The 9 best soaps for fresh water
If you have fresh water in your house, you have a lot soap options. “Most things will work well in soft water,” Stephanie Greenwood, longtime soap maker and founder of Bubble & Bee Organic, told Bustle. However, soft water makes it harder to rinse off the soap, and according to Elizabeth Mullans, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Uptown Dermatology, you should “be careful with soaps and go for a fragrance-free.” That’s why the best freshwater soaps use gentle formulas that don’t contain synthetic fragrances and wash off easily, whether you’re bathing, doing the dishes, or doing a load of laundry.
When choosing a soap, it helps to understand the difference between hard water and soft water. Hard water contains a high amount of calcium and magnesium, which creates soap scum and requires more detergent to clean things up. “Soft water doesn’t have the amount of minerals that hard water does, so you’ll need less detergent to clean your clothes,” Dr Mullans told Bustle. But 85% of the United States has hard water, and many manufacturers add chelating agents such as ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) to improve soap performance, which can cause skin irritation in some people. With soft water, you can choose a soap that is free from EDTA and other potentially irritating ingredients. Likewise, synthetic soap-free detergents are a good choice if your skin is easily irritated. The best “always give you lots of lather and a clean rinse,” according to Greenwood, adding, “Organic and natural soaps will work better in soft water than hard water, so if you’re looking for more natural options, l water is your friend.
With all of that in mind, scroll on for the best soaps for soft water, including shower gel, hand soap, and dish and laundry detergents.
Stéphanie Greenwood, founder of Bubble & Bee Organic
Elizabeth Mullans, MD, Certified Dermatologist and Founder of Uptown Dermatology