Are you seeking body wash alternatives because your bathroom is the most offensive room in the house? Stay with me. This isn’t a toilet joke, merely a green living observation.
Once I started seeing all the single-use plastic in my life, I couldn’t unsee it. And boy, oh boy was there plenty to see in the bathroom. Who among us isn’t a sucker for a skin care product deal, or hasn’t fallen prey to trying a new shampoo because of that eye-catching packaging? “10x volume”?! I doubt it. But I’ll try it. Please tell me I’m not alone.
Anyway, we’re all looking to lighten our carbon footprint, and these easy body wash swaps may be just the thing you’re looking for.
Body Wash Waste
I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but buying endless bottles of personal care items is expensive and wasteful. Don’t believe me? The EPA estimates that nearly 70% of plastic packaging ends up in landfills. Not to mention all the plastic that ends up in our waterways. While the beauty industry is far from the only group utilizing plastic bottles for their products, a stroll down any personal care aisle shows they certainly use their (un)fair share.
For products that are primarily water anyway, this is a travesty. You may use that body wash for a month or so, but that bottle will be around for 450 years. The fact that the trove of Bath and Body Works Sun Ripened Raspberry body gel bottles my 7th grade classmates and I plowed through are basically still in their infancy years after that trend mercifully died is hard to fathom.
(Want to know more? Check out this interesting article from NatGeo about how the personal care industry became so devoted to plastic packaging. The things you didn’t know you didn’t know!)
And that fluffy plastic
petri dish pouf? Okay, okay. You get it.
Soap Saver Pouch
I get not wanting to embrace the bar of soap. Soap dries out your skin. It breaks apart. It sits in a puddle of its own film. Blech.
Until now! Enter: the soap saver pouch.
This is a game changer. Made from Sisal, a natural fiber, this baby will give you a spa-quality exfoliation while saving the planet. WHAT a miracle worker.
Pop a bar of soap into this little wonder and get to work. If you want the details, I suggest getting the pouch (with enclosed soap) wet and start to scrub your elbows. This is incredibly specific, however it’ll lather very quickly, but it starts out rough. Find a swatch of skin that can handle it. After that, you’ll have plenty of suds to get clean and even shave!
Other perks of the pouch: no more soap bits. When one bar starts breaking up, just throw the next one in. No waste! Also regardless of brand, most bags come with a loop so you could hang this on a hook if you hate setting soap down in a little puddle. Personally, I just put this in a soap holder and find it doesn’t produce the muck puddle that bars on their own do.
Finally, and maybe most exciting, (That’s right, exciting. These are that awesome.) The pouch is compostable. So once it’s run its course, just cut it up, throw it into your compost bin, and pat yourself on your smooth back for this switch. Well done!
Need more plastic free bathroom products? Check out my complete guide!
DIY Body Wash Alternatives
For the life of me I don’t know why you don’t like the soap pouch, but if that’s the case, I still got you.
There are myriad recipes for body wash alternatives on the internet that you can make at home. Over the years, the one I keep coming back to is as simple as this:
- 1 part Castile soap
- 1 part raw honey
- 1 part carrier oil (I have used castor oil, jojoba oil, or even olive oil depending on what’s around)
- Add essential oil to your liking (this will vary depending on the amount you’re making)
- Instructions: hand mix or blend until you achieve smooth consistency. Store in an airtight pump bottle. Lather on with a washcloth or natural bath sponge.
In order to find the scent and formula that works for you, I recommend starting with 2 Tablespoons each of the soap, honey, and oil. For that amount, I’d probably use 7-10 drops of essential oil. (If you can’t tell, I totally wing this. Mix some oils. Use a heavy hand. There’s no wrong answer here.) Those amounts will give you enough to use a few times and then tweak, rather than giving you a vat of a product you may not love.
Oh, and don’t be scared off by the honey. It rinses clean and moisturizes like a dream. And if you haven’t used it before, Castile soap is the eco-friendly work horse that you can use to clean your home and your body. Buying one bottle with so many uses minimizes consumption and waste.
You can even Pin this for later:
What Are You Waiting For?
So, soap pouch or homemade body wash? Whatever your choice, it’s just a small leap to swear off single-use body wash bottles forever. What’s working for you? Share any oil blends or favorite zero-waste soaps you’ve used below!