This way solid soaps and shampoos last much longer

Vanessa Koch — — 11 minutes

Do you also sometimes have the feeling that solid soaps and shampoos literally run through your fingers and you have to constantly repurchase? This does not have to be. We show you how to use and store solid soaps and shampoos perfectly to enjoy them for a long time.

In our bathroom and in daily hygiene, solid soaps and shampoos are indispensable. Because they have two unbeatable advantages: they get along without plastic packaging - so they save packaging waste and thus resources and CO2 - and they last incredibly long, because with liquid shower gels and shampoos there is nevertheless again and again with pleasure the habit a small blob more to take. Who can also tell exactly how big a pea or nut is? And if these great solid pieces last long, it also pleases the wallet in the long run, because it saves money. Even if the now and then expensive purchase price suggests the opposite.

Seifendose aus Kork enthält ein Seifenstück und festes Shampoo
Soaps in a cork box are in good hands. (Photo: Lena Grøtting for Unwaste)

To keep solid soaps and shampoos but for a long time, there are some things to consider. It is actually quite easy, however, there are unfortunately some usage patterns that have crept into the general public, which make solid soaps and shampoos quickly used up.

Less soap is sometimes more

Soap bars last long if the whole body is not lathered or soaped with the bar. Actually, it is enough if you moisten a sponge, cotton cloth or hands as well as the bar of soap and then rub the soap on hands, sponge or cotton cloth. After that, put down the soap and briefly lather the hands, sponge or cloth and soap the desired areas on the body. Then rinse off as usual.
For hair washing, it is enough if you briefly moisten the solid shampoo or hair soap and rub it into the wet hair with a maximum of 5 strong strokes. Put the solid piece aside and lather up the hair as usual and then rinse. Done.

Small-cut soaps are super when traveling. (Photo: vie studio by Pexels)

Even longer lasting solid bars of soap and shampoos if you portion them out. That's because sometimes soap bars and solid shampoos can be cut into smaller pieces. This is especially ideal if you are traveling for a short period of time. Then you only need to take the small piece with you and ensure that you have longer joy with your soap or shampoo.

Lathering up but right

For all of us who need foam, soap bags are just right. Simply put the solid bar of soap in before using and lather it up under water.

Taking soaps out of the soap bag after use. (Photo: Karolina Grabowska by Pexels)

But there are a few things to keep in mind here:

  1. Soaps in soap bags use up faster. This is because they stay moist longer, and using them in the sisal sachet ensures that the soaps wear out faster - more soap is used than necessary.
  2. Soap sachets are not suitable for washing the hair. Solid shampoos or hair soaps you should not use in soap bags. Because the friction with the sachet are not good for your hair - The hair structure can be attacked and longer hair can form nodules during use. In addition, even here more is consumed than is necessary.
  3. Soap sachets are not suitable for storing soaps: Solid bars of soap you should take at best immediately after use from the soap bag. The still wet fabric around the soap body ensures that it remains moist longer and becomes soft. As a result, it wears out more quickly. Therefore, you should ideally store your used soap in a dry sachet when traveling.
  4. Soap sachets are perfect for using up leftover soap. Store your dried leftover soap pieces in the soap bag and then use them in the bag for showering. So the pieces do not fall out of your hand again and again.

What is the best way to dry soaps?

Solid soaps and shampoos should always be stored well ventilated and dry. This is because if they are left in a damp place for a long time, they absorb the moisture and become soft. As a result, they wear out more quickly during use. Therefore, you should take solid soaps and shampoos out of the shower right after use, if you know that after you continue to use the shower.

As a shelf to dry are suitable classic soap trays. Provided they offer the solid piece the opportunity to dry well even on the underside. Ideal are therefore trays with grooves or holes that ensure that the water can flow off.

Luffa, a natural bed for soap and shampoo

Perfect, cheap, 100% natural and our favorites are slices or sponges from the loofah cucumber. They offer a super deposit, because moisture can be absorbed into the fibrous tissue of the loofah. At the same time, it is ensured that air circulates around the solid bar of soap or shampoo. Thus, it dries evenly and quickly.
Who wants can then also use the loofah additionally for body cleansing. With circular movements on the skin applied helps the fibrous tissue to remove old skin scales and stimulate blood circulation.
But make sure that not too much pressure is exerted on the skin, otherwise it is yet quickly uncomfortable and scratchy.
Luffa pieces and sponges can be washed by the way also now and then times in the washing machine.

Where with the piece of soap or shampoo on the way?

For on the way whether on journeys or for the sport soap boxes are suitable. There are them from like different materials such as plastic, tinplate or also from cork. They all have in common that they are only suitable for the short storage of wet soaps and solid shampoos. Therefore, the pieces should be taken out of the box/can as soon as possible to dry in the air. Boxes with drip trays also help only to a limited extent, since the moisture is not directly on the soap, but still remains in the closed box.

Soap tins made of tinplate

Tins made of tinplate have the property to quickly rust if moist contents are stored there for a long time. Moist soaps and shampoos even make tinplate rust faster. This has something to do with the PH value in the shampoo and soap. Many tinplate cans are therefore coated with a protective lacquer. This makes it, however, on the one hand more difficult to recycle the cans later and on the other hand, the varnishes like to contain times plasticizers, which can be harmful to the body and the environment.
But the advantage of tinplate cans is that hardly any moisture gets from the inside to the outside. Which is why they are ideal for traveling. Who wants to store his wet soap in a tinplate can for travel should therefore best use a cloth or a thin tray of loofah, so that the solid bar of soap better not lie in its own juice and can dry up a bit. Then open the tin or box as soon as possible and let it dry. If you take all this to heart, a tin can can become ancient with a little patina.

Used correctly, tin cans last a very long time. (Photo: Lena Grœtting for Unwaste)

One more thing you should be aware of: A large proportion of tinplate cans are not manufactured in Germany, but come from China or India. The production conditions in these countries are not subject to such high environmental regulations as in Europe. Labor costs and working conditions in this industry are quite poor, which is why it is easier to have affordable tin cans produced there. However, at the expense of the environment and the workers. Some regions, such as Xiamen in China are trying to set up sustainable processes in their companies and are showcase regions for China. But what remains is still the bitter taste of a non-democratic government that oppresses people and, to get back to the climate issue, transportation that emits CO2.
So if you choose a tin can, make sure it lasts a very long time.

Aluminum cans

Aluminum cans are lightweight and don't rust. Actually ideal for transporting soaps and solid shampoos. However, the eco-balance for the production of aluminum is not very good. The bauxite needed for production is often mined in open-pit mines in the tropical belt. The result: contamination of large areas of land and deforestation.
Aluminum can be and is recycled, but companies still prefer new aluminum.

Boxes made of plastic

Since plastics have been around, soap boxes have also been made of them. Many brands now offer soap boxes made from recycled plastic or bioplastics.
Soap cans made from recycled plastic we find per se much better than cans made from new plastic. With bioplastics, however, we still do not warm. This is because currently there are simply far too many types of bioplastics on the market that cannot be recycled because there is no need for it but also no technology yet.
In addition, some plastic components are rather questionable and contain harmful ingredients, such as plasticizers.
Some brands also write on their products that they are compostable. In our view, this is very misleading, because compostable plastics can only be composted under technological conditions. In a landfill, garden compost, organic waste or in nature, they hardly decompose or decompose slowly. And industrial composting facilities are still very rare.
Plastic cans may be very light for transportation, but can still break more quickly. Therefore, plastic cans are not the first choice for us.

Cork soap cans

Boxes made from the bark of cork oaks are good for storage. For one thing, they don't break so quickly once they fall. For another, they are naturally antibacterial and protected against mold. And if the box is ever dirty, it can easily be cleaned by hand and with water.
Cork boxes are often pressed from recycled cork and are produced in Portugal or in China. Their carbon footprint is therefore better than the materials mentioned above. Unfortunately, there is no cork box that does not close completely waterproof. But again, if you put a piece of loofah under the soap or a cloth and close the box with a ribbon or rubber, it is ideal for on the go.


If you reduce the amount of soap you use and make sure that your solid soaps and shampoos can always dry well and are never stored closed in a box for long periods of time, you will enjoy your bathroom with your solid favorites for much longer.

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