Ever since I decided to travel the world, I’ve been looking for ways to do it with as little stuff as possible. After a few test runs traveling with just a carry-on, I’m now a big believer that the less stuff you take with you the more fun you’ll have on the road.
I was searching for a soap that I could use both as a shampoo and body wash, but what I found is much better. Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap can be used for both and a lot more! It replaced about 5 items in my backpack.
Dr. Bronner’s soaps are made of all-natural, organic ingredients. Their liquid soaps are highly concentrated so a few drops can go a long way. I bought the peppermint flavor and it replaced the following items in my packing list:
- Body/face wash – I fill up a 3-ounce container halfway with water, add about 10 drops, and use that to wash my face and body.
- Shampoo – A couple of drops seem enough. My hair gets dry if I use too much.
- Toothpaste – Yes, you heard that right, as a toothpaste! It’s literally washing your mouth with soap! I usually just use a drop, sometimes two. The peppermint flavor is probably the best for this. The first couple of times I used it as a toothpaste it didn’t taste great, but I quickly got used to it and it doesn’t bother me anymore. Just don’t use too much or it will leave an aftertaste.
- Mouthwash – About 10 drops in 1.5 ounces of water. Not sure if it actually helps using it as a mouthwash, though, as I’m already using it as a toothpaste.
- Laundry detergent – Since I only carry about 3 sets of clothing, it’s good to have laundry detergent handy as I have to wash my clothes often. I remember carrying a box of powdered laundry detergent with me, which is good for like 50 loads (smallest I could find at the store), when I was in New Zealand because I found the laundry detergent at the hostels pretty expensive and I don’t think all the hostels I stayed in were selling them. For hand-washing, I use about 5-15 drops depending on how much clothes I’m washing. For one load in the washer, I use about 30 drops.
Other possible uses when traveling:
- Hand soap – Some hostels just don’t provide any soap at all in the bathrooms. One or two drops of Dr. Bronner’s does the job.
- Hand dishwashing soap – Probably mostly useful when camping. I’ve only used it a few times when traveling to wash my spork.
- Washing fruits and vegetables – I’ve actually never thought of using soap to wash fruits and vegetables, but it’s listed in the product description.
- Household cleaning – Haven’t tried this yet, but I’ve read reviews saying it’s good for this. Good to know if I decide to stay in one place for a while and rent an apartment.
I used this soap a lot during my last road trip, which lasted over 5 weeks. I filled up a 3-ounce bottle with this soap and after 5 weeks I’ve only used about an ounce. I’m planning on taking two 3-ounce bottles with me for my round-the-world trip and should hopefully last me at least 6 months.
Not only will you be carrying less weight, but you’ll also have less things to think about. You don’t have to think about refilling multiple items, which in the long run, saves you money. I remember running out of toothpaste in New Zealand and I couldn’t find a travel-sized toothpaste so I had to buy way more than I needed. I had to get rid of it my last day there as it’s too much to take on the plane, which is a waste. I had plenty of shampoo left and would’ve been great if I could use that to brush my teeth. It’s also nice to be able to use a shared bathroom when staying in a hostel carrying just that one item with you and a towel.
I bought a 16-ounce bottle for less than $10 on Amazon, which I find to be a very good price considering this would last me over a year!
Here’s what my shower looks like now (was gonna take a picture of what it would’ve looked like before, but I already threw away all the other products I was using):