10 Best Non-toxic & Sustainable Hand Soaps for 2024

Derek Ma Mar 31, 2024
23 People Read
Washing hands
Table of Contents
  1. Sustainable Hand Soaps Ingredients
  2. Top Sustainable Hand Soap Brands:
    1. 1. Dr Bronner’s
    2. 2. A Wild Soap Bar
    3. 3. Blueland
    4. 4. Ethique
    5. 5. Plaine
    6. 6. Aspen Key Naturals
    7. 7. ETEE Hand Soap
    8. 8. The Good Fill
    9. 9. Tangie
    10. 10. Jungle Culture
  3. Final Thoughts on Sustainable Hand Soaps

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. 

Traditional hand soaps can often contain harmful chemicals that pose risks to our health and contribute to water pollution.

As an environmental scientist, part of my current role involves monitoring for certain harmful chemicals or constituents in wastewater.

Sustainable hand soaps should be made from natural, biodegradable ingredients and packaged in eco-friendly materials. 

In this article, I have compiled a list of ten hand-picked sustainable soap brands that I think you should check out.

I have combed through countless brands and looked for several criteria, including the exclusion of certain chemicals, such as parabens, sulfates, and phthalates

- Parabens: Man-made chemicals often used in small amounts as preservatives.  Research shows they are fine in low doses. However, daily use of numerous paraben-containing products may exceed safe levels.  While the research is limited to animal and cell studies, there's the potential that parabens can cause health problems.

Some studies have suggested that parabens may disrupt hormone function and potentially act as endocrine disruptors, which can lead to a variety of health issues, such as breast cancer. Despite these concerns, parabens are widely used in the beauty industry due to their effectiveness in preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and mold in products.

- Sulfates: Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are derived from petroleum and are often controversial due to their origin. SLS and SLES-containing products can irritate your eyes, skin, mouth, and lungs. For people with sensitive skin, sulfates may also clog pores and cause acne. Products with sulfates that get washed down the drain may also be toxic to aquatic animals.

- Phthalates: They are mainly used in plastics to help them become soft, flexible, and hard to break. Studies have connected phthalates to health conditions, including those related to the liver, kidneys, lungs, and the endocrine and reproductive systems.

The ten hand soaps in this article are typically made with natural and organic ingredients, such as plant-based oils, essential oils, and botanical extracts. 

These ingredients not only cleanse and nourish the skin but also help to reduce the release of harmful pollutants into the environment.

So, what are some of the common ingredients for sustainable hand soaps?

Sustainable Hand Soaps Ingredients

One of the most popular ingredients in sustainable hand soaps is coconut oil

This natural oil is known for its moisturizing properties and ability to create a rich lather. 

Coconut oil not only cleanses the skin thoroughly but also helps to retain its natural moisture, leaving your hands feeling soft and hydrated.

Another common ingredient in sustainable hand soaps is aloe vera

Aloe vera is a plant-based extract well-known for its soothing and healing properties. 

It helps to nourish and protect the skin while promoting its natural regeneration process. 

Aloe vera also possesses antibacterial properties, making it an excellent choice for hand soaps that keep your hands clean and healthy.

Essential oils are also frequently used in sustainable hand soaps to provide a refreshing scent and additional benefits. 

Tea tree oil, for example, is a popular choice due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties. 

Lavender oil is known for its calming effects, while citrus oils like lemon or orange provide an invigorating scent.

However, I would stay away from hand-soaps containing palm oil.   

The production of palm oil is often not environmentally friendly and leads to deforestation and habitat destruction for wildlife.

Make sure that if palm oil is used, that it has been sourced sustainably.

Several brands on this list use sustainably sourced palm oil.

Lastly, many sustainable hand soaps incorporate natural exfoliants such as oatmeal. 

These gentle exfoliating agents help to remove dead skin cells, leaving your hands feeling soft and smooth. 

They also contribute to a more sustainable product as they are biodegradable and do not harm the environment.

Top Sustainable Hand Soap Brands:

Dr Bronner Hand Soap

1. Dr Bronner’s

Price: $10.99 for 12 oz (varies with product)

Amazon Rating: 4.7 Stars out of 5.0 (1087 ratings)

Hand Soap Refills: Yes (Paper cartons)

What sets Dr. Bronner's Soap apart from conventional soaps is its commitment to using only organic and fair-trade ingredients. 

Their products are free from synthetic preservatives, detergents, and foaming agents that can harm our skin and the environment.

Instead, Dr. Bronner's Soap relies on the power of nature, incorporating ingredients such as coconut oil, olive oil, and essential oils to create a luxurious and nourishing soap experience.

Ingredients (Peppermint - Pure Castile Liquid Soap):

Water, Organic coconut oil, Potassium hydroxide, Organic palm kernel oil, Organic olive oil, Mentha arvensis (mint family plant), Organic hemp seed oil, Organic jojoba oil, Mentha piperita, Citric acid, Tocopherol

Things That I Like About The Bronner Brand:

- Company uses renewable energy (Solar Panels)

- Committed to reducing the amount of waste they send to landfill

- Use 100% PCR (post-consumer recycled) shipping boxes

- exclusively uses 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) polyethylene (PET) plastic bottles for all of our liquid and pump soaps. 

- Financially supports several great causes 

- Products are certified USDA Organic

- Main ingredients are certified Fair Trade (Fair For Life Certified)

- Leaping Bunny Certified

- Certified B Corporation

A Wild Soap Bar

2. A Wild Soap Bar

Price: $3.50 - $9.50 for 3.5 oz bar of soap

Amazon Rating: 4.4 Stars out of 5.0 (233 Ratings)

Hand Soap Refills: N/A

A Wild Soap Bar (AWSB) soap bars are handmade with certified organic vegetable oils and they are moisturizing, biodegradable, cruelty free, minimally packaged, and do not contain any synthetic fragrance oils or other harmful chemicals.

Ingredients (Desert Sage Soap):

Saponified certified organic vegetable oils (extra virgin olive, coconut, sustainable palm, sunflower, castor), Distilled water, Calcium bentonite clay, Essential oils (sage, rosemary, cedarwood, lemongrass), Certified gluten free oat flour, Wild sagebrush, Certified organic rubbed sage

Organic palm oil is from Colombia and is Rainforest Alliance certified

Things that I like About The AWSB Brand:

- Partnership with 1% for the Planet

- Soap bars instead of liquid soap

- Handmade with certified organic vegetable oils

- Organic and natural soap


3. Blueland

Price: $18 for one Forever hand-soap bottle and three refill tablets

Amazon Rating: 4.1 Stars out of 5.0 (880 Ratings)

Hand Soap Refills: Yes

One of the standout features of Blueland’s hand soap is its refillable system, which allows customers to easily replenish their soap supply without creating unnecessary waste. 

The refill tablets are compact and easy to store, taking up minimal space in your home. 

To use, simply drop a tablet into the reusable bottle provided by Blueland, add water, and watch as the tablet dissolves to create a fresh batch of soap. 

This innovative system not only reduces plastic waste but also saves customers money in the long run by eliminating the need to purchase new bottles of soap constantly.

Ingredients (Classic Variety):

Citric Acid, Sodium carbonate, Sodium benzoate, Sodium Coco-sulfate (SCS is a milder alternative to SLS), Sodium Citrate, Algin, Disodium cocoyl glutamate, Potassium sorbate, Sodium cocoyl isethionate, Fragrance, Coconut acid, Glutamic acid, Monosodium citrate

Sodium coco-sulfate is a milder alternative to Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES).  It is considered a healthy and safe ingredient  (EPA Safer Choice).

Things That I Like About The Blueland Brand:

- Packaging is either recyclable or compostable

- Certified B Corporation

- Climate Neutral Certified (achieved zero net carbon emissions)

- USDA Certified Biobased Product (verified amount of renewable biological ingredients)

- Leaping Bunny Certified

- EPA Safer Choice (Helps consumers find products that perform and contain ingredients that are safer for human health and the environment)

Ethique soap bar

4. Ethique

Price: $10 for 350 ml of liquid handwash

Amazon Rating: 4.3 out of 5.0 (2370 ratings) (Oatmeal soap bar)

Hand Soap Refills: Yes

Ethique is known for its shampoo and body wash bars, but it also sells a hand soap that is effective in keeping hands clean and moisturized and comes in plastic-free, compostable packaging. 

Their hand soap is made with natural ingredients such as coconut oil, cocoa butter, and essential oils, making it gentle on the skin while still providing a powerful clean.

By using solid bars instead of plastic bottles, Ethique is also helping to reduce the amount of single-use plastic that ends up in our landfills and oceans. 

Ethique also offers a hand wash concentrate that you can make into hand soap by boiling it in water and pouring it into a bottle you already own.

Additionally, all Ethique products are cruelty-free, vegan, and palm oil-free, making them a truly ethical choice for conscious consumers.

Ingredients (Gentle Handwash Concentrate):

Hydroxypropyl starch phosphate, sodium cocoyl isethionate, sodium coco-sulfate, gluconolactone, betaine, sodium methyl cocoyl taurate, maltodextrin, xanthan gum, sodium benzoate, Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil, glycerin, Mentha piperita (peppermint) oil, sodium isethionate, linalool1, Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, calcium gluconate, limonene , Cananga odorata (ylang ylang) flower oil, mica, geraniol1, CI 77891, CI 77491

Sodium coco-sulfate is a milder alternative to Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES).  It is considered a healthy and safe ingredient  (EPA Safer Choice).

Things That I Like About The Ethique Brand:

- Plastic-free packaging

- Plant-based surfactants

- Certified B Corporation

- Certified palm-oil free

- Cruelty-Free International (International partner to Leaping Bunny)

- Donates 2% of their sales

- Collaborates with Ecologi to plant one tree for every online order

Plaine Hand Soap

5. Plaine

Price:  $20 for 16 oz 

Amazon Ratings:  N/A (not sold on Amazon)

Hand Soap Refills: Yes

What sets Plaine apart from other conventional brands is its commitment to sustainability and transparency. 

One simple yet effective way Plaine is sustainable is by switching to products that come in reusable or recyclable packaging, such as their hand soap in aluminum bottles.

These sleek and stylish containers not only look great in any bathroom or kitchen but also help to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills or oceans. 

Aluminum is a highly recyclable material (an estimated 75% of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today), meaning that once you have finished your hand soap, you can easily rinse out the bottle and toss it into the recycling bin or send it back to Plaine for a refill.

Plaine also uses clean and plant-based ingredients in their hand soap.  

Ingredients (Hand Wash):

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin , Sodium Cocoate, Sodium Safflowerate, Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba (Guar) Gum, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Carrageenan, Camellia Sinensis, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Quillaja Saponaria Extract, Rosemarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Rosa Canina (Rose Hip) Seed Oil, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Gluconolactone, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Polysorbate 20

Things That I Like About The Plaine Brand:

- Certified B Corporation

- Leaping Bunny Certified

- Partnership with 1% for the Planet

- Has an annual Sustainability Report since 2017

- Eco-friendly packaging (work with Pratt Industries and use their boxes made from 100% recycled material)

- Business model designed for a circular economy

- Carbon Neutral

- Aluminum bottles with a reusable pump

6. Aspen Key Naturals

Price: $8.99 - $9.45 for a 4.5 oz bar

Amazon Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0 (2,454 ratings)

Hand Soap Refills: N/A 

Aspen Kay Naturals handcraft their soaps using the cold process method.  

The entire soap-making process is done by hand from start to finish. From making the soap to cutting and packaging their soap.  

Their soaps are naturally colored using plants, herbs, clay, and natural pigments.

Their soaps are also made with several organic ingredients such as organic unrefined Shea butter, organic extra virgin olive oil, organic Sunflower oil, and organic castor bean oil.

Ingredients (Oatmeal, Milk & Honey Bar):

Organic RSPO sustainable palm oil, organic shea nut butter, coconut oil, organic sunflower oil, organic castor oil, organic olive oil, organic oats, organic honey, goats milk, organic coco powder, fragrance (phthalate free), sodium hydroxide (key element to making soap, none remains in finished product)

Things That I Like About The Aspen Key Natural Brand:

- Hand-made soap bars

- Soap recipe originally custom-made for personal sensitive dry skin

- Natural and organic ingredients

One packet of etee lavender lime foaming hand soap concentrate with three pods in each packet

7.  ETEE Hand Soap

Price: 3 Foaming soap pods for $21

Amazon Rating: N/A (not sold on Amazon)

Hand Soap Refills: Yes

Made with all-natural ingredients and free from harmful chemicals, this hand soap is not only effective but also gentle on your skin.

You can fill your soap dispenser by ripping open one of the compostable pods of foaming soap concentrate and squeezing it into a container with water.  

Stir the mixture and let it sit for an hour before use.

Ingredients (Lavender Lime Foaming Hand Soap Concentrate):

Water, Coco-Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Phenylpropanol, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus Aurantifolia Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia Oil

Things That I Like About The ETEE Brand:

- 100% plant-based ingredients

- Compostable pod

- Donates to several great organizations

- Organic Packaging

- Cruelty-free

8. The Good Fill

Price: $11.61 for 16 oz filled amber glass pump bottle

Amazon Rating: N/A (Not sold on Amazon)

Hand Soap Refills: Yes

Instead of using plastic bottles, The Good Fill sells reusable glass bottles.

Their hand soap refills come in a BPA-free pouch made with 93% less plastic than a plastic bottle.

After customers empty the pouch contents into their own containers, they can return the empty pouch in the mail for Good Fill to clean and refill for the next customer.

Ingredients (Grapefruit Lemon Ingredients):

Water, Potassium Cocoate, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Ethanol, Citric Acid, Tea Tree Essential Oil, Grapefruit and Lemon Essential Oils

Things That I Like About The Good Fill Brand:

- Can refill in stores (Two locations in Nashville)

- Reusable Glass bottle containers

- 100% biodegradable (safe in rivers, lakes, and oceans)

- Palm oil-free 

- Natural and Vegan Ingredients

9. Tangie 

Price: Three bars for $35.99 (Each bar can refill an 8 oz dispenser 16 times)

Amazon Rating: 3.8 out of 5.0 (47 ratings)

Hand Soap Refills: Yes

One of the main advantages of Tangie hand soap is that it is made with all-natural ingredients, including essential oils and plant-based cleansers, which are gentle on the skin and free of harsh chemicals. 

This means that you can wash your hands without worrying about causing any irritation or dryness. 

Additionally, Tangie hand soap comes in packaging that is plastic-free and compostable, making it a sustainable choice for those looking to reduce their environmental impact.

Ingredients (Hand wash concentrate - unscented):

Coconut oil, Olive Oil Pomace, Jojoba Oil, Almond Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Aloe Vera Powder, Rosemary Oleoresin.

Things That I Like About The Tangie Brand:

- Plastic-free and compostable packaging

- Leaping Bunny Certified

- Natural and Vegan 100% plant-based ingredients

- Carbon neutral

- Donations to several great organizations

10. Jungle Culture

Price: $5.00 for one 3.5 oz bar

Amazon Rating: N/A (not sold on Amazon)

Hand Soap Refills: N/A

Handcrafted with care and respect for the environment, Jungle Culture hand soap is more than just a cleansing product – it is a testament to the power of nature and the importance of preserving traditions.

Jungle Culture proudly works with farmers and artisans in rural Vietnam.

Jungle Culture’s natural soap bars are made using 100% natural and organic ingredients, with the exception of sodium hydroxide (a key component in all body soap). 

Their sustainable soaps have been certified micro-plastic free

Ingredients (Lime & Sea Salt Natural Soap Bar):

Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Aqua, Sodium Hydroxide, Kaffir Lime Essential Oil, Sea Salt.

Things That I Like About The Jungle Culture Brand:

- Bars are made with natural and organic ingredients

- Handmade in Vietnam by artisan soap makers using cold pressed techniques

- Plastic-free packaging

- Recycled cardboard boxes

Why You Should Trust My Website:

I have a bachelor's and master's degree in environmental science and have spent years studying and researching to develop a deep understanding of sustainable products and brands. 

This expertise allows me to provide accurate and well-informed content.

Furthermore, my seven-plus years of professional experience in the environmental industry adds to my credibility.

Working in the government and private environmental sectors has given me practical experience and insights over the years.

This hands-on experience allows me to offer practical advice to my readers, making my content more relatable and trustworthy.

Final Thoughts on Sustainable Hand Soaps

In conclusion, the advantages of using sustainable hand soap are numerous and impactful. 

By choosing eco-friendly and biodegradable options, individuals can protect the environment, reduce waste, promote sustainability, and prioritize their personal health. 

Making the switch to sustainable hand soap is a simple yet effective way to make a positive difference in both our lives and the world around us.

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Table of Contents
  1. Sustainable Hand Soaps Ingredients
  2. Top Sustainable Hand Soap Brands:
    1. 1. Dr Bronner’s
    2. 2. A Wild Soap Bar
    3. 3. Blueland
    4. 4. Ethique
    5. 5. Plaine
    6. 6. Aspen Key Naturals
    7. 7. ETEE Hand Soap
    8. 8. The Good Fill
    9. 9. Tangie
    10. 10. Jungle Culture
  3. Final Thoughts on Sustainable Hand Soaps

Disclosure:  Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only.