If protecting the environment is at the top of your list of priorities, then consider adding a biodegradable soap to your routine and say goodbye to harmful chemicals found in conventional soaps.
And biodegradable soaps are not just soap bars, we now have a variety of biodegradable shampoos, conditioners, body wash, hand wash, and even laundry detergents on the market that work even better than their traditional counterparts!
They’re also free of any skin irritants and synthetic fragrances, which can greatly help those with sensitive skin. But these aren’t the only reasons for using a biodegradable soap! Read on to learn more about them and their benefits, and check out our picks for the best biodegradable soaps in 2023.
Affiliate Disclosure: Planet Natural editors review and select each product mentioned in the article independently. If you buy through affiliate links, we may earn a commission which will help support our website.
What are Biodegradable Soaps?
Simply put, biodegradable soap is one that can be broken down or decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms.
Biodegradable soap is effectively decomposed i.e., it is eliminated or reduced to negligible amounts by organic soil, in contrast to other conventional soaps being used across the country.
Traditional suds, such as those that are likely currently in your kitchen sink or in public restrooms, frequently contain synthetic chemicals.
Chemical preservatives like parabens, phthalates, and petrochemicals, along with artificial dyes and fragrances, do not degrade quickly. If they are disposed of in nature, traces of their chemical composition can persist for many years.
Traditional soaps can hurt the local plants and animals in a lot of ways, which is why you should never use them when camping. And it’s advised for us all to transition to biodegradable soaps to help the environment.
However, the majority of biodegradable washes are made from natural, organic ingredients that decompose quickly when exposed to the bacteria found in soiled environments.
These concentrated solutions can also provide adequate cleaning power while using significantly less product. So, it’s a definite win-win situation in our opinion!
Why Use Biodegradable Soaps?
There are many reasons why you should use biodegradable soaps, but here are the top three reasons to consider them instead of traditional soaps:
Better Ingredients: Many conventional soaps come with harmful ingredients including phosphates, surfactants, and triclosan. On the other hand, biodegradable soaps are made using ingredients derived from vegetables and plants and essential oils that are good for you.
Reduced Environmental Impact: The entire purpose of biodegradable soaps is that they will become undetectable over time when disposed of properly. This way you can use the products knowing that they won’t harm the environment or aquatic life.
Lasts Longer: These products are usually very concentrated and are designed to be mixed with water in most cases. For this reason, a little goes a long way and one small bottle will last a lot longer than traditional soaps.
How to Use Biodegradable Soaps?
Even when using biodegradable soaps instead of traditional soaps, there are certain things to keep in mind. According to the Leave No Trace principles, it’s advised to bathe at least 200 feet away from the nearest water source.
When disposing of dirty water, it’s important to dig a six-inch cathole and dispose of it in it whenever you’re done. This is incredibly important if you love backpacking in National Parks since it’s your responsibility to protect the environment for the years to come.
Doing this will make sure that no water is contaminated, and potential irritants don’t end up in the soil either. This not only protects the flora but also the fauna and thereby ensures that aquatic life is not harmed.
So, make sure to always go through the ingredient list when making a purchase to ensure the product you’re using is free of any harmful chemicals.
Best Biodegradable Soaps in 2023 (Different Categories)
Now that we have a good understanding of what biodegradable soaps are and why you should use them, let’s look at the top ones you can get in 2023!
We’ve included various options all the way from all-purpose, versatile soaps, to even biodegradable shampoo, conditioner, hand wash, and facial soap!
Best Versatile Liquid Soap: Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap
Dr. Bronner’s pure liquid castile soap is one of the most popular options on the market! Not only is it 100% degradable, but it’s also free of any synthetic preservatives!
But that’s not all! This liquid soap only includes certified fair trade ingredients, so you can rest assured you won’t have any other questionable ingredients in it. It’s known to have one of the best cleaning power.
One of the most interesting things about this product is just how versatile it is! It has 18 uses in total, and you can use it to wash your hands, face, body, dishes, and even clothes!
It also works as a shaving cream, toothpaste, and shampoo! This biodegradable liquid soap comes in a variety of scents, or you can just go with the unscented version that never fails!
Best Sustainable Liquid Soap: Sea to Summit Wilderness Wash
Another great option is by Sea to Summer! Their citronella scented liquid soap works great and also helps keep insects away!
Again, this is a versatile sustainable soap that can be used as a body wash, shampoo, dishwashing liquid, and even as a laundry soap!
If you’re looking for a smaller-sized bottle, then you’re in luck because this liquid soap comes in three sizes! The smallest one is perfect for traveling and also meets carry-on liquid regulations at airports.
Best Biodegradable Liquid Soap Scent: Campsuds Sierra Dawn Outdoor Soap
This biodegradable liquid soap by Campsuds contains lavender oil, peppermint oil, and citronella essential oil for the best fragrance! It also helps keep insects away by acting as a repellent while you bathe.
Fortunately, this soap is 100% degradable and comes in a lightweight, travel-friendly bottle you can take with you wherever you go!
Just a few drops of it are enough to do the job and keep you nice and clean. However, it’s important to note that Campsuds do contain SLS, but use this one sparingly and also keep it away from any water sources.
Best Biodegradable Concentrated Cleaners: Zero Waste Natural Concentrated Cleaner
http://shrsl.com/3se6oThis is one of the best eco-friendly concentrated cleaners on the market that includes good bacteria and enzymatic reaction to literally ‘eat’ dirt and other harmful bacteria and germs off any surface you clean!
Plus, it keeps working long after you’re done cleaning, which will actually reduce how often you need to clean any surface and in turn make you use even less product!
It comes in three different varieties, including a mild citrus scent that’s perfect for cleaning the bathroom! There’s another great one that you can use to clean glass and mirrors around the house effectively.
Best Biodegradable Organic Body Soap: Ecoroots Organic Body Soap
If you’re looking for a dedicated biodegradable soap for your body, then it doesn’t get better than this Ecoroots organic body soap!
It’s a naturally scented soap that is free of parabens, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances. You can get this biodegradable soap in seven different natural fragrances as well as a limited-edition pumpkin spice scent this fall!
What’s great is that it’s a handmade soap that’s manufactured in the United States using only high-quality, organic ingredients! Trust us, it’ll clean you clean and fresh to enjoy your time on the trail even more.
Best Organic Facial Soap Bar: Whispering Willow’s Honey Oatmeal Natural Bar Soap
Looking for the best biodegradable facial soap bar? Then this one by Whispering Willow is perfect for you!
It features natural, nourishing ingredients that won’t leave your skin taut and stripped of its essential moisture. The soap is perfect for purifying and cleaning your skin and helps dissolve any dirt and excess oil you may have in your pores.
Plus, you’ll also get a nice, creamy lather to wash your face properly while feeling ultra-luxurious! Each bar lasts up to 100 washes and can be stored in a dry place while not in use for up to 12 months!
Best Travel-Friendly Biodegradable Soap Sheets: Sea to Summit Pocket Hand
These biodegradable soap sheets by Sea to Summit are one of the best on the market! Each contains 50 ‘leaves’ that dissolve in water, and this product is particularly easy to pack when traveling!
These leaves are entirely biodegradable, and you can also get additional ones for other purposes such as shaving, laundry, body wash, and even a conditioning shampoo!
Best Biodegradable Hand Wash: MyKirei Foam Hand Wash
If foam hand washes are more your thing, then it doesn’t get better than this one by MyKirei by Kao! It’s a richly textured foam hand wash that contains vitamin C rich Japanese Yuzu fruit extract and smoothing rice water.
It comes in a ‘bottle for life’ packaging that is refillable and designed to use 86% less plastic. And, if you’re into aesthetics, you’ll love the beautiful imprint of a Yuzu flower stamp that the product dispenses every time you use it.
This biodegradable foam wash is free of phthalates, parabens, mineral oils, and artificial dyes and is also vegan-friendly and cruelty-free!
Best Liquid Hand Wash: Whispering Willow Natural Hand Soap
While we discuss some options for hand washes, we had to include this beautiful natural hand soap by Whispering Willow. It comes in 7 different fragrances ranging all the way from lavender to chai and even tea tree!
The beautiful glass bottle looks luxurious, and the products feel even better! The unique blend of organic oils creates a rich lathering soap that’ll gently clean your hands. Plus, it’s refillable too!
Organic oils such as jojoba oil make this ultra nourishing and moisturizing for the skin, so if you have dry hands this one is perfect for you!
Best Biodegradable Solid Dish Soap: Zero Waste MVMT
This biodegradable solid dish bar soap cuts through grease to give you clean dishes that don’t have any synthetic chemical residues on them! Switching over to solid dish soaps is a great way to ditch plastic from your kitchen and we highly recommend you check it out.
One bar lasts on average 2 to 4 months, so you’ll really get your money’s worth with this product. It’s handmade in Winnipeg, Canada using natural ingredients such as castor oil and bergamot and lime essential oils.
You can even buy a scent-free version if you prefer that instead!
Best Innovative Biodegradable Laundry Detergent: MyKirei Easy-Spray Laundry Detergent
When it comes to biodegradable laundry detergents, this one by MyKirei by Kao is by far the best on the market!
It’s an ultra-concentrated product that comes in an easy-spray design. It’s formulated to attack stains and protect fabrics to give you clean clothes every single time.
This spray is a lightweight detergent that you simply spray on. No need to measure anything and create a drippy mess!
It also features an innovative formula containing BIO-IOS, a proprietary plant-based surfactant that won’t leave behind any residues and rinses off completely, even in cold water. It’s also a ‘bottle for life’ product that’s refillable to reduce plastic by 90%.
Best Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent Sheets: Kind Laundry Detergent Sheets
Looking for some detergent sheets instead? Then this one by Kind Laundry is the one for you! It’s made using zero-waste packing and safe ingredients that are more eco-friendly than conventional detergents.
To use it, all you need to do is toss one pre-measured sheet in with your laundry! For an extra boost of cleaning you can add two sheets, and three for extra-large loads such as bedding.
You also get a 30-day satisfaction guarantee when you purchase this product. For an average family size of 3-4 people, you’ll need 6-12 boxes per year, costing you on average as low as $0.25 per load!
Best Biodegradable Shampoo: Eco Roots Lavender Shampoo Bar
Have you been scanning the list for biodegradable shampoo? Then this one by Eco Roots is perfect for you! Say goodbye to plastic shampoo bottles, and welcome this shampoo bar into your bathroom.
This zero-waste design has a beautiful floral lavender scent and creates a rich lather that won’t have you missing your old shampoo whatsoever! It’s handmade here in the US and includes nourishing ingredients for your hair such as coconut oil and cocoa butter.
What’s great is that this formulation is color-safe and great for all hair types, including curly hair!
Best Organic and Biodegradable Conditioner: MyKirei Nourishing Conditioner
Speaking of shampoos, here’s an incredible conditioner to go with it! This MyKirei nourishing conditioner will instantly detangle and smoothen your hair, thanks to its moisturizing Japanese Tsubaki extract formulation.
It’s rich in oleic acid, protein, and glycerides, and suits all hair types and textures leaving them perfectly conditioned. Plus, it’s also safe for color-treated hair!
What’s best is that this formula includes ingredients that are designed to reduce blow-drying time as well! A definite winner in our books!
It’s recommended to use biodegradable soap that’s free of any harmful chemicals to protect the environment and also help you avoid any skin irritants. These eco-friendly soaps are designed to you clean and to get rid of any dirt or grime off your hands and body without feeling over-drying. So go through our list to find the right products for you and your family.
Other Articles from Planet Natural: