How to choose the best soap for camping

You want to explore one of the fantastic campsites or hiking trails in South Africa, and you are looking for the best soap to take along. When you camp, there is a lot of dirt. Think sweaty socks, greasy braai and muddy pants. Soap helps the water get the dirt off. 

Even when we camp or hike, we need soap. And somehow when we are that close to nature, it seems easier for us to realise that whatever soap we use, actually ends up in rivers. We certainly want to do no harm. What are the things to look out for when you choose your soap for the great outdoors?

Safe ingredients

The first thing to check for is that the soap does not contain anything that harms life. Any soap that kills 99.9% of germs, also kills good bacteria in water and soil, and possibly insects and marine life. We never need anti-bacterial soap (except for the surgeons among us) but on a hike, it can do real damage. Choose soap with fewer, safe ingredients.

Readily biodegradable

The perfect soap for camping needs to be readily biodegradable. Biodegradable is not enough. A jumbo jet is biodegradable if you give it enough time. Your soap should be readily biodegradable, which means every single ingredient will completely biodegrade in less than 28 days. There is a test for this (OECD301) so make sure it is not something the soap claims but cannot back up.

Sustainable packaging

Also think about the packaging. Of course you will not litter, but if a lion gets hold of your dish soap (like what happened here!) or your shampoo drops into the ocean by accident, it will feel a lot better on the conscience if you know the packaging will biodegrade faster than plastic.

If your soap for camping ticks all these boxes, it should be safe for our beautiful rivers as well as for all the wildlife that is fed by it. And you will feel great knowing that you are doing no harm. 

We’d love to hear your camping stories! Tell us on Instagram or Facebook.

Until next time

Plastic free cleaning products? Yes, please!

At Mrs Martin’s the whole life cycle of the product matters. We formulate simply and say no to most chemicals. The chemicals we do use, are the best green chemicals available. We make sure we source them sustainably, and we pack our products in glass and aluminium as far as we can.

That is why we have moved away from our plastic spray bottles. As from 1 June 2022 you will find no more plastic spray bottles or squeeze or pump bottles in our shop. Our lids, pumps and triggers are still plastic, because good alternatives are not yet available. We still sell 5l bulk products in plastic because those containers are light, do not break easily and can be used for years. Remember that we accept empty containers back when empty.

Our fantastic products now mainly come in aluminium. Why do we think that is a great material? Read here. We still use glass for the 50ml concentrates as these bottles can easily be reused and they do not break easily.

We invite you to find a product that is more eco friendly, stylish or affordable. We would love to hear from you!

Until next time 

“I Certainly Don’t Want To Use Rotten Soap, Thank You!”

We call our products biological because they contain spores of beneficial microbes. These guys hatch when they get water and the right temperatures. They then analyse what is going on around them and produce the correct enzyme to digest whatever they find to eat. Normally what they see as food, is what we see as dirt. A better symbiosis could not be found!

There are no hatched microbes in your soap. There are only spores, or ‘seeds’ if you will. These spores are quite tough. They tolerate temperatures between freezing and 90 degrees Celsius. To keep them stable, we use low levels of potassium sorbate and citric acid. We do not use any other preservatives.

We guarantee our liquid soaps for one year from manufacture, and our dry products for two years. After this, the spores are probably still fine, but the natural ingredients that make up the soap may start to become runny and smell more chemical. The soap never becomes dangerous, but it may be less pleasant to work with, and it may lose functionality.

Do you have a technical question about our products? Do not hesiate to contact me!

“Hey! Don’t You Dare Throw Out That Strong, Light Container!”

Do you feel that horrible niggle when you throw ‘away’ your fourth yoghurt tub and another empty milk bottle in just one week? I do!

I’m not an activist and I do not live in constant fear of annihilation. But running my household in a responsible and intelligent way is important to me. Throwing ‘away’ a fantastically light and strong container that was USED ONLY ONCE does not seem to be either.

Mrs Martin

The way we see it, plastic is a great material because it is light and strong. It is exactly the kind of material that should be used over and over again, for years. After that, it can be recycled once or twice. True, by that time it will end up in landfill, but it would have saved so much energy during its working life, that the net impact is favourable.

Just imagine: we transport your soap to you in a 5l PET bottle. The fact that the bottle is strong means the courier drives less, because it does not break along the way. The fact that the bottle is very light means the courier can carry more product in one trip, so he makes less trips! Over several years, the delivery of your product creates a smaller footprint, and if you send back five empty 5l bottles every year, you have kept a whole lot of plastic off landfill!

That’s why we accept your used containers and really use them again. Visit our website to see how you can do it.

That’s also why we offer concentrate refills and bulk buying options for thicker soap that cannot be concentrated. We take the single use plastic problem off your shoulders and offer you a chance at a clean conscience.

A clean conscience? That’s worth a whole lot!