The Switch to Natural Soap

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Image by madaise

When we started this switch to real food I had no idea that it would also leak into other areas of our life. Slowly the switch to real food became the switch to trying to live more natural. And now, that includes a switch to real soap. Already we’re using castile soap a lot and we love it, but I suddenly knew I wanted to switch to natural soap for our bodies as well.

Why? My friend Anna posted something on Twitter about how children’s soaps are full of parabens. That was a total wake-up call. Do you mean I’m rubbing Annie all over with something that might give her CANCER?! I got mad. Really mad. I threw them out. I switched Annie to California Baby bubble bath and got a price shock…it’s expensive. But, I only use a bit each time and I know it’s something she enjoys – and I want her to enjoy it safely (and as I write this, she’s sitting at the table with a pair of scissors, ha!).

Image by madaise

Barry had already been using a natural soap for his shaving needs. I bought it every year at a local craft festival. THEN, the business that sold that soap moved to our town and I did the happy dance. Thistle Ridge Soap has become my go-to for homemade soap.

I’m very aware that I could make my own soap. I’m also very aware that I’m crunched for time and I don’t know that I have the time to add something like that to my list – I’m already making several other things and I don’t want to get “natural mama burnout.” And thus, I buy my soap and support a local business person – I’m happy.

Image by sharonmleon

Is it cheaper than store soap? Nope. I pay about $30 for 7 bars of natural soap – but they last a long time….and what price can you put on your peace of mind? Annie has been using the Oatmeal scent and she hasn’t had any breakouts like she did with the other soap I was using. I love that natural soap comes in so many scents – I like variety…except in husbands. I just want one husband. Amen.

So, other than the fact that it’s more natural, what do I like best about our new soap? It only takes one bar to do everything in the shower. One. I use a bar of natural soap to wash my body, my face, my hair, and I also use it for shaving. I’ve gotten rid of tons of other silly stuff that was in there, making it easy to clean…and I’m also not as likely to turn over 42 bottles of stuff when I turn around.

I was contacted by Spunky Suds and asked if I wanted to review some of their soaps. Of course I said yes…because even though I use Thistle Ridge, I still like to try new things and I wanted you guys who don’t live here to have another option for homemade soaps. And plus, I like getting stuff in the mail – who doesn’t? It’s my goal in life to get more mail than Barry. Ha!

They arrived in a simple waxed bag…and it was full. :-D  I received one large soap, five mini soaps, three sample soaps, and a sample of peppermint body butter. Barry started using it immediately, but I finished up my bar of lady soap first.  It is really great soap! The scents are so nice and refreshing – both manly scents and lady scents…and there were even some gender-neutral scents. For some reason, Barry doesn’t like using my flowery stuff. Go figure.

It lathers GREAT and I feel squeaky clean when I’m done. I’m not sure about you guys, but I don’t care for lotion-type soaps, because I feel like I can never wash them off. I like feeling clean when I get out of the bathtub. It’s really working great for washing our hair and I also used it to shave with and got excellent results.

I’ve really been enjoying the body butter – the peppermint scent is not too strong and I can smell it off and on during the day – I like that…it’s WAY better than smelling like soured milk and peepee. I had never used body butter before, so the oiliness of it was a little weird at first…but it soaks in quickly and it makes my legs REALLY smooth. I told her that I felt like a glistening super model. Ha! That’s funny isn’t it?

Ashley Haynes lives in the Inland Northwest, is a stay at home wife and homeschooling mother of 5.  Her and her husband enjoy small scale farming with cows, 1 horse, chickens, and more.  Ashley loves to bake and provide nutritional meals for her family.  She likes being active and enjoys hobbies such as riding horses, 4-wheeling and snowmobiling just to name a few.  God is first in her life and she strives to please Him in all she does.

In 2009 Ashley started researching soapmaking.  It was 2010 before she became brave enough to try her first batch of soap.  Not wanting to spend a bunch of money to get set up with all the right the equipment, (in case it turned out to be something she didn’t enjoy) her first batch of soap was made in a sheetrock mud pan, was not blended correctly and not a great color.  But regardless, she fell in love with the process!   Ashley is passionate about providing natural, healthy and fun soaps for everyone! Visit Spunky Suds to learn more!

*This post is linked at Healthy 2Day Wednesday on Day2Day Joys, at Homestead Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead, and at Frugal Days Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable.

Comment Policy: I love hearing your thoughts and input on what I write. Since I write about what works at my house, what pleases my handsome hubby and darling children; I'm sure we'll disagree sometimes. In those cases, do what's right for you and yours. As with any form of communication, please only post comments that move the discussion in a positive direction.

About Stacy

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and Keep Crockin': A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook, and a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom to her two children, Annie (June 2009) and Andy (August 2012). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more to keep up with her daily antics.

Speak Your Mind



  1. The big people in our house use Dr. Bronner’s soap for everything (even cleaning the house!) and the little people in our house use Burt’s Bees. We were using California Baby until recently when they changed their formulas to include sodium benzoate as a preservative :-(

    I am always looking for other natural soaps for fun! Hubby doesn’t care as long as he is clean and doesn’t smell like a flower…hee hee!

  2. I do like the lotion soaps (caress is my fav), is there a compatible natural soap you’ve used you could suggest, or do I need to just get ready to change my thinking to go natural?

    • Hmmm, not sure Tina. I hate lotion soap, so I don’t normally aim for that. But you could send Ashley an email and ask! :-)

  3. I do use natural soap and you are right, it’s not cheap. But the peace of mind is what I am after. :)

  4. I have been looking for a natural soap. I tried a shampoo bar from another local vendor, but I didn’t like it. It left my hair oily. I would love to try this soap. I will certainly be looking it up on the internet.

  5. Yes, I use natural soap because it doesn’t irritate my skin!!!! In fact, I use natural soap for shaving, too. It’s fabulous and so dreamy, creamy!!! If I won the giveaway, I’d do an honest review of the soap and how well it works ;) :) Thanks for hosting this giveaway. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  6. I make my own soap and there’s NOTHING like knowing what’s NOT in it! I love, love, love handmade soap and I’m going to go check out Spunky Suds right now. Thanks again, Stacy!!

  7. I do not use natural soap, but I do use a lot of EVOO body scrub I make.

  8. We use doctored up Dr. Bronner’s in a foaming soap dispenser (I add vitamin E, glycerin and essential oil) on our faces and Tom’s of Maine bar soap on our bodies. We had several bars of artisan soap I purchased from a vendor at the Farmer’s market in the summer. I cannot wait ’til spring to try and find him again. The scents were great and really left our skin soft. We’re also experimenting with a homemade shea butter/coconut oil body cream.

  9. I have been using some natural soap and I would like to completely switch over! This sounds great!

  10. Hubby and I were just discussing soaps yesterday. He had no idea that baby shampoo contains cancer-causing agents in it :(
    Heading over to check out the soaps now!

  11. I purchased clove soap at the Farmer’s Market in my little burg and it is superb. Pricey, yes, but also makes you feel clean and spicey! Love it.

  12. I’m going to have to look into natural soaps. My son has eczema in the winter. I wonder if that would help?

  13. Ronda Morhaime :

    I have wanted to make the change to more natural body products…what better way than with a freebie to get ya started….off to check out Spunky Suds…thanks Stacy

  14. I do use natural soap! But it is more expensive than I like to admit. I have been *thinking* about bar soap…this may be just the push I need!

  15. I’m in the process of using up all the crap in my house before getting new, good stuff. I just can’t bring myself to throw it away.

  16. We use it off and on. BUT I have been thinking of making our own.

  17. I don’t use natural soap now, but I have used it in the past. My older sister made her own soap for a while and made a awesome shampoo bar. I really miss it since she’s too busy now for soapmaking.

  18. Getting very excited about this give away!
    Thanks for yesterday’s reply, Stacy; the bar that I bought for my son’s bathroom sink HAS lasted for quite some time, so that is encouraging…I cut the bar in half to save on a huge amount of “soap sliminess”, if you get what I mean-LOL :) It’s like having TWO brand-new bars of soap!

  19. I don’t use natural soap but I hope to try to make my own soon.

  20. I’d love to try this stuff out. I’ve never thought of using bar soap for my hair. I don’t want to try the baking soda and acv method, but this might be a good compromise from using normal shampoo.

  21. I love natural soap. I’m just getting started making my own, but winning free ones would be nice too :)

  22. I’m the opposite–I started with natural body products first, and then got hooked on real food.

    These soaps look great. I would love to use just one thing in the shower. Unfortunately, I don’t think bar soap would work on hair–our water is very hard. But for everything else, we’re moving in that direction!

  23. My husband started us on castile soap over 5 years ago and now my daughters use natural soaps for face, body, hair etc. We love bath and bodyworks but give the gifts we get from there away. After reading the ingredients I cannot bring myself to use them. I have been trying your homemade cleaning recipes and made my first laundry powder last week. I LOVE it. It was so simple and much less expensive than my store brand. Thanks for what you do. I enjoy your blog.

    • Thanks very much! Yes, the ingredients used at Bath and Body works are almost horrifying…and the sad thing is, most people have NO IDEA.

  24. One bar to wash them all! (That was a LOTR reference, ha). I got this pleasant dreamy feeling while I was reading about only needing a simple bar of soap for every bathtub need! Unfortunately we have enough bottled toiletries stockpiled to last us years and years. I don’t think I can wait that long. This might be one of those times when I just need to get rid of the stuff instead of using it up. Especially if the B&BW stuff is so scary.

    • It’s full of all kinds of nasty things…..but I had a hard time parting with mine too. :-) I used up most of my stuff before we switched.

      • Ro Ferguson :

        I came back to this post to look up the onebarforeverything soap. Found the link, and laughed out loud AGAIN at “I like variety…except in husbands. I just want one husband. Amen.” : )

        Would you say that any of the bars under the ‘soaps’ link would work for hair, face, and body?

  25. Don’t use natural soap at the moment…but would love to try!

  26. I really hope I can win some samples I would love to try them my son has exzema and I have sensitive skin. I’ve been making my own laundry detergent and would love to switch to natural soap.

  27. Just started making soap. Really enjoy experimenting with different recipes till I find one that works for my family’s varying skin issues. We’ve also started to eat more real foods.

  28. i would love to win some samples:) it sounds fabulous!

  29. You have made a very wise decision! We use all natural products in every area possible around our home and it has been amazing. We even started our own organic company because of how much we loved the pure lifestyle.

  30. Love your site! I am slowly, but surely switching to whole foods and homemade or natural cleaners and soaps. Not only, am I saving money, but I know what’s in there! I control what goes in MY products. Haven’t found a good source for homemade soap, so I’m excited to try Spunky Suds. Thanks for your site and all the good information. Keep up all the hard work.