merino wool, these soaps are gorgeous. The felted wool makes a textured cover so that it never gets too slippery to hold. As the bar gets used up and it gets smaller, the felted wool shrinks to fit.
I absolutely adore the English Rose & Sandalwood version. I use it at every opportunity. It is mild enough to use for hand washing bras and tights.
If you buy from Wild Grove on mail order, everything arrives in a cardboard box (which can be recycled) packed with shredded paper (which can be composted or recycled). The outer wrapper is paper as well.
These felted soaps cost £5.00 each and I guarantee you that even with frequent use they last for a very long time.
Little Soap Company
Another product that I can happily recommend is from Little Soap Company.
Little Soap Company has the same kind of one-person UK start-up roots as Wild Grove, but has really worked extremely hard to get their products stocked in supermarkets and chemists across the nation. I picked up my bar of organic English Lavender & Rosemary soap in my weekly shop for just under £4. Little Soap Company’s website suggests you should be able to find their products in other stores like Boots as well.
My bar arrived in a cardboard box that could go in the recycling. So far it has lasted five months, you only need a little bit to get a good lather going.
The benefits of using solid soap
Less packaging is only the start of why we switched to an old fashioned solid alternative.
Liquid soap often contains preservatives, some of which young Robin has an allergy to. That’s right, an actual allergy that causes skin rashes and itching, we’re not being over-protective parents. After coming into contact with any of those preservatives it looks (and worse, feels) like Robin has fallen into nettles. Solid soap almost never has these ingredients in and so we spend a lot less time reading minuscule labels.
Whenever we can, we only choose products that are free from SLS. SLS is another chemical that we are choosing to phase out. It is the stuff that makes your shampoo or toothpaste lather up really well. We avoid it because it can be drying to the skin and those allergies I mentioned earlier have left Robin’s skin somewhat fragile and susceptible to drying out.
The Spruce has a decent and fairly neutral summary of SLS over here, so go check that out for more information. At the end of the day SLS isn’t helpful to our household, it makes a pretty foam and that’s about it. We can live without that.
Science has helpfully shown us that washing our hands well is enough to clean them, and using soap with the washing our hands well is even better still. Given this, we don’t think we’re giving up much by avoiding products that claim to have even better properties than this!
Invest in a (non plastic) dish to stop your soap getting slimy on the side.
Find the right sized tin with a lid – or some lock tight lid Tupperware – so that you can take your soap with you whenever you stay away!