Zero waste liquid hand soap is packed in glass or metal bottles, and made with biodegradable ingredients (no fragrance oils) that safely break down, when rinsed down the sink. Although bar soap is good, most people prefer liquid soap for guests or public areas. To help prevent COVID-19, wash your hands after visiting the bathroom, changing nappies, touching food (or animals – or their food, houses), blowing your nose (or coughing/sneezing) and before/after treating wounds. Keep a zero waste hand sanitizer on hand too.
These soaps are vegan and free from palm oil (a couple contain certified organic palm from Columbia, where its use is actually helping to build back forests, after they have been destroyed from beef and soy industries).
Avoid essential oils for pregnancy/nursing (avoid shea butter in hand lotions, for latex allergies). Presently, it’s recommended to avoid eucalyptus trees, as koalas have been harmed through harvesting by some suppliers.
- Fill is an unscented soap from Nottinghamshire (the scented version contains non-biodegradable fragrance oil). Then order a 10L refill box.
- London Bathers is made with tea tree & rosemary oils and sold in a glass bottle (you can recycle the tops with household packaging, and buy a matching hand lotion, with optional wall brackets).
- Beauty Kitchen sells fragrance-free hand wash (also in citrus burst or minty) made from natural ingredients, in an aluminium tin with limestone dust labels (no bleach or water used, and easy to remove).
(not quite) zero waste soaps
These are all good soaps, but still packed in plastic. Not ideal, but in the real world, here are good ones if you are in the health shop or farm shop. Most councils now recycled bottle tops too, so check first then throw them in the bag.
- Bio-D offers sanitising hand wash in recycled plastic bottles, with refills (also in bulk sizes). Unscented, rosemary thyme or lavender.
- Green People Hand Wash offers scent-free, quinoa calendula or manuka tea tree (they say it’s vegan, it sounds like honey?) There’s also a deep-cleansing foam hand wash and hand-cream-set.
The Little Soap Company for organic hand wash with oils of rose geranium. Made in small batches with a creamy lather, it offers catering sizes.
- Handmade Naturals offers a pure soap made with organic aloe vera and glycerine, and oils of lemongrass, orange and grapefruit. Includes a mild sugar detergent.
- Organii Liquid Hand Soap is made with organic olive oil, ideal for frequent washing and sensitive skin.
- Green Frog Botanic offers a naturally moisturising soapberry hand wash, from a soap that grows in the Himalayas. Made with aloe vera and essential oils of peppermint, lime, neroli or rose.
- Sodasan Liquid Soap is made with olive oil and pure lavender. Created using green energy, the refill can be used for wall dispensers.
- Highland Soaps are made with over 95% organic ingredients. With aloe vera and natural scents (Scottish raspberry, wild nettle, heather and Hebridean seaweed), these use organic (traced) palm oil from Columbia. The bottles are plastic, but they offer glass refills.
- Bentley Organic Hand Wash uses traced palm oil from Colombia. In 4 varieties, this is the one most likely to be found in local shops.