Bubble baths are fabulous at any age – with you’re a little kid making Santa beards out of the foam, or an adult looking to de-stress with a nice long soak in the tub. However, regular bubble bath is terrible for the environment. These products contain an array of chemicals such as chemical fragrances, dyes, sulfates, and formaldehyde.
Once you let out your bath, these toxic chemicals are flushed down the drain where they eventually make their way into our waterways and oceans, poisoning marine life and destroying underwater ecosystems.
As you might have guessed, these ingredients aren’t very good for us either! Most bubble bath products contain parabens, which have been linked to skin irritation as well as fertility and reproductive problems, among other nasties.
There are also environmental concerns associated with the packaging that many bath products come in, as most products come in single-use plastic bottles. Thankfully, there are recyclable and zero waste bubble bath options made from safe, eco friendly ingredients.
What’s the best eco friendly bubble bath to buy?
It’s important to do a bit of research as many eco friendly options don’t produce a decent amount of bubbles, so you may be disappointed. We’ve picked out our favorite five bubble bath and bubble bath alternatives for the perfect bath that won’t harm your health or the environment.
1. Alaffia Everyday Shea Bubble Bath
Alaffia makes paraben and sulfate-free bubble bath made from African wild yam extract and unrefined shea butter sourced from women-led cooperatives in Togo, West Africa. The brand is a social enterprise that supports the local community with initiatives such as maternal care, reforestation, and educational support.
You can choose between lavender, vanilla citrus mint, and unscented varieties. The unscented version is an excellent option for people who are allergic to essential oils, have very sensitive skin, or simply don’t want a scented bath.
This product is fair trade, vegan, and cruelty-free. Although it is unfortunately not zero waste, it does come in a recyclable bottle without excess packaging materials.
2. Naoh Bubble Bath Bar
Shampoo bars are one of our favorite zero-waste solutions, so it’s surprising that they’re aren’t more bubble bath bars around. In fact, it’s pretty difficult to find bubble bath bar form, except from a few options like this one from Naoh.
To use the bar, simply hold it under running water until you have plenty of bubbles, fill the tub, and then step in and enjoy! Depending on your preference, you can use a full bar for one bath, or cut the bar into two or three pieces and store the other bits in a sealed container for future use.
The bars are lightly fragranced and made from natural ingredients including Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, baking soda, glycerin, and essential oils.
3. The Honest Company Bubble Bath
This eco friendly bubble bath from The Honest Company is fragrance-free and tear-free, so is suitable for little ones, even infants. The formula is also hypoallergenic, so ideal for people with sensitive skin.
It’s made from natural, all-vegan ingredients and does not contain any parabens, sulfates, dyes, or synthetic fragrances.
With such a gentle formulation, it’s not a surprise that this product is fragrance-free. Although it will give you plenty of bubbles, if you’re looking for an aromatherapy experience you might be better off with one of the other products on this list, or you can opt for The Honest Company’s gently-fragranced dreamy lavender or sweet orange vanilla bubble bath products.
4. Carina Organics Baby Bubble Bath
This is another eco friendly baby bubble bath product, but could be used for kids (or adults) of all ages! Its gentle, tear-free formula is made from organic plant extracts and scented with essence of sweet pea flower.
Although the scented product is gentle enough for sensitive skin and even babies, Carina Organics does also offer an unscented version.
Along with being made from natural ingredients, this bubble bath is also biodegradable and won’t pollute our waterways, lakes, or oceans, as well as being safe for septic tanks. The only draw-back of this product is that it does come in a plastic bottle.
Carina Organics also sells shampoo for adults that is similarly eco-friendly.
5. Babo Botanicals Moisturizing Baby 2-in-1 Bubble Bath & Wash
This eco friendly bubble bath for babies will not only generate plenty of big, soft bubbles, but also nourish your little one’s skin with its formula of oatmilk, chamomile, and calendula. The gentle formula is hypoallergenic and will cleanse and moisturize the skin as well as help relieve eczema and dry skin.
The Babo Botanicals eco friendly bubble bath is made in the USA from natural ingredients, with absolutely no parabens or phthalates. Unfortunately, this is another product that comes in a plastic bottle, though the contents are biodegradable and will not cause water pollution when washed down the drain.
The brand also has PETA’s Statement of Assurance, meaning that the product does not cause any animal cruelty at any stage of production or throughout the supply chain.
How to make your own eco friendly bubble bath
Ultimately, the only way to truly know what ingredients something contains is to make it yourself. Making your own DIY bubble bath gives you complete control of what goes into it, so you can make sure it doesn’t contain anything that will damage the environment, your health, or the health of your family.
What’s more, it’s pretty easy to make with just a few ingredients!
What you’ll need:
- 1 cup castile soap (unscented)
- ½ cup organic coconut oil or glycerin
- 20 drops of essential oil (we love orange blossom, lemon, mint, or lavender)
- 1 cup water
- A large mason jar
- Wooden spoon
- Measuring cups
- Pour the water, castile soap, and coconut oil or glycerin into the mason jar.
- Mix with a large wooden spoon.
- Add the essential oil and stir well.
- Close the jar and store in a cool place.
- When you’re ready for a bath, use two to three ounces of the mixture, like a regular bubble bath, and enjoy!
Castile soap is a vegetable-based castile soap that is non-synthetic and chemical-free and pretty easy to buy online. Traditionally made from olive oil in Medieval Spain, today it’s made from a variety of plant-based oils including hemp, coconut, almond, and avocado oil. It can also contain essential oils for fragrance purposes.
However, it’s best to buy unscented castile soap and create your own scent with essential oils: for example, orange blossom is invigorating and lavender is relaxing. Experiment with mixing different scents to create the perfect recipe to suit any mood or situation!
You can also add extra ingredients depending on your skin type and other needs:
- Swap the essential oil for 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 6 drops of chamomile, and add 2 tablespoons of honey for a softening mix.
- Use eucalyptus and peppermint essential oil and add 1/8 cup of organic mustard powder as well as 1 cup Epsom salts for a deep soak bubble bath that will soothe sore muscles.
- Switch coconut oil for coconut milk and use patchouli, bergamot, or ylang ylang essential oil for a bath that will make you feel like you’re on a tropical beach.
- For sensitive skin, skip the essential oils and add 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil, 1 tablespoon raw honey, and 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel.
Alternatively, you could try this DIY eco friendly bubble bath bar recipe – it would make a great zero-waste gift!
Plastic-free alternatives to bubble bath
Unfortunately, many of the otherwise eco friendly bubble bath products come in plastic bottles. Even if these containers can be recycled, it’s arguably better to cut plastic out of the equation entirely and go for one of these plastic-free alternatives.
These are a great alternative to eco friendly bubble bath products.
Fizzing bath bombs don’t produce bubbles, but they still make for a fun bath time for little ones and an invigorating bath for adults. Not only are there plenty of bath bombs made of natural ingredients, they’re often zero-waste too.
We love Dr. Hempster bath bombs, which are made in the USA from natural ingredients such as organic coconut oil, shea butter, and eucalyptus and lavender essential oils.
The biggest drawback of bath bombs is the price: these are single-use items and the cost of using one each time can certainly add up! A good solution to this is to make your own – check out this guide to how to make bath bombs.
This is not only an affordable option, but it also gives you complete control over the ingredients so you can ensure that your bath bombs don’t contain anything that is harmful to people or the planet.
Bubble bath refills
Other than eliminating plastic packaging entirely, the next best option is to choose a refillable product. There is a range of brands that offer refills of their bath products, including bubble bath, so you can reuse the same bottle again and again to stop it from ending up in landfill.
Or better still, have them refill a glass bottle or other type of sustainable container. Refilling makes for a somewhat eco friendly bubble bath – regardless of the ingredients used.
You may have a refill store in your area, or you could try one of these refill schemes:
- The Body Shop refill scheme lets you refill your bottles at any of their refill stations.
- If you’re in LA, check out the Refill Shoppe.
- Online stores like Solana sell bubble bath in bottles as well as refill pouches.
Glass bottled bubble bath
If you want to go zero-waste, products that come in glass bottles are a good option. With growing consciousness in the community around plastic, we’re seeing more shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, and even bubble bath in glass containers.
Glass bottles are recyclable, but if you want to go truly zero-waste, look for products that come in reusable bottles, like this Argan Oil & Rose Bubble Bath from FunkySoapLondon. Not only does this product smell divine, but comes in a vintage-style glass bottle that you can easily reuse for other personal care products, or even in the kitchen!
If you want a relaxing soak in the tub with delicious scents, bath salts make a fantastic and sustainable alternative to eco friendly bubble bath.
Eco-friendly bath salts are not only made from natural ingredients, but many also contain additional ingredients to soothe sore joints and muscles.
Here are a couple of our top picks for eco-friendly bath salts:
- Era Organics Bath Salts – Made from Dead Sea salt, epsom salt, and essential oils, these bath salts are designed to aid sore muscles, swollen feet, or hemorrhoids. They come in a reusable glass jar and are free of sulfates, parabens, dyes, and toxins.
- Relax Joint Therapy Epsom Salts – This bath soak is infused with vitamins and minerals designed to alleviate aches, pains, and inflammation. The product is made in the USA from natural ingredients and comes in a reusable bottle.
- Brooklyn Made Natural Bath Salts – These Epsom salts are loaded with therapeutic essential oils, lavender, and chamomile flowers for a luxurious aromatherapy experience. This zero-waste product comes in a reusable glass jar.
Switch to eco friendly bubble bath today
If you love a long soak in the tub but also care about the environment, don’t worry – you can indulge that bubble bath without hurting the planet.
There are plenty of eco friendly bubble bath products around, as well as some great plastic-free alternatives like bubble bath bars, bath bombs, and bubble bath refills. You can even get your hands dirty and make your own eco-friendly bubble bath – it’s surprisingly easy!
If you’ve enjoyed this article, go ahead and share it with your eco-conscious friends and take a look at our other round-ups to eco-friendly personal care products like face masks, dental floss, and deodorant.