We won’t deny the convenience of plastic - it’s what’s got us in this mess - but the disposable nature of so many of our bathroom products means we’re often flippant about trying to prolong their use. You’ll get the most out of your plastic-free products if you treat them as plastic-free; with a little TLC, you can lengthen their lifetimes immeasurably.
1 FACE & BODY BARS. We love a lather as much as the next person, but keeping your soap dry when not in use is the not-so-secret tip to longevity. As YOKU soaps are entirely natural and made using the traditional cold press method, they contain glycerin. A natural moisturiser, it draws humidity from the air. Store your bar away from running water and puddles, on a well draining soap dish. Ones made from diatomite are naturally absorbent and antibacterial, or you can also find soap cushions to place on your dish made from natural absorbent loofah.
Try washing your hands with a washcloth or sea sponge too - our skin is less able to retain lather than other materials, but a sponge creates more lather with less soap.
2 SAFETY RAZORS. Treated well, a safety razor will last you a lifetime - so it’s worth that extra care. Rinse your razor head thoroughly with water after each use, tapping to remove any trapped hair. We’d recommend swapping out your used blade every 5-7 shaves, so every time you disassemble it, give it a thorough soak with soap and warm water. Wipe dry and always store in a non-humid place or even on a towel - leaving it in that pool of shower water, understandably, might not be doing it much good. Avoid alcohol or disinfectants, as these can strip away a safety razor’s anti-rust layer.
3 TOOTHBRUSHES. Bamboo brushes are naturally antibacterial and don’t require much further attention than your standard plastic brush. As with any brush, avoid brushing too hard to keep the bristles in good condition for longer. It’s also better for your teeth and gums to be thorough but gentle. Make sure you allow the bamboo to dry - ideally storing it somewhere other than in a cup. Replace your toothbrush every 2-3 months, just as you would a plastic one but in the comforting knowledge that bamboo is fully biodegradable.
4 SEA SPONGES. There’s not much we don’t love about our sea sponges. Containing a natural enzyme that limits the growth of bacteria, they’re naturally durable and odour limiting. To ensure they last for months or even years, we’d recommend soaking your sponge every two weeks to prevent any bacteria creeping in. Simply rinse your sponge in cold water before ringing out excess moisture, and then submerge in a bowl of 1 part vinegar, 3 parts warm water. Let your sponge soak for 2 hours, before ringing out excess moisture and setting out to dry naturally. Avoid overly hot or boiling water as this can damage the structure of your sponge.
You can also use a mixture of 1 cup of water and 1 tbsp of baking soda. Simply shake the sponge really well in the mix before wringing and setting out to dry. Baking soda revives the sponge’s cellular structure for increased durability.