Frugality Tip #2: Liquid Soap vs Solid Soap – Switch to the better bargain for 90% savings
I spend most of my time reading, and I get the most happiness from finding actionable tips that improve my daily life or make it more efficient.
It is particularly awesome when these life hacks can be used daily, because they magnify the benefits and give you warm fuzzy feelings every time you use them!
One of the most curious things I’ve learned last year, is that solid bar soap is incredibly more efficient than liquid soap: yet, in most countries, people buy far more liquid soap for their daily needs, which is neither efficient, nor awesome for frugal heroes like we are.
Let’s go through the economic facts first:
- In a typical hand-washing session, we use almost 7 times more liquid soap (2.3 grams) than bar soap (0.35 grams).
- If you check the cost per kg of both soaps in your local grocery store, you will find that liquid soap is usually 10-30% pricier on a comparative basis.
- The result is that liquid soap is typically 10x more expensive to use than bar soap
- The average american family spends about 90$ a year on soaps or detergents according to statista.
And that is only the financial part.
Liquid soap typically comes in plastic push-pump dispensers that later have to be landfilled, while bar soap is typically wrapped in degradable paper, or nylon-paper wraps that are way smaller than liquid soap containers.
According to a scientific study of household cleaning agents (and soaps), Annette Koehler and Caroline Wildbolz of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich found that for a per application or per wash basis, the carbon footprint of liquids is about 25 percent larger than that of bar soaps.
And the advantages don’t stop here: if you are a frequent traveller like I am, you will appreciate the fact that bar soap is an order of magnitude lighter, it doesn’t spill in your suitcase, you can use it to wash clothes on the fly, you can use it with water as a toothpaste, and there’s no chance of it being thrown away at airport security (as it’s not in liquid form).
Typically, you can also find that basic bar soaps like marseille soap cost much less than liquid “trendy” brands, so you probably will end up spending even less than 1/10th by switching to bar soap instead of liquid for your hand-washing needs.
This is heaven for a frugal, efficient investor like you: a trifecta of more convenience / less bullshit, a much better value proposition, and a better environmental footprint.
How to integrate bar soap in your daily life
I’ve found a good way to entice my significant other to switch to the awesomeness of bar soap, was to search for “bamboo soap holder” on ebay (there are some for sale at 2E shipping included) and make our bathroom more “oriental” with them. She likes the decoration and style, I like the frugality, and it’s a good, inexpensive gift for friends. Win-win.
So there you go, I hope you will now grin a little, every time you wash your hands with soap bars!