Maven Moment: Good Old-fashioned Bar Soap

Grandma Jennie used bar soap all of her life.

When she was young, there was a bar of soap that was used for laundry and household purposes. She used a bar of Castile soap for her hair and body. I’ve seen pictures of Grandma when she was young and she had the most beautiful head of long, black, wavy hair — I think that washing with Castile soap was one of the secrets to its beauty.

When I was growing up, we always had a bar of soap in the kitchen and one in the bathroom for washing our hands. The whole family used that soap (with no ill effects, apparently) and we each had our own soap for the bath. The soap that Mom and Grandma bought for us to use was of the plain variety, unscented and without any additional ingredients for moisturizing, deodorizing, or sanitizing. We used Ivory or Lux, always. Soap was not a “spa item,” it was just for basic care for the home and the body.

Today, I still like to use bar soap. My favorite is Yardley’s Old English Lavender. The hard milling of the soap makes it last a long time and gives it a rich, soft foam. And I love the natural lavender scent. It’s a very basic item, but to me, very luxurious. For my hair, I use Castile soap just like my grandma. And although my hair is not as thick and wavy as hers was, I like the result. It maintains the waves in my hair, and the lavender oil in the soap I use leaves a faint, soft scent.

Another advantage to bar soap is that the packaging is usually just a little cardboard box or paper wrapping — easy to recycle!

If you haven’t used bar soap in a while, give it a try. You might even find that you prefer it to liquid soaps.

Editor’s note: If you purchase an item through one of the affiliate links in this post, we will receive a small commission, which helps fund our Recycling Directory.


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