Recycle Less: Solid Dish Soap. Yes, It’s A Thing. Marseille Soap Review

Welcome back to another Recycle Less where I share my journey towards a lesser plastic free and more sustainable lifestyle. This edition is solid dish soap. Yes, solid dish soap! I didn’t know it was thing either. 

I don’t know why but it never occurred to me that you could get solid soap other than hand soap and shower/bath soap. I mean, where did that idea come from to use a solid soap to wash with come from. Probably Nat from soap that was used to wash EVERYTHING! First however a backstory how I came across solid dish soaps if you’re interested otherwise, skip 3 paragraphs and grab a cup of tea or coffee, for this is a long one. 

Back in October last year a YouTube video wouldn’t get out of my recommendations. To shut the algorithm up I clicked it. The algorithm might know me a little too well. I can’t remember the exact video other than the channel is Hamimommy and I’ve subscribed. Hamimommy is a channel I thought I’d never watch. A house cleaning, day in a housewife type of show. I like clean house, there are other things I prefer to do with my time. The cooking parts I mostly skip as meat is featured and I don’t eat meat. What I do like about her is she’s very much about reducing waste, reusing things, buying less plastic, sharing tips, promoting a less wasteful and more sustainable lifestyle. It’s one of the few videos I look forward to watching and the only one I sit down and watch rather than have on when in the kitchen cooking. Her house is gorgeous, her videos are amazingly filmed and edited and I’ve got some many tips and ideas from her. One being solid dish soap. I can’t find the exact video, however this one, 13 Items To Help Make Less Plastic and Disposables/ Zero Waste Routine features solid dish soap. No worries if you like me don’t speak Korean, you can turn on the subtitles in your language in YouTube settings. 

I wouldn’t say a light bulb when off when she featured solid dish soap. More a frying pan to my head. I use solid soap in the shower instead of shower gel to save plastic and help the environment when it’s washed down the drain. I use solid soap to wash my hands. While I’ve never got on with solid shampoo bars I have tried them. Why hadn’t I thought about solid dish soap before? Why? Because I didn’t know they existed. 

It was also around that time I started using new liquid dish detergent by Frosch. I’ve always used Frosch dish detergents as they’re bio, not that expensive and widely available in Spain. This particular one, a new rosemary scent came with a hazard sign on the back. None of the other Frosch dish detergents I’ve used have this!. While I use solid soap to wash my hands in the bathrooms, in the kitchen and when I get in, I use liquid dish soap. The scent even after rinsing well was still on my hands. I was concerned then that even with rinsing well the dishes, I was ingesting this hazardous bio dish soap. Hamimmony released that video, I went on a hunt for solid dish soap down a long rabbit hole. And with that, the actual review of the first dish soap I found. 

Jabon Zorro d’Avi Jabón Sóldio Natural para Vajilla, 120g

I tried Amazon first and it seemed only Jabon Zorro d’Avi a Spanish brand had sold natural dish soaps. I did find in my local supermarket Marseille soap however that had sodium tallowate, beef fat. Being vegan I didn’t want to wash with animal fats. The shipping was expensive even on Jabon Zorro d’Avi’s site. I think it’s since gone down. The soap bar, 120g, Jabón Sóldio Natural para Vajilla, wasn’t cheap €5.95. Amazon €8.95! Amazon shipping €3.95. €12.9 is a lot! I only wanted to try one! I decided to try a few zero waste shops locally to see if I could find any. The first one I visited stocked it however a little more than online I think €7. The sales assistant said it would last me 3 months. 

I think I used it wrong as it lasted about 3 weeks. It’s not a foaming bar. I’m team if it foams it’s working right? I know foam isn’t always an indicator that something’s working. I used the soap exactly as I do in the shower. Wet sponge, wet bar, rub them together, foam, clean. I tired to cut it into smaller pieces but it just crumbled. It also left white marks everywhere if you didn’t rinse or wipe down surfaces or the draining board well. Due to how quickly I got through it I decided to find another solid dish soap to try.

Opps

I did like that it was plastic free, vegan and all natural ingredients: Helianthus Annus oil, aqua/water, Olea Europapea Fruit oil, aqua/water, Sodium Hydroxide.

La Corvette Savon de Marseille, Savonnerie du Midi, 300g

In another zero waste shop Yes Future Positive Supermarket, I found a vegan traditional Marseille soap by La Corvette 300g. The sales assistant said it can be used for everything. EVERYTHING! I purchased one for the kitchen and went back a few days later to purchase another for hand washing as I wanted to stop liquid hand washing detergent. Price is around €3.50-€6.99 on La Corvette’s own site (in English!) depending on size purchased and if plastic wrapped. They sell non plastic wrapped bars and sell in bulk! It’s also palm oil free and certified COSMOS NATURAL by ECOCERT Greenlife, so I’m hoping coconut derived ingredient’s ethically sourced.

Marseille soap can be used I think for almost everything. I’m hesitant to use it as a body and shampoo bar (I’m using another similar style soap bar for the shower). Washing dishes I haven’t noticed any change to that of liquid dish detergent. It’s actually better at attacking greasy dishes. It does leave streaks on glass if not buffed but that doesn’t bother me. It foams well thanks to sodium cocoate, has a neutral fragrance. When it comes to cleaning bottles obviously there’s no squeeze the liquid and rinse. I foam up some suds and slide the bar over the bottle tip letting the suds and tiny bit of soap in that way to clean. The only con is how quickly I get through it, so it’s not as cost effective as liquid dish soap. I think this is partly due to subsequent bars by the same company purchased online may have different oil ratio, which I’ll explain later. How to store while in use is tricky too. I ended up getting a gadget that’s to store brushes in the sink and use that as a soap dish looped over the tap/faucet base.

As purchased in Yes Future Positive Supermarket

It’s cleaned way better bike oiled up hands than any liquid soap I’ve used. It’s help remove paint from household paint brushes better than other brush cleaners. I use TerraWashmg+ magnesium pellets for laundry however they’re not great on harsh stains. A little pare scrub with this particular Marseille soap removes most stains in the wash. It’s not great on tea stains though. 

Hand washing it seems to be okay. I’m still working out the ratio of soap as it can be a little harsh on bras if left in soak for too long. I usually leave bras overnight soaking. If I leave for 2 nights (gasp) I’ve noticed there’s colour fading and the bras loose a little shape (moulded T-shirt bras). To be honest they do feel more cleaner. The actual soap fragrance here can be a little overpowering initially but it doesn’t hang around more or I’ve got used to it. I rub or scrub the soap directly onto the bras etc then leave them to soak. Obviously this bar lasts longer as it’s only used once a week.

wrapped, sold unwrapped

This mysterious oil ratio and colour difference. From the photo above, you can see that they’re different colours! I’m not sure if this is due to a different olive oil percentage. I only noticed as a similar soap I’m using in the shower on purchasing I noted has different olive oil ratios. The plastic free shop at time of purchase didn’t list ingredients. I took at face value it was vegan. Thankfully neither contain palm oil and both ingredient lists are the same. Sodium Olivate, Sodium Cocoate, Aqua (water), Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide. I’ve checked as I’m sure the paler ones isn’t from La Corvettes Extra Pure line. Even when comparing them on La Corvette you can see a colour difference between the plastic wrapped and unwrapped soap of same size and ingredients. At the time of purchasing about 10 from Sanareva I only looked at the price. So if someone can explain this, please explain it! I’m new to the solid dish soap and Marseille soap game. I do prefer though the darker green bar as it lasted longer.

Price wise verses liquid soap the rate I get through them they are more expensive and not as cost effective. That said, I’m going to continue using to solid dish soap. It’s the original cleaning soap. Liquid soap was to make our lives easier. Squeeze, done, throw away the bottle to recycle if it does get recycled. For every bar of soap used, in theory that’s one less plastic bottle used. Things feel cleaner with the solid soap and it’s better for the environment if the ingredients are natural, non hazardous (some essential oils can actually damage eco systems.) and petroleum free! I’m just hoping bulk purchasing the darker plastic free ones from France the shipping isn’t too expensive they last longer!

If you’ve got this far thank you for sticking around. This was a long story review post! Do you use solid soaps or are curious about them? Please share in the comments below!

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