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Bar Shampoo

So, bar shampoo sounds like a great idea...on paper. Has anyone here found a way to travel with bar shampoo and conditioner? I found that it needs to be stored in plastic to keep it from leaking soap onto other things in my bag. Unfortunately, that means it can not dry out. So, it just gets mushyer and slimyer as time goes on. It also really adds to my time in the shower. Using it is not a quick process.

What has your experience been?

Posted by
1259 posts

These solid products Might not actually be worth the effort unless you are truly pinched for liquids. Matador makes a terrific, not cheap, breathable plastic bag designed specifically for bar soap and solid shampoos. It works a charm, I really like mine. However, it adds some clunky steps to bathing.
https://matadorup.com/collections/ultralight-toiletries/products/flatpak-soap-bar-case

This case is not breathable but is more convenient than using ziplocks.There are other similar products.
i https://matadorup.com/collections/ultralight-toiletries/products/flatpak-toiletry-case

Posted by
255 posts

Would an old fashion plastic bar soap box work? The kind you can pick up in a drug store for .99. I’m not familiar with shampoo soap but I still use one of these for the bar soap that I travel with.

Posted by
1359 posts

I use a Lush shampoo bar and a Lush conditioner bar when I travel. I cut the bars into 1/4 or even smaller depending on how long the trip is. I take the bars out and leave them on the side of the tub/shower. When it’s time to pack for the next location I wrap the bar in a piece of plastic wrap/Saran wrap/cling film, put it in a plastic container I got from the discount store and that’s that. And yes, I reuse the same piece of plastic wrap.

Edit to add: To minimize mush, don't use the bar directly under the shower head. Thoroughly wet your hair and hands, step/lean away from the shower head, roll the bar in your hands a few times or swipe the bar through your hair, put the bar aside and work the shampoo or conditioner through your hair. Try to let the bar dry out before you pack it back up. Try not to leave it in a dish or other container sitting in water. Best if you can put the bars on a face cloth outside the shower between uses.

Posted by
2444 posts

My Great-Depression-Era-baby mother would take a kitchen sponge that was too worn out to use in the kitchen sink and trim it to fit as a liner of the soapdish in the bathroom, thereby keeping the bar from getting slimy or mushy. When that re-used sponge gets slimy, clean the tub with it and squeeze it out and re-re-re-use it.

Posted by
211 posts

I also have the Matador soap bag referenced above, and like it a lot. It doesn’t leak but somehow it allows the soap to dry out. I don’t get the squishy soap problem with it. I used to use a typical plastic travel soap case, which was fine, but pretty bulky compared to the Matador bag. I got mine in the RS online store.

Posted by
14931 posts

I take these shampoo bars with me:

JR Liggett

I get the mini bars and have one of their mini-traveler pouches. You can order direct or from Amazon.

I visited their "factory" in New Hampshire. It's hard to find the place since it's an old farm and no signs. The factory itself is an old barn that was converted to operate like a factory. When I visited there were only two people working--one in the factory and one in the office. I asked how many visitors they get a month. They said.....about two. I passed the place twice before figuring out where it was.

They also sell an E-Z Pouch for their regular sized bars but I don't recommend it as it doesn't close all the way. Go with the Matador pouch. I've used it and like it.

Rick sells it:

https://store.ricksteves.com/shop/p/bar-soap-travel-container

Posted by
1259 posts

Sidetrack: If you are considering switching to solid bars of soap, shampoo, conditioner, be sure to give yourself and your scalp time to acclimate. Visit your Lush store or Whole Foods, choose your products, bathe with them for a few days and see if you and your skin can tolerate the feel, additives, scents, and after effects, if any.

Posted by
1259 posts

Coincidentally, a reddit discussion started yesterday on Matador vs Ziploc:
https://www.reddit.com/r/onebag/comments/wt9l7m/matador_flatpak_soap_bar_case_vs_ziploc_bag/

Yeah, that's the guy who does the OneBagTravels site/blog/yootoob. Great stuff. Highly recommended for his thorough evaluations. You don't need to accept or agree with any of his advice, of course, but he's not kidding around when he reviews an object.

https://onebagtravels.com

Posted by
3098 posts

Unless you are moving locations every single night, it shouldn't get slimy.
Ziploc bag for mine...leave it out to dry out after your shower.

Posted by
1259 posts

Unless you are moving locations every single night, it shouldn't get slimy.
Ziploc bag for mine...leave it out to dry out after your shower.

Well, that’s the interesting thing about some of the goofy items we talk about around here. This funny little bag from Matador is actually a useful and functional travel accessory that solves a real world problem that exists for some folks in some situations such as using solid shampoo bars and the like. Yes, there are less costly and less elegant solutions and this breathable bag is an extravagance. Still, I’d immediately buy another if I lost mine.

Posted by
11 posts

I've been considering solid shampoo and conditioner as well but was wondering about the "mush factor" so thanks for this post. I've actually been using the Viori brand for the past month at home and I really like it. It has rice water which is supposed to strengthen your hair. I was surprised that it detangled my normally very tangled hair. It came with a bamboo holder that dries out the bars in between use but isn't practical for travel. Thanks for the suggestions!

Posted by
157 posts

I should have said that I am staying in hostels, so I don't have the space to leave the bars out to dry. At home, my shower has a ledge that I can leave the bars on and then they do dry. While traveling I stored them in a tupperware-like plastic box. I even poked holes in it, but that is not enough air circulation to dry the shampoo out. For me, packing travel size liquid shampoo and conditioner seems to be the better solution.

Posted by
5 posts

I bought some wax paper wraps that people use for produce to store my bars in my toiletry bag. At the hotel, I put the shampoo on a wash cloth and put down a silicon body scrubber like this: https://boieusa.com/products/flat-body-scrubber?variant=12392788557894&currency=USD&utm_medium=product_sync&utm_source=google&utm_content=sag_organic&utm_campaign=sag_organic&gclid=CjwKCAjwmJeYBhAwEiwAXlg0AZU39Pdt475xTGMG-nvgs6CYW84LFVsTEauOSeGzWW-nWAdOByEYVhoCdoAQAvD_BwE down by the sink for my face bar. Worked great.

Posted by
268 posts

Not sure if you have a favorite bar shampoo you're using, but I've used Beekman 1802 bar shampoo and have never had any issue with sliminess. All of thir products are goat milk based, and dry as though they are French milled (hard, not mushy). I could be biased, because they're local to upstate NY, and I love to support local businesses. Their products can be purchased either through HSN, or their website. I have no affiliation with them, just love their products.
https://beekman1802.com