Backpacking & Camping

Best Biodegradable Soap: How To Have an Eco-Friendly Camping Trip

Best Biodegradable Soap

Choosing the best biodegradable soap products for your camping or backpacking trip is important. When deciding what works for you, there are factors to consider, like effects on the environment, weight if backpacking or on the move, storage, etc.

This article will review what to expect in your soap and discuss what we think are some of the best biodegradable soaps available.

If you decide to make your own soap, check out our article on how to do so.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Biodegradable Soap

Using biodegradable soap is an excellent way to decrease your impact on the environment around you. You will lessen your environmental impact and preserve delicate aquatic ecosystems.

Consider the factors below when purchasing biodegradable soap.

  • Ingredients – Check whether the soap is made from natural ingredients and renewable resources. Make sure there are no petroleum-based products or components.
  • Phosphate Free – Phosphates impact aquatic ecosystems and encourage the growth of algae. Make sure your soap does not have these.
  • Biodegradability – Check for this certification on packaging. These soaps break down into natural components, not damaging aquatic environments.
  • Artificial fragrances and dyes – These can harm the environment. Find soap with natural ingredients.
  • pH Impacts – Look for soaps with minimal pH impacts on the environment.
  • Packages – Look for recycled or environmentally friendly packaging.
  • Antibacterial Agents – Use soaps without antibacterial components. They will affect aquatic environments.
  • Certifications – Look for soaps with third-party certifications from environmental agencies.

Choose the Best Biodegradable Soap for You

There are numerous soaps to choose from when purchasing biodegradable soap. Although often natural, these soaps still differ in scents, designs, textures, etc. In addition to selecting the soap that works for you, check reviews online.

1) Kirk’s Castile Soap

Kirk’s is well-known as a simple, natural, and versatile soap that can be used for many purposes. It can be used to clean skin or for household uses – washing dishes, etc. Kirk’s is often used by people with sensitive skin and is safe for the environment.

Kirk’s Natural Castile Soap Original – 4 oz Each, 3 ct

Kirk's has a loyal following. This simple, versatile soap can be used for multiple purposes. If you are looking for a biodegradable, multi-purpose soap, Kirk's is a good choice.

Check Price


  • Natural Ingredients with no synthetics or harsh additives
  • A gentle, soothing soap good for people with allergies and sensitive skin
  • Weight is four oz., and it comes in bars.
  • No animal products and does not engage in animal testing
  • Biodegradable
  • No scent to lightly scented

Heads Up:

  • Has a high pH so that it can dry skin
  • Does not lather as well as other soaps
  • Has a limited variety
  • Not a good soap for hair

2) Coghlans Camp Soap

Coghlans is a biodegradable liquid soap that is very popular amongst campers. This compact, lightweight soap is versatile and gentle. Coghlans can be used on skin or to perform numerous camp chores. The small packable bottles make this convenient to pack and carry.

Coghlan's Soap

Coghlans Camp Soap is a good biodegradable, all-purpose soap for around camp. This small bottle of condensed liquid soap can wash skin, clothes, or pots and pans around camp.

Check Price


  • Biodegradable
  • Weighs four ounces and is packaged in small, compact bottles
  • Multipurpose – for personal hygiene or camp cleaning
  • Concentrated, so you need minimal amounts
  • Can use it in salt or freshwater
  • Good at removing tough stains

Heads Up:

  • It may not be suitable for very sensitive skin
  • Small plastic bottles are not as durable as bars
  • Has a limited variety
  • It may be a little more expensive than some other soaps

3) Sea to Summit Pocket Soap

Sea to Summit is a well-known brand among backpackers, and this lightweight, portable soap is popular with backpackers and travelers. The small sheets are versatile and can be used for skin, body, and clothes. This is the most portable soap on this list and is great for people on the go.

Sea To Summit Trek & Travel Pocket Shaving Soap (50 Leaves/ .5 Ounce)

Sea to Summit is this list's most portable, lightweight soap. Sea to Summit is a well-known outdoor brand, and this biodegradable soap is popular among hikers and travelers.

Check Price


  • Biodegradable
  • Phosphate and Paraben free
  • Compact and lightweight for any travel bag
  • Easy to use in individual sheets
  • Minimal waste since in individual sheets
  • Long-lasting with 50 sheets
  • There are a variety of scents

Heads Up:

  • It may not be suitable for very sensitive skin
  • Intended for limited-use hygiene
  • Fragrances may cause skin irritation, so check the ingredients

4) Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Soap

Dr. Bronners is one of this list’s most respected brands. If you are looking for a quality, versatile soap that will protect you and your family, this is the one you need. Dr. Bronners is also a popular cleaning product for dishes, floors, and any other cleaning project you have at camp or home.

Dr. Bronner's - Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner (16 Ounce) - All-Purpose Cleaner

Dr. Bronners is a versatile and respected brand that has been around for a long time. They have more third-party certifications than any other brand on this list. Keep you and your home safe with Dr. Bronners.

Check Price


  • Biodegradable
  • Numerous third-party certifications
  • Uses organic and ethically sourced ingredients
  • Versatile – body cleaning, house cleaning, gear and camp
  • Cruelty-free and Vegan
  • Transparent and socially responsible company that has initiated many environmental initiatives

Heads Up:

  • Has a strong scent that smells of medicine
  • Some versions have concentrated essential oils
  • Expensive products
  • Read labels carefully since they may use some synthetic ingredients

5) Campsuds

Campsuds is one of this list’s most well-known and economically priced brands. This biodegradable liquid soap is packaged in a two-ounce bottle that is portable and lightweight. This versatile soap can be used to clean gear, clothes, skin, and around camp.

CAMPSUDS Outdoor Soap - Environmentally Conscious Camping Soap

Campsuds is the most economical soap on this list. Its small size and concentrated liquid formula make it biodegradable and long-lasting.

Check Price


  • Biodegradable
  • Economical in price, with long-lasting concentrated liquid
  • Multi-purpose, versatile soap
  • Gentle on skin
  • Scented and unscented options
  • Compact and lightweight

Heads Up:

  • Does not lather as well as other soaps
  • It may not be suitable for delicate fabrics and gear
  • The packaging is not durable, with some reports of leakage
  • Read labels carefully since they may use some synthetic ingredients

The Best Biodegradable Soap – Summary

If you are going to use soap on camping or long backpacking trips, consider using biodegradable soaps. Biodegradable soaps have less of an impact on the environment, especially aquatic environments.

Keep in mind though that soap is still soap. If used in large enough quantities soap will still impact the environment. Use biodegradable soap responsibly and according to local rules and regulations. Also, ensure you use it at least 200 feet from water sources.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you click on one of these links and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Also, as an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If the information in this post has been helpful, please consider purchasing through one of the links in this article. Thank you.

About the author

Nora Taylor

Nora Taylor is passionate about helping developing countries and people worldwide to deal with infections and diseases. She is certified in Workplace Emergency First Aid, Red Cross First Aid and Marine First Aid. Nora lives in Vancouver, BC, but travels to Africa and Asia every year. Her dream is that one day we can conquer many known diseases through a proper preparation and education of people in all parts of the world.


  • Indeed, campers, travelers, hikers and the like must have the best biodegradable soap that they could carry along in their backpacks; I am not an exception to that. I have been a great wanderer for 5 years now, and I have one thing I should not miss – my soap. For those who are in search for a safe, biodegradable, and effective cleansing soap, DR. Bronners is one of those. It comes with fruits, rose, lavender and peppermint smell. This is just perfect to get smooth, scented, and healthy skin.

  • Here are some few tips. Camping requires a lightweight and on the go items; therefore, I prefer using biodegradable liquid soap. In addition, using bottled soap saves a lot than an ordinary bar soap. You do not have to think about how to keep it, to avoid it from melting due to moisture. Moreover, when it rans out, you can still use the container for other encampment purposes.

  • In addition, biodegradable soaps are natural, organic, environmental friendly, animal friendly, travel friendly, and affordable. So, I would definitely recommend them.

  • You are certainly right, Tris. Biodegradable soaps are the best choice for out-of-doors adventures and travelling, because they are highly versatile and resourceful.

Leave a Comment