In some parts of the world, the term “wastewater” is not a thing. With increasing droughts in urban areas, people are becoming much more familiar with the terms Gray Water (greywater) or Used Water as better definitions for water that’s used for everyday tasks such as dishwashing, showering, and even laundry. Even if you can’t yet implement safe residential Gray Water systems into your home, keep reading! We have reviews on greywater friendly all natural soaps listed that we recommend for all households.
Being an Oregon based site, most of us at EcoKarma haven’t experienced water shortages first hand. However, we are quickly learning to not take the water we do have for granted. Responsible water usage is a huge part of having a more sustainably balanced life.
To jump right into things, we are going to cover some common questions about gray water.
What Is Gray Water?
As stated above, gray water is a kind of used water from household tasks that can be safely reused. It doesn’t contain sewage, and if you treat it properly it can be repurposed in a variety of ways. It can even be used as a way to irrigate your own garden as a form of recycled water.
A manual diversion and collection of water from some of these appliances and pipes is the only way to safely collect gray water. We suggest starting small. Try a gray water system in one sink in your house. Designate it as so, and make sure to only use all natural soaps in it.
In some areas dishwashing water can be used, so long as it doesn’t contain too much organic matter. Make sure you do your research and implement proper filtration before using this water.
How Does the Use of Gray Water Differ from Water Reclamation?
Many might thing that gray water doesn’t sound much different from the use of a water reclamation system that are much more common. So how does the use of greywater differ from water reclamation? Reclaimed water has to be treated before it can be reused. Often it is contaminated by harmful toxins, sewage, and chemicals, which all have to be removed. A proper greywater recycling system can be used without any sort of filtration or chemical treatment.
How Do I Use Gray Water?
For more information about how to properly use gray water in your home, we recommend checking out Tree Hugger, a site with goals similar to EcoKarma. They’ve given some great tips about how to get started with greywater systems, and good tips for beginners, such as the use of “warm up water”.
Best All Natural Soaps for Gray Water and Water Waste
As mentioned in our intro, even if you aren’t sure a gray water system is going to be practical to implement into your home or lifestyle right now, the first step you can take towards responsible water use is to find all natural soaps.
We have here our top suggestions for the best all naturals soaps for hand washing, dishes, hair and more. If you we’re missing your go-to brand from our list, contact us and share your suggestion for a feature on this page.
Best All Natural Hand Soap Reviews
Handwashing sinks are a great place to start when building residential gray water systems. Most of our favorite soaps offer a large refill option- meaning less plastic waste! We’ve linked to them, but we also suggest trying smaller bottles out first to find one that works best for you and your family.
This Lavender & Vanilla plant-derived hand soap is made in Austin, Texas, and is one of the highest rated hand soaps on Amazon. The clean ingredients foam up quickly for a good lather, and the soap itself is much thicker than some all natural hand soaps, making it easier to use less of it.
Puracy has a great reputation for making soaps, body care, and hair care items, that are effective yet also safe for you and your water.
As a lover of soaps, this is my personal favorite, and one that I always keep on my counters. Mrs. Meyers has created an entire ecosystem of household soaps and cleaners that are safe for your home. They also smell great, and come in a variety of different scents. This one contains olive oil and aloe vera, leaving your hands moisturized and fresh.
If you have sensitive skin, look into Sun & Earth’s hand soap made from 100% plant based ingredients. It’s unscented, so is best for those with allergy sensitivities, or those that would rather skip the scent. This all natural hand soap is also Vegan and Cruelty Free certified. They also offer a 640oz bucket refill for those looking for a good natural hand soap for a business or restaurant.
Best All Natural Bar Soap Reviews
Bar soaps are a great less wasteful alternative for you and your household. All natural bar soaps are often multi-purpose soaps, and we’ve listed a few of our favorites for you here.
This all purpose bar soap is safe for everything from faces to pets. Made from all natural ingredients such as palm oil and tallow, this handcrafted soap is a great way to implement a natural soap into your home.
Dr. Bronner’s is one of our Favorite brands for “clean” soaps in your home. Similar to Mrs. Meyers, they’ve made an entire system of soaps, and one of our favorites is the bar soap. We suggest starting with the Gift Pack, that even includes a Baby Unscented bar. Dr. Bronner’s also only uses fair trade ingredients- which is an extra bonus on top of the all natural qualities.
Another handmade soap has made it into our review section, this one featuring an ingredient we actually weren’t familiar with! Organic spirulina is a blue-green algae that is nutrient rich, and valuable for skin health. Splendor, a company located in Santa Barbara, boasts it to be perfect for skin irritants on the face, and scalp. The brand makes a variety of natural bar soaps to fit various skin needs.
Best All Natural Dish Soap
These or recommendations for all natural dish soaps that can help you effectively turn your kitchen water waste into gray water, and we also threw in a great natural dish detergent! If you look closely, some of these “dish soaps” are a lot more multi-faceted than they first appear.
Free & Clear doesn’t always mean what it implies, but with Seventh Generation it does. We like their dish soap and refills because of their accessibility. They can be found at most grocery and dry goods stores, and are fragrance and dye free!
J.R. Watkins used to be a boutique sort of brand of soap, but is now a common product seen at Target and other large chain stores. Their soap leaves behind no residue and is free of harmful synthetic chemicals. They are also very concentrated soaps, meaning a little goes a long ways.
If you’re looking for a little scent with your soap, the Eco-Me natural dish soap comes in a variety of light and fresh natural scents. It’s also packed with extracts that cut through grease and food residue making cleaning safe and easy. We also love that there are no By-Products or Animal Testing in the process of making this soap.
Why would you go through the trouble to wash dishes with natural soap, if you weren’t sanitizing them with a natural detergent? Ecover tablets are made with plant-based and mineral ingredients that are biodegradable, and fish friendly! Which means even the water waste that comes from your dishwasher (often referred to as “blackwater”) can contribute to the cause of protecting our natural water resources and those that dwell in them.
So you might have heard of people using bizarre household cleaners in ways that they shouldn’t (i.e. the Father in My Big Fat Greek Weddings who insists that Windex is a cure-all!). But what if we told you that you could use Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile soap to wash your hands, and your mouth? No, not because you said a bad word, but because you want fresh breath! This is an all-purpose natural soap that is safe for just about any kind of cleaning.
Best All Natural Laundry Soaps
Let’s not forget the clothing! Here we have a brief list of natural laundry detergents, as well as a DIY recipe for your own all-natural detergent.
If powdered laundry detergent is your thing, Nellie’s All Natural Laundry Soda has you covered. It’s made with soda ash, and is most effective in cold water- which is a huge plus if you’re looking to save on your electric bill. It’s even compatible with HE washers and is safe for those with sensitive skin. If you like what they do for laundry, they also have a dishwasher powder worth trying.
Earth Friendly Products makes ECOS brand natural soaps and detergents. Their plant derived formula is strong, safe for colors, and combines cleaning power with a built-in fabric softener so you can skip a laundry ingredient. This 100 ounce bottle should last you approximately 100 loads.
Here’s an easy instructional video to follow using Baking Soda, Washing Soda, and Dr. Bronners.
Our only tid-bit to add to it, is use your own filtered water rather than buying some bottled water at the store!
Best All Natural Body Soaps
Did you ever think about how much water goes in and out of your house just in your bathrooms? Reducing that waste is vital to increasing your sustainability. Monitoring what’s going down your shower drain is equally as important. Some of our previous section contain some great options for natural body care, but here are a couple more.
This exfoliating all purpose soap is a great alternative to face cleansers, shampoos, and acne care. Made with fair trade shea butter, it’s gentle moisturizing qualities is great for all skin types. Dr. Woods makes a variety of natural body soaps for different skin types and purposes. The Raw African Black Soap is just one of our favorites!
Aubrey Organics is a newer label of all natural hair and body soaps that have risen in popularity. This revitalizing therapy face cleanser is perfect for dry skin, though they do make other cleansers for oily, combination, and acne-ridden faces. The gentle cleanser is made with organic ingredients and for the size, lasts quite some time! We also suggest that you look into their eco friendly shampoo and conditioner lines.
Best Eco-Friendly Shampoo and Conditioners
Last but at all least, we get to the top of you at the bottom of the list. Consider for a second, that perhaps the eco friendly shampoos and conditioners, are also the best for your hair… Now realize that is actually true! Water safe shampoos and conditioners don’t strip natural oils from your hair, and promote natural curls as well. Who would’ve thought?
No, this isn’t just a long advertisement for Dr. Bronner’s- they just make really great stuff for protecting you and your gray water. Using this Hair Rinse along with Dr. Bronner’s castile soap as shampoo is a recipe for great hair. Just make sure you’re ready to follow instructions and give this a few days to get used to! When used properly it will provide life to your locks!
Personal anecdote time! My first encounter with eco friendly shampoo and conditioners was with a clearanced bottle of Renpure on a Target endcap a few years ago. I was hesitant, as I had heard that they cleaned, but did not moisturize, and dry hair had recently become a problem for me. I know use a Renpure cleansing conditioner regularly to help moisturize and give life to my haphazard curls. This Argan Oil set is great for all hair types.