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Old 04-19-15, 06:38 AM
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Soap

Are there strong opinions about what kind of bath soap and detergent for laundry you like to carry while touring? For years while backpacking and cycle touring I carried Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap. Then a couple years ago a nurse told me that I should use Dial antibacterial (gold) to prevent MRSA bacterial infections. I did, but then had to pack a few "pods" of laundry detergent and small travel size bottle of shampoo, where in the past I had used Dr. Bronner's for everything (bath, shampoo, dish detergent, and laundry). I'm back to thinking maybe I will just carry Dr. Bronner's again. Anyone have other ideas?
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Old 04-19-15, 06:44 AM
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Old 04-19-15, 08:29 AM
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For all but laundry, I use liquid soap. For laundry, whatevers for sale in the laundromat. So, no strong opinion.

There was a thread on CG about soap that went on forever. I must be in the minority re soap.
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Old 04-19-15, 08:29 AM
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I think you're obsessing about the wrong kinds of things.

I just use Campsuds for everything, maybe carry a hotel sized bottle of shampoo.

Anti bacterial soaps are not a great idea, unless you need to be very sterile, like in a hospital.They can can contribute to developing resistant bacteria.

What's the Fuss Over Antibacterial Soaps? Should I Stop Using One?
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Old 04-19-15, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by skookum
I think you're obsessing about the wrong kinds of things.

I just use Campsuds for everything, maybe carry a hotel sized bottle of shampoo.

Anti bacterial soaps are not a great idea, unless you need to be very sterile, like in a hospital.They can can contribute to developing resistant bacteria.

What's the Fuss Over Antibacterial Soaps? Should I Stop Using One?
+ 1 on not using anti-bacterial soap.
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Old 04-19-15, 08:37 AM
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If you are partial to a particular brand of a liquid soap, then use it. I had heard that about Dial anti-microbial properties years ago from an ambulance driver that taught a first aid class that I took, but that does not drive my selection in a store. I usually pick soap based on what is on sale and I try to avoid scented soaps. My hay fever during hay fever season can get worse if I am exposed to scented stuff.

I carry a bar of soap, usually Ivory. In the shower I prefer a bar over liquid soap. A bottle of liquid soap for dishes and for sink laundry, usually use a bottle that is 3 oz so I can take it on a plane. A small bottle of shampoo, usually what I got for free at a motel somewhere. I do not use shaving cream, instead I use soap. No strong opinions on brands.
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Old 04-19-15, 08:40 AM
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I carry a small bottle of inexpensive shampoo.

That shampoo does me, my hair, my laundry and the dishes.
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Old 04-19-15, 09:33 AM
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We usually use Campsuds or regular dish detergent for dishes, cleaning the bikes, and general chores. My wife and I split a small bottle of liquid bath soap into 2 smaller bottles, and use motel sized shampoo. We resupply when needed or make do until we can find a replacement for the type of soap we are out of. Lately we have been carrying "laundry leaves", a light compact product that seems to work well in machines, for hand washing we just use Campsuds/dish soap. Most non-laundry liquid soaps usually suds up too much in a wash machine.

Sea to Summit Pocket Laundry Wash - REI.com

Volume and weigh-wise it is about a wash when using specific soaps vs. carrying a larger volume of "one does everything" soap. The problem when on the road is finding liquid soap of any kind in small quantities; sometimes the smallest bottle of dish detergent, shampoo, etc is not very small.

I don't like to use shampoo for cleaning anodized aluminum bike parts, like chainrings; it is really hard on the finish. Campsuds or dish detergent does a good job.
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Old 04-19-15, 09:41 AM
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I used Surgeon's Scrub, a concentrated Liquid, to wash my skin "Down there" so as to knock back the surface bacteria that creates the Saddle Sores when it infects the Pores .

Hand washing Clothes , Dr Bronner's , another Liquid Concentrate, is OK.
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Old 04-19-15, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
I carry a small bottle of inexpensive shampoo.

That shampoo does me, my hair, my laundry and the dishes.
Yepp, shampoo for everything except brushing teeth
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Old 04-19-15, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64
We usually use Campsuds or regular dish detergent for dishes, cleaning the bikes, and general chores. My wife and I split a small bottle of liquid bath soap into 2 smaller bottles, and use motel sized shampoo. We resupply when needed or make do until we can find a replacement for the type of soap we are out of. Lately we have been carrying "laundry leaves", a light compact product that seems to work well in machines, for hand washing we just use Campsuds/dish soap. Most non-laundry liquid soaps usually suds up too much in a wash machine.

Sea to Summit Pocket Laundry Wash - REI.com

Volume and weigh-wise it is about a wash when using specific soaps vs. carrying a larger volume of "one does everything" soap. The problem when on the road is finding liquid soap of any kind in small quantities; sometimes the smallest bottle of dish detergent, shampoo, etc is not very small.

I don't like to use shampoo for cleaning anodized aluminum bike parts, like chainrings; it is really hard on the finish. Campsuds or dish detergent does a good job.
Have not seen the "leaves" before, think I will try them, thanks for the idea and other info provided
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Old 04-19-15, 06:22 PM
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I carry a small scrap of motel bar soap and hardly use it. Most places I stop to wash up have soap dispensers. My kitchen consists of a cup and a spoon, easily rinsed off.
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Old 04-19-15, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
I carry a small bottle of inexpensive shampoo.

That shampoo does me, my hair, my laundry and the dishes.
Yes that is what I do as well. Same soap for body, hair, dishes, and laundry. For me it is most often baby shampoo. Btw, if you use it sparingly it is even fine in the washing machine.

I used to use Dr Bronners, but like the baby shampoo better.
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Old 04-19-15, 07:05 PM
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I use Dr. Bronner's soap and it is basically the only soap is use in most of my household and touring uses. It is simple ingredients that have some ethics behind them but really it is just damn fine soap. I can use so much less soap to get the same clean as some of the body washes I have used in the past. Plus it is pretty cheap, $8 for a 32oz bottle of high quality soap that will last me quite a while.

The only real thing Dr B's is not great for is conditioning hair and as a toothpaste/mouth wash (though I am sure someone uses it for that but I couldn't do it), you can clean your whole house, your bikes and your body from head to toe.

Campsuds is not as good as Dr. Bronners in many respects and I think it is usually more expensive and harder to find. Plus at the Green Festivals and other places they exhibit at you can get little individual packets of soap which generally last me two or three showers.
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Old 04-19-15, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
I carry a small bottle of inexpensive shampoo.

That shampoo does me, my hair, my laundry and the dishes.
Excellent.

I will just pass on a word of advice from my good friend Dr. Chu, who is a skin doctor.
He says liquid hand soaps are easier on your skin than bar soaps.
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Old 04-19-15, 07:11 PM
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I usually start my tours with Dr. Bronners for tradition, as much as anything else. When that runs out, and no replacement is convenient, I'll use most most any soap. For laundry I'll use a one-off that they sell.
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Old 04-19-15, 07:33 PM
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I'll just add this ... I mentioned I carry a small bottle of shampoo ...

1) When it runs out, which it might on a longer tour, I just stop by the shampoo aisle of the grocery store we're wandering through at lunchtime, and pick up another bottle. Usually whatever is the least expensive on the shelf.

2) I usually go with something that has a fruit scent ... because I use it to wash dishes too. Just a personal preference.

3) Regarding laundry, yes, a little bit will do. You don't have to go crazy and pour heaps of the stuff in. And if the clothes come out smelling faintly of apple or strawberry or something ... that's fine.
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Old 04-20-15, 07:45 PM
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Ivory bar soap is what I would use.
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Old 04-20-15, 10:15 PM
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Maybe this makes me a jerk, but I just refill my little soap bottle from the hand soap dispensers in every restroom.
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Old 04-20-15, 10:23 PM
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This:


Kirks is a natural soap like Bonners - at a fraction of the price and w/o the silly marketing.

or Ivory. Kirks washes out better, Ivory is more mild.

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Old 04-21-15, 07:01 AM
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Dr. Bronners. I tend to bathe in lakes or streams when I am camping and Dr. Bronner's is kinder on the environment than other soaps. Plus I like to read the tidbits of wisdom on the label.
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Old 04-21-15, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by woodysroad
Then a couple years ago a nurse told me that I should use Dial antibacterial (gold) to prevent MRSA bacterial infections.
That nurse needs a refresher course on how everyday use of antibacterial stuff actually helps developing resistant strains.

I use liquid soap, and for laundry whatever laundry soap is available in small quantities. BTW, so called environmentally friendly soaps are still best applied at some distance from water bodies. That way their environmentally friendly ingredients have a chance to gradually break down in the soil, before they reach the stream/lake/pond.

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Old 04-21-15, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by robert schlatte
I tend to bathe in lakes or streams when I am camping and Dr. Bronner's is kinder on the environment than other soaps.
Even the manufacturer says that is a no no. At https://www.drbronner.com/newsletter...2014/#feature3 they say:
"Remember that even though our soap is highly biodegradable, it should still be used at least 200 feet away from any body of water, which means you shouldn’t bathe with it in a lake or stream."
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Old 04-21-15, 02:51 PM
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I appreciate all the thoughts from those who have replied to my question. I agree that there is a lot of concern and data questioning the efficacy of antibacterial soaps, but it is not definitive to date and there are some medical professionals who still advocate it. It is still in use for MRSA in intensive care units; certainly not all, but some. The nurse who suggested I use the Dial Gold as a preventative measure and to combat skin rash in the butt and groin areas works in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, a very good one, and they still use antibacterial soap for skin infections. There are others who do not. The jury still seems to be out on that, and as always, there are a lot of opinions, even strong ones on the subject. In my past career I worked with a lot of Applied Behavior Analysts, and the saying was "if you have more than one behavior analyst in the room, you will have a disagreement". I think that could probably be said for cyclists too

I have used Dr. Bronner's for toothpaste, it's not so bad, does foam a lot though. And I agree, it's not the best for conditioning one's hair. But I like its overall usefulness.

I'm planning for a 35-40 day trip and in trial packing my panniers I came across the Dr. Bronner's and the Dial soap in my toiletries bag. I thought I would throw it out for discussion and get different ideas before I decide how I want to proceed. I'm a firm believer in the Dialectic of Thesis>Antithesis>Synthesis; I like to get a lot of different ideas that conflict, or at least differ, and then try to combine them in some way for my own way of doing things.

After all these great ideas, I am leaning toward Ivory Soap Liquid for a multi-purpose soap; and maybe take a pack of the laundry leaves from REI and give them a try as well. I don't leave until June 9, so if other responses come in, I may change my mind. Thanks again for your help.
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Old 04-24-15, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by delcrossv
This:
+1

I like it up north where "hard" water is more common. Central Wisconsin and Michigan UP come to mind. It will lather a bunch and especially rinse off well. I've showered in Ontario, Oregon and swear I couldn't get rid of Ivory. I use a few shavings of it for laundry.
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