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The Best Biodegradable Soap for Camping

The Best Biodegradable Soap for Camping

There’s no better (or safer) way to get clean while camping than with biodegradable soap. After all, camping means a whole lot of dirt, sunscreen, bug spray, and sweating.

This article breaks down why you should use biodegradable soap and lists the best options on the market today.

Let’s dive in!

What Is Biodegradable Soap?

Biodegradable soap can break down at least 90% via naturally occurring bacteria in the environment. This type of soap is environmentally friendly and free of harsh chemicals, artificial fragrances, and additives. 

These soaps decompose by way of soil microbes, so you must use them directly over soil. When using eco-friendly soaps for cleaning yourself or your dishes, always do it at least 200 feet away from a water source. 

Why Should You Use Biodegradable Soap When Camping? 

When you’re camping or hiking, you should aim to have the smallest possible impact on the natural environment around you. One way to protect the environment is by using biodegradable soap.

Regular soaps contain harmful chemicals that can poison water and soil and damage local ecosystems by killing beneficial bacteria and promoting algae growth. Biodegradable soaps contain natural ingredients that work to clean skin and dishes but aren’t harmful to environmental bacteria.  

Best Biodegradable Soap for Camping

There are several options for great camping soaps. You can choose from liquid soap, bar soap, and even convenient soap sheets. Each of these soaps is concentrated, so a little bit goes a long way. Here are the best biodegradable soaps for camping. 

1. Dr. Bronner’s

Dr. Bronner’s is a pure castile soap that comes in a bar and liquid form. This brand of castile soap comes in many different scents and sizes. Although, we recommend using unscented soap for camping. 

You can use Dr. Bronner’s to wash your hair, hands, skin, dishes, and even laundry. It’s a genuinely versatile soap that’s great for camping.

2. Sea to Summit Wilderness Wash

Sea to Summit Wilderness Wash is an ultra-concentrated biodegradable soap that you can use on your body, dishes, and fabrics. Wilderness Wash is a non-detergent formula, which means it’s safe to use on wool and technical fabrics, too. This soap is an excellent choice for backpackers because it’s ultra-concentrated and comes in a small, refillable bottle. 

3. Coleman Camp Soap Sheets

Many campers will recognize the name “Coleman.” These camp soap sheets are a great biodegradable soap option from a name campers trust. Coleman Camp Soap Sheets come in a 50-pack that’s great for camping, hiking, and backpacking. Just add water to activate a lather and wash your body, hands, or dishes. 

4. Campsuds

Campsuds is liquid biodegradable soap. You can find it in most department and outdoor supply stores or purchase it online. Campsuds also has a refreshing scent. You can use it to wash just about anything.

5. Joshua Tree Eco-Soap

Joshua Tree Eco-Soap is a biodegradable, plant-based liquid soap that’s great for camping, hiking, and traveling. In fact, this soap is even safe to use to wash your dog, which is great after a long day of hiking or swimming. 

Like other items on our list, Joshua Tree Eco-Soap is concentrated, so a small bottle lasts a long time. 

Do Your Part to Protect the Environment

Responsible campers protect the environment. As wilderness enthusiasts, it’s our responsibility. Using biodegradable soap is a simple way to minimize your impact on the wilderness. These soaps clean skin, dishes, and laundry and protect the natural environment in the process. What kind of soap do you take along for your camping trips?

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  1. Based on your statement that “you must use them directly over soil,” I gather that I should continue to use a regular dishwashing detergent IF I am doing the dishes inside my RV and draining into my gray water tank. Or is there a reason for RVers washing dishes indoors to also make the switch?