Dare to bathe sans soap!

  • Thread starter Newai
  • Start date
15
1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Richard Nikoley at Free the Animal has been experimenting with basically a soap-free lifestyle for 18 months now (according to a recent update) and reported his experience (six months in):
Richard Nikoley said:
I haven't used soap or shampoo anyplace on my body for six months, save hand washing in advance of food prep. That's it. let me just report my observations and leave you to judge.

* Took about two weeks to normalize. That is, I felt my hair was greasy and skin oily up to then.
* Now it's intermittent. It's perhaps a function of water hardness, but sometimes skin and hair feel squeaky clean, and other times indeterminate.
* Even when I feel greasy/oily in the shower with just water, once everything dies out, it's always all the same -- fine; soft & dry.
* My skin & hair have never been softer. Never.
* If anything, my hair is less "greasy" than ever, yet shampoo hasn't touched it in over six months.
* Private parts. Have to address this, of course. This is the biggest benefit of all. Surprised? You'll just have to try it, because I'm not going to elaborate. That's why they call them "private parts." OK, a clue: maybe it's the constant cleansing that's the cause of the sweaty-stinky problem in the first place? If for nothing else, I'm soap free for life on this point alone. I feel as though I've been scammed -- and liberated. I can't explain further. You'll just have to try.
* You'll save a lot of money, especially you chicks. Grils: you can Google about no shampoo. Lotsa links.

...I'll never use soap or shampoo on anything but my hands for the rest of my life.
http://freetheanimal.com/2009/12/paleo-i-dont-care-i-like-no-soap-no-shampoo.html

Me, I've been doing laundry detergent-free for about the same time and no complaints here. But the no-soap idea sounds a little scary. And exciting. Well, I'm not ditching deodorant. But soap? I dunno.

What do you think?
 

Answers and Replies

Evo
Mentor
22,880
2,377
You can't clean clothes decently without soap. Your clothes are probably full of dirt. What's wrong with soap?

The ancient Romans would coat themselves with oil and then use special metal scrapers to scrape the dirt and oil off.

Who is that nut you referenced? Does he not know that the less you clean, the less oil your glands will produce, this is elementary school stuff. I'd hate to look into his hair follicles at the number of mites in there. Although he doesn't notice he stinks, I'll bet anyone else can smell him a mile away. Soap has a purpose.
 
Last edited:
456
8
What do you think?
Use soap!!! You damn hippies.:rolleyes:
 
EnumaElish
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
2,285
123
How do astronauts/cosmonauts clean themselves?
 
arildno
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
9,946
130
You could go back to using a very stiff brush (we call it a "scrub" in Norwegian, don't know the English word).
This is actually very effective, and gets rid of old skin as well.
 
15
1
You could go back to using a very stiff brush (we call it a "scrub" in Norwegian, don't know the English word).
This is actually very effective, and gets rid of old skin as well.
I've been using a brush with soap. But feels kinda rough on my skin.
 
You can't clean clothes decently without soap. Your clothes are probably full of dirt. What's wrong with soap?

The ancient Romans would coat themselves with oil and then use special metal scrapers to scrape the dirt and oil off.

Who is that nut you referenced? Does he not know that the less you clean, the less oil your glands will produce, this is elementary school stuff. I'd hate to look into his hair follicles at the number of mites in there. Although he doesn't notice he stinks, I'll bet anyone else can smell him a mile away. Soap has a purpose.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strigil


that nut is just your standard paleo diet nutter. not quite as stupid as the guy that gave himself scurvy, but still...
 
212
1
OK, I read it. It sounds like "Free the Animal", bring out the animal in you. So we and the animals will be on the same page. Everyone will be family. I will look and smell like a monkey and they will not feel embarrassed coming to my table for meals. Perfect!
 
Vanadium 50
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
23,474
5,922
After experimenting, I find that 1/2-1/3 of the recommended amount of laundry detergent does a perfectly fine job of cleaning. (And of course, if you are in the business of selling soap, you don't want to underestimate how much to tell your customers to use!)

However, I would not argue that since it's possible to use too much we should therefore use none at all.
 
15
1
Meant to ask this of using soap-

So is this a nutty trend I should stay away from?

This is the first time I've come across "paleo" people.
 
arildno
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
9,946
130
I've been using a brush with soap. But feels kinda rough on my skin.
There is a Norwegian dermatologist who stopped using what he called "copious amounts of soap" years ago, and uses hard, old-fashioned scrubbing instead.
He says the pain wears off after a few weeks of usage.
 
Evo
Mentor
22,880
2,377
On the laundry:

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SmartSpending/blog/page.aspx?post=1617779&ocid=twmsnss

So is this a nutty trend I should stay away from?
Just last week I forgot to put the soap in the washer. I got the clothes out and and they were still dirty, then I realized what the problem was, no soap. I rewashed the load with soap and the dirt and stains were gone.

Just read about surfactants and you'll understand why detergent removes dirt that water alone can't. It's science.

On the other hand, for regular housecleaning, I use nothing but water, unless it's really greasy. I even clean my mirrors with nothing but a clean sponge and water.
 
Meant to ask this of using soap-

So is this a nutty trend I should stay away from?

This is the first time I've come across "paleo" people.
soap makes it easier to remove lipids. makes them soluble in the water so they wash away (or sometimes insoluble as soap scum if you have hard water).

the real question may be how much of the apocrine gland secretions you can remove from your arm and leg pits. maybe you won't smell the bacterial endproducts after 6 months, but people around you might.
 
arildno
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
9,946
130
Just last week I forgot to put the soap in the washer. I got the clothes out and and they were still dirty, then I realized what the problem was, no soap. I rewashed the load with soap and the dirt and stains were gone.

Just read about surfactants and you'll understand why detergent removes dirt that water alone can't. It's science.
Without using soap, you need to use hard, mechanical work to get the clothes (and body) as clean as we get them now.

There are few who nowadays can share the appreciation what a blessing housewives found the washing machine with its soap-based cleansing agent.
 
Evo
Mentor
22,880
2,377
Without using soap, you need to use hard, mechanical work to get the clothes (and body) as clean as we get them now.

There are few who nowadays can share the appreciation what a blessing housewives found the washing machine with its soap-based cleansing agent.
But you've got to admit that things like ink, blood, grass & oil, can be broken up and rinsed away with different types of cleaners. No amount of banging with a rock is going to remove that ball point pen stain, well, unless there is no cloth left.

Dish soap for greasy dishes, detergent for clothes are two things I use. Soap makes it easier to remove dirt from my skin, and the oils they contain put a protective layer of oil back. I have extremely dry skin. I do use brushes to exfoliate, a good soaking in water will soften the dead skin, but you need to get it off, otherwise it will just dry back on your skin.

Like I said, I don't use cleansers on my kitchen counters or stove top, don't need them. Warm water is all it takes. I do use bleach for stains and always bleach in the bathroom, that's all I use in there. And my tile floors, a bit of bleach in the mop water.
 
Last edited:
lisab
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,832
616
I love the smell of soap! Dial is probably my favorite...:!!)
 
russ_watters
Mentor
19,027
5,185
You can't clean clothes decently without soap.
I once washed some clothes that came out......'what the heck is wrong with my clothes?!....oops, I think I forgot something.'

And I'm guessing "Took about two weeks to normalize" means "took about two weeks to get used to my own wretched stench before I stopped noticing". Here's a tip: few people will complain about your wretched BO even if it makes them physically ill and I promise you it does.
V50 said:
After experimenting, I find that 1/2-1/3 of the recommended amount of laundry detergent does a perfectly fine job of cleaning. (And of course, if you are in the business of selling soap, you don't want to underestimate how much to tell your customers to use!)
I have ridiculously hard water that neutralizes soap, so I have to use extra.
 
Last edited:
EnumaElish
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
2,285
123
Now I know where the English word "scrub" comes from, it's Norwegian.
 
russ_watters
Mentor
19,027
5,185
not quite as stupid as the guy that gave himself scurvy...
I gotta hear this one.
 
What about toothpaste? Is that considered soap? Has anyone ever tried brushing their teeth with just water?

(:yuck:)
 
DaveC426913
Gold Member
18,334
1,941
Man gives up soap, discovers the only thing he really gave up is his own sense of smell...
 
15
1
Yeesh. The forum for that article, and the paleo guy's blog, is filling with personal anecdotes supporting their soap-free lifestyle. Who needs the backing of science when you have Bubba's experience? :frown:
 
lisab
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,832
616
Yeesh. The forum for that article, and the paleo guy's blog, is filling with personal anecdotes supporting their soap-free lifestyle. Who needs the backing of science when you have Bubba's experience? :frown:
Aaahahaha....:smile:
 

Related Threads for: Dare to bathe sans soap!

  • Last Post
Replies
18
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
10
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
17
Views
5K
Replies
22
Views
3K
Replies
30
Views
8K
  • Last Post
5
Replies
114
Views
10K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
31
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
2K
Top