Hard Bar vs Liquid Soap
Caustic Soda vs Potash
Sodium Hydroxide vs Potassium Hydroxide
NaOH vs KOH
Same question? Similar clean results?
The real questions are: “Paper or Plastic?” And, what does it take to make each type “shelf stable?”
So, some have asked if we will ever do liquid soaps like hands soaps, body washes, and liquid shampoos and conditioners. The answer is, probably not in the near future. Why? Because we are trying to take the lead in preparing for a new world without plastics. Liquid requires a container. And, while glass is a potential recyclable option, it’s heavy and shipping is not getting any cheaper. So, we subscribe to the KISS concept. The simplest option is to make solid products. We do make scrubs and balms that we ship in recycled tin containers. But, we’re not worried about whether they get recycled again because metal has a tendency to return to its natural oxidized ore state, especially when exposed to saltwater. And, as we can find suppliers, we have been switching to the most compostable packaging that we can find.
There are advancements being made in biodegradable plastics made from corn starch, hemp, and bamboo. Those would be viable options for shipping liquid soaps, but then the question of, should we, comes up. Hard bar soaps require less preservatives than liquid soaps because bacteria cannot move as easily through a solid matrix. Liquids, on the other hand, provide a wonderful environment for bacteria, so therefore requires preservatives. Preservatives that are more potent than just the natural sea salt and citrus compounds that we use. Enter the world of harsh toxic chemicals.
To extend the shelf life of a liquid soap product to longer than three to six months requires antibiotics and mildewcides. Most of these chemicals serve one purpose and only that purpose — to serve a toxin to prevent or interrupt natural cellular lifecycles. Can you say, “hormone imbalance and infertility?” Think about that question the next time you read the ingredients of your soap product and you see words that start with propyl-, ethyl-, and my personal favorite, methyl-. Methanol, by the way, is an alcohol that causes blindness and renal failure. Oh, and don’t forget about the recent research found on parabens. I go into a few more details in my article, “What’s (Not) In Our Soap?” But, feel free to look up the MSDS on some of those lovely ingredients yourself. Trust me. It’s a real eye-opener. It was for me.
There are more eco-friendly options to preserve the liquid soaps long enough to make it to the end user, but those options are currently cost prohibitive. Why do you think commercial soap companies haven’t tried those options? The simple fact is, liquid soaps veer far from the KISS concept. So, which do you prefer - solid or liquid? Paper or plastic? Toxic or non-toxic?
Which is better for the environment? Which is better for you?