Best bar soap for hard water?

azdesert95September 20, 2009

I live in a hard-water region. I'm in an apartment complex so there's no opportunity for me to have a water softener installed.

My question is, what bar soaps will lather well and not leave curd in the tub, even in a hard-water region? I'd be willing to buy either real bar soap, or an artificial 'beauty bar'. I'm not interested in switching to shower gel.

So far, I've found that Clearly Natural soap leaves the tub clean, but doesn't lather. Aveeno Moisturizing bar lathers and leaves the tub clean, but it's an exfoliant, which I'd rather not use every day.

I've tried guessing whether or not a given soap will work well in hard water, by reading the ingredient list, but I haven't been very successful. Please recommend specific products if you can.

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I love Zest. Gets my skin "squeaky clean", has a very nice scent and leaves the tub clean.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 8:35AM
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Zest? Okay. I thought I read somewhere that the formula was changed a couple years ago so that it no longer performs well in hard water. Since it's working for you, I'll give it a try. Do all the different scents leave the tub clean, or is there one in particular I should buy?

Does anyone have recommendations on a different bar soap?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 9:07PM
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Try Dove Moisturizer bars. Your skin should not feel squeaky clean, but rather clean and moist. Don't be pulled in by the different scents; they're not important to cleanliness. Tubs will have to be cleaned, regardless of the soap you use -- just get used to it!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 10:47PM
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I have soft water here and my tub still gets scum.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 8:44AM
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It took awhile but when I finally weaned myself off bar soap I was cleaner and my bathroom was cleaner.

(An aside, on lather: decades ago when chemistry students had to wash their own glassware in the chemistry laboratory the first lesson taught was "avoid lather". Lather is wasted cleaner unless you like the aesthetics. BTW. Completely, absolutely, lather less products are often more expensive.)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 11:23AM
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Consider using natural handmade soaps. They are used with natural ingredients and will not strip your skin like detergent soaps. I make them if you are are interested or check your local farmer's market. Hard water is not as much as a problem when I switched to natural soaps verse using Lever.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 12:46PM
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Our water is average (hardness). Zest definitely leaves a scummy tub. I have FINALLY got my husband to where he'll use a body made for men and one of those body sea sponges. He's happy and I'm happy that I don't have to clean the tub every stinkin' day! :) Sorry I can't answer your exact question. You could try adding some Calgon water softener to your bath. I used to do that and it worked very well :)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 9:31AM
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My sister swore by Dove.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 3:44PM
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you can try soap that has olive or coconut oil in it

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 11:51PM
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My mother lives in a hard-water area and swears by Dial, says it lathers well and cleans well. She sprays the 'self-clean' stuff on her shower stall after bathing and says she has no problems with soap scum.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 11:18PM
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Dove soap is the Best!! My gyn used to have little sample
boxes of Dove in his office.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 1:31PM
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Dr. Bronner's bar soap. It's kind of expensive, but truly wonderful. We have hard water, too, and Dr. Bronner's makes a ton of nice lather. No animal fats, so there's no yukky soap scum. I love it.

It comes in a lot of different "flavors", all of them are natural: unscented (baby mild), almond (one of our favorites), citrus, eucalyptus, tea tree, rose, lavender, and peppermint.

Whole Foods has the whole line. Trader Joe's sells it cheaper, but only has peppermint.

A bar at Whole Foods is about $3.50, I think.

Another great castile soap is Kirk's. It's at Whole Foods for $1.79 and usually about $1.29 at your local grocer. Look on the very bottom shelf in the soap aisle.

Kirk's comes in only one scent: it's kind of old-fashioned, but it lathers great and rinses clean.

We used to use Dove, but haven't for years after re-discovering how great castile (olive-oil based bar soaps are.)

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 4:22PM
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Another vote for Dove. I get the unscented kind for sensitive skin. It will "melt" easily and can leave residue in the tub, but I love it anyway.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 12:22AM
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Kirk's is great but do try to avoid your exhaust area with it - it packs quite a sting.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 12:50AM
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None! I think they all leave soap scum behind. I think Tom's (of Maine)brand liquid soap works so well and leaves skin very clean feeling. I think if you switch from bar soap to liquid you will never go back.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 8:36PM
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My Grandmother had a trick: Whenever she bought bar soap, she removed the wrspper and placed the soap in the linen closet on a shelf with the towels. She claimed letting soap "dry out" before use made it last longer.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 6:49AM
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Another vote for Dr. Bronners. Great stuff and the only soap we use!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 10:40AM
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I hacve really hard soap.I use Dove.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 7:06AM
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Another vote for Dove. Any of the regular bars should be fine, but I didn't have the same results with their glycerine (translucent) soaps--they left a weird film on the tub.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 12:26AM
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