Friday, May 23, 2008

#228 - Hands Up!

Replacing Liquid Soap With Bar Soap in the Bathrooms

This is the fourteenth change in my month-long pledge to give up plastics for Crunchy's Extreme Eco-Throwdown.

Growing up, we had a little soap tray in our bathroom, right next to the sink, that held a bar of soap. Any time we needed to wash our grubby little digits, we grabbed the bar, lathered up, rinsed off and headed out. Sometimes, the bar would get all slimy on the bottom and someone (Mom?) would clean off the soapdish and life would be good again. It was quaint, it was functional, it was all we ever knew.

Fast forward 'hmm-hmm' years and I have a four year-old visiting my house who is in need of a little hand washing. He exits the bathroom all drippy and perplexed, asking me where the bottle of soap is hidden. Sitting on the counter is a rectangular mass with a slimy bottom.

How could the kid possibly know that the green blob next to the sink is hand soap? After all, it doesn't look like hand-soap. It looks like soap-soap. And, to further his defense, he probably has also only ever known baby wash, so the soap-soap just looks like a mushy brick or something. Hell, maybe he thinks it's decoration.

So I give up and buy a bottle of Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castille soap to put in some ceramic soap dispensers in the bathrooms. Eco-soap -- eco-solution. Yes? Well, I thought it was a great idea until I started this dingity dang "no plastics" challenge.

Fortunately for me, the lovely and talented Mary of Goat Soap Lady Fame comes to the rescue again. I stopped by her booth at the market today and picked up a bar of honest-to-goodness hand soap. How do I know it's hand soap? Just look at it:


Kind of says it all, doesn't it? Soap even a four year old can understand.

9 comments:

Vera said...

Brilliant of course! I keep saying I will check out the Farmer's Market...one of these days...

Grad Green said...

When I got rid of hand soap I noticed that my kids didn't know how to use regular soap at first.

Weird, huh? Especially considering that we grew up with soap and soap dishes. Liquid soap was fancy for me until not so many years ago. But not any more!

Heather @ SGF said...

I thought my hubby wouldn't go for the bar soaps, but he's been using in the shower and we're replacing all our hand soaps around the house with bars as they run out. We have a really nice supplier of soaps at our farmers market. I just love them! There's no plastic involved and I save the little paper slips that have the name of the soap on them and return them to the vendor to reuse. It's perfect!

eco 'burban mom said...

We recently switched to bar soap in the shower (no more shower gel for my pre-teen boys!) and at the kitchen sink. The only reason not the bathroom sink is that my gigant-o bottle from TJs hasn't run out yet. But, we got some yummy smelling soaps from a local soap maker and my youngest loves the "blue" soap the best. Less impact on the environment, more money in the pocket of a local business. YEAH!

Jan said...

Another way to make this work is to take your bar of soap and grind it up with water in a Cuisinart. Keep adding water until you reach the right consistency. I admit I haven't done this myself--but I read it on the Internet, so it must be true, right? You can then refill your soap dispenser (which admittedly is either all plastic or has plastic parts), with your own soap.

leslie said...

Would this be a good place to add a link to my "soap chips" post?
Soap Chips

leslie said...

OK. Wow. The blogger window for comments does weird, elongating things to posts when you link them. Sorry it's so strange to read.

techie_chick said...

How long does it take to teach a child to use "normal" soap to wash their hands? And what happens when you fancy hand-shape gets worn off from use, and then a new child-visitor comes to the house? Back to square one.
My kids both know how to use soap. It's not that hard, really.
Maybe it's an american thing, the endemic liquid soap plague...;o)

Chile said...

Hm, well, I turn my barsoap slivers into liquid soap. I saved the TJ's liquid soap dispenser when it was empty. I shove in all the little slivers of soap (or broken pieces from when I drop it) and then add water. Shake and voila! Liquid soap. Actually, it's more like liquid gunk but it does clean. You don't even need to turn the water on until ready to rinse since you'll be pumping a watered down soap solution onto your hands.