eco swap: soap

Since going low-waste in 2018 I have made many changes to the way I buy my groceries, what I eat and what I bring into my house. I have tested many products and tried several alternatives to everyday items. One of the easiest swaps was changing the soaps I use around the house: body, dishes and laundry.


The first switch I made was from liquid body soap to a bar soap. I used to love buying scented liquid body soap, but since transitioning to a low-waste lifestyle I realized how expensive and wasteful they were, not to mention the amount of chemicals and unnecessary ingredients they contain. So I finished up the bottle I had and started buying bar soap in bulk. My favorite brand is Goodsoap, not only do they have vegan options but they are also ethically traded, biodegradable, gluten free and donate 100% of their proceeds to support families and communities around the world. You can find them at Whole Foods (3 for $6).


Just like with body soap, I also used liquid soap for my dishes. I started buying refills at one point, but those also came in plastic, so it didn't solve my problem. Once I discovered a zero waste store near my house, I started bringing my own container and having them filled with their own liquid dish soap. I can refill my jar for $11 and it will last me 5-6 months, which is much better than the containers I used to buy every other month.

As for my dishwasher I switched from liquid soap to making my own, and it works just as well, if not better! Instead of buying those ugly giant containers of liquid soap, I use a combination of baking soda, kosher salt, citric acid and washing soda, which all come in cardboard boxes (except for the citric acid). If you prefer liquid dish soap, try finding a zero waste shop near you that might cary it in bulk.


• 2 cups baking soda

• 2 cups super washing soda

• 2 cups citric acid

• 1 cup kosher salt


1. Combine all ingredients until you get an even mix

2. Store in air tight container and away from humidity and sunlight

3. Use 1 to 2 tbsp per wash, depending on your dishwasher


I always hated having to buy laundry soap because of how bulky and ugly the containers are. And it was always an inconvenience having to cary it with me to do the laundry, so I was super excited when I tried this DIY and it worked super well. I've been using this recipe for almost two years now and I never had a problem with my clothes not getting cleaned or smelling bad after a wash. If you prefer liquid laundry soap, try finding a zero waste shop near you that might cary it in bulk.


• 1 castile soap bar

• 1 cup super washing soda

• 1 cup borax


1. Grate the castile soap bar finely

2. Add other ingredients and mix well

3. Store in air tight container and away from humidity and sunlight

4. Use 2 - 4 tbsp per wash, depending on the amount of clothes you have

I love how these swaps save me money, are safe, easy to make and better for the environment. Are you ready to try some low waste alternatives?

© 2021 by Fernanda Kirk